Flash Drive: 2009 BMW 335d
This 2009 review is representative of model years 2006 to 2011.
By Staff of MSN Autos
BMW is finally starting to test the clean-diesel waters here in the U.S. — but not with an uber-luxury saloon, as one might imagine. Instead, the German automaker jumped into the deep end of the pool with a performance sedan, the 335d. And after spending some time behind the wheel of this 3-Series stunner, I honestly can't wait to see what other diesel offerings the Bavarians will bring to this side of the pond. If our 335d hadn't been labeled "Efficient Dynamics – BMW Advanced Diesel" in large letters down the side, we would never have known it was a diesel. It didn't exhibit any of the classic tell-tale signs, such as annoyingly loud engine knock. In fact, our 335d was very quiet; even under full throttle the engine had a unique but pleasing sound. As you might expect, power wasn't a problem, either. With 425 lb-ft of torque at just 1750 rpm, full throttle puts a big smile on your face; I mean this car leaps off the line. Fuel economy is also impressive. While it won't get 40 mpg like a VW Jetta TDI, I did see around 27 mpg in mostly highway driving. That's pretty good for a car with such great performance. Diesel fuel is currently cheaper than gasoline, which may help with your decision to spend an additional $4,000 on the 335d over the gas-powered 335i. – Perry Stern
This torque monster known as the BMW 335d delivers the best of both worlds. First, you have amazing fuel efficiency; I achieved 26 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the freeway. Plus, the twin-turbocharged engine is amazingly fast off the line and in traffic. Thanks to the copious amounts of torque, you never have to worry about passing power. The 335d's interior is attractively equipped, with nice leather and wood accents. The new navigation system is a lot easier to use than the previous version. In the rear, there is plenty of room for two adults. If you are going to the warehouse store or on a trip, the 335d's trunk is spacious enough for both journeys. Prepare to forget about everything you usually associate with diesels, because the new BMW 335d is quiet, clean and exciting to drive. Factor in that the vehicle is also miserly at the pump and that diesel fuel is currently affordable now, and I think you've got yourself a winner. – Joe Chulick
The 2009 BMW 335d is the perfect example of what a sports sedan with a modern, clean, high-tech diesel engine delivers — all the driving fun of its gasoline-powered sibling, with a 25 percent increase in fuel economy. The twin-turbocharged diesel engine puts out 265 horsepower, but the key is the massive 425 lb-ft of torque combined with the 6-speed automatic transmission that keeps the engine in the sweet spot. At virtually any speed, a quick squeeze of the throttle delivers a rush of power, but I saw combined average fuel economy of 25 mpg without hypermiling. The only noticeable difference is that when starting from a standstill, it's hard to be smooth because the throttle tip-in is a little abrupt and delivers a big surge of power. BMW also seems to have improved its iDrive system. That may be a perception thing, though; I have become more familiar with iDrive and similar systems recently. However, the radio is still too difficult to use; endless scrolling through menus to make normal adjustments or selections is annoying and distracting. – Mike Meredith