2014 BMW 335i xDrive Gran Turismo Review By John Heilig


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THE AUTO PAGE
By John Heilig

The Bottom Line: The 335i Gran Turismo is a super GT car with room for four. It has very good power and handling in all weather.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2014 BMW 335i xDrive Gran Turismo

ENGINE:3.0-liter Twin Power Turbo I6
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE:302 hp @ 5,800 rpm/295 lb.-ft.@ 1,200-5,000 rpm
TRANSMISSION:8-speed automatic
FUEL ECONOMY:20 mpg city/30 mpg highway/23.4 mpg test
WHEELBASE:115.0 in.
OVERALL LENGTH:190.0
HEIGHT:59.4
OVERALL WIDTH:72.0
CURB WEIGHT: 4,010 lbs.
FUEL CAPACITY:15.8 gal.
CARRYING CAPACITY:18.4/56.5 cu. ft. (rear seat up/down)
TIRES:P225/50R18 (F)/P225/55R17 (R)
STICKER PRICE:$60,250 (includes $925 destination charge, $12,475 in options)

My Drive: I had the opportunity to drive the BMW 335i Gran Turismo with xDrive all-wheel drive under some interesting conditions. It was bad enough that the weather was rainy, but on our return trip the temperature dropped below freezing to make it more interesting.

Roads varied from high-speed four lanes to inner city streets, some of which were one-way, plus a couple of winding roads.

Thanks to xDrive, BMW’s legendary handling and a powerful inline 6-cylinder engine delivering 302 horsepower, and a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission, we enjoyed every minute of the drive. And when we had to wait in a parking lot before we were admitted to a building, we had a good heater and heated front seats that kept us comfortable.

The engine had more than enough power for the car. In all the situations we drove it we could simply tromp down on the accelerator and gat a solid push in the back. Like a hybrid, the engine shuts off when you come to a full stop, but not all the time.

The Gran Turismo is the sportier version of the 335i. The difference is in the styling, where the Gt has a roofline that resembles the Mercedes-Benz CLS and the Volkswagen CC, in that it’s a “four-door coupe.” Like the others in its style class, there’s plenty of rear seat headroom, so there’s no discomfort level. “Dents” in the rear headliner increase headroom. The rear seats also have excellent leg room, but a tall center hump, precludes putting a center passenger back there.

In my mind, though, if you’re taking more than two passengers, you really don’t want to take more than two more.

During our longer runs on major highways, we had an opportunity to use cruise control (it keeps me within shouting distance of the speed limit). I like the BMW style of informing the driver of the cruise set speed. A yellow dot on the o9uter circumference of the speedometer dial. We also had a heads up display that indicated set speed as well.

Our tester had an M Sport package, which includes 18-inch wheels, sport seats and an aerodynamic package. It also had the dynamic handling package with an adaptive M suspension and variable sport steering. Other sport accessories included M Sport brakes, so the car will stop as well as go. The total option package is costly, at $12,475, but it turns the Gran Turismo into an M Gran Turismo, which allows it to live up to its name.

With the suspension goodies, the GT handles like a subcompact on winding roads; like a Buick on Interstates (a good Buick, with a comfortable ride).

The sport front seats were comfortable with some side support. Oddly, the seats seemed more comfortable in the worst weather. In “regular” weather (something we didn’t encounter that often) they also felt good.

The audio system is good (another option was Harmon Kardon Surround Sound), but the controls are not intuitive. Itís had to work the iDrive selector wheel and seven surround buttons to get the display to show what I wanted. The navigation system had a good map that led us through unfamiliar center city roads clearly. There was no apparent destination function, although there are four ways to program in a destination, according to the manual: enter a destination on the enter-destination screen; use the map to pin-point a destination; look up a destination on the point-of-interest screen; or use the voice command system.

In addition, the HVAC system worked well, but we had to “work it” to get the heat where we wanted it to go.

Unlike most “coupes” (even if they’re four-door coupes), there’s a good trunk. The rear seat backs fold almost flat to increase trunk capacity from 18.4 cubic feet to 56.5 cubic feet.

You won’t be disappointed with the BMW 335i Gran Turismo. It delivers all the performance of a BMW M, which it is with all the M options included, yet it also gives with comfort and driveability of a #-Series sedan.

© 2014 The Auto Page

Complete specifications on the 2014 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo 335i xDrive and other vehicles are available at the New Car Buyers Guide!

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