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PERFORMANCE | 9 out of 10
The 335i is at its best on the street, where one can really appreciate the engineers’ ability to marry a supple ride with a fluid chassis and beautifully weighted steering.
Car and Driver
Thanks to that gas-sipping technology, the 2011 BMW 3 Series lineup now offers an N55 model that is more fuel-efficient and cleaner-burning than its predecessors.
Because 335i coupes come standard with the sedan's M Sport suspension anyway, there is virtually no change to the [335is] hardtop's chassis specifications, but the convertible is lowered 0.4 inch and its spring and damper rates are firmed up to coupe/M Sport specs.
When thrown into corners, the 335is surprises with a feeling of engineered lightness.
The 3 Series' sublime suspension, steering and brakes will provide endless, easily accessible entertainment.
Three gasoline engines are available for 2011, including the 230-horsepower standard inline-six found in the 328i, the new single-turbo 300-horsepower, 300-pound-foot inline-six, and the twin-turbo, 320-horsepower inline-six found in the new 335is. A turbodiesel engine is also available in the 335d. All of the 3-Series engines displace 3.0 liters. Both manual and automatic transmissions are available, and while the auto offers a manumatic mode, enthusiasts will prefer the manual. The standard rear-wheel-drive layout is supplemented by an all-wheel-drive option, but only when paired with the automatic gearbox.
The driving experience of the 2011 3-Series is still at the forefront of the experience despite the move toward larger, heavier cars. All four of the available engines sing, while steering and handling are precise and refined. Well-damped and controlled suspensions provide a careful balance between comfort and minimized body roll.
The 2011 BMW 3-Series retains its claim to the title of the Ultimate Driving Machine in the small sedan segment.