Secondhand Saint: BMW 335d

BMW 335d

It would likely seem “too good to be true” if someone told you about a car that can get a hybrid-rivaling 40MPG, while still being able to go 0-60 in about 5 seconds flat. It isn’t though, because the BMW 335d will do just that while giving you everything you would expect from a normal Bimmer.   

from the rear. If it looks like a normal 3 series thats a good thing. This car is about real efficiency and performance, not about being a rolling political statement.

I had the privilege of driving a 335d a while back along with a gasoline 335xi right after it. Experiencing both cars back to back gave me a very clear picture of what diesel is capable of if it is used properly. The 335d just felt better on the road. The speed was similar to the gasoline car (very quick) but the diesel was more relaxed. Its 265hp and 406 ft/lbs of torque certainly allow it to haul some ass and hurl you back in the seat. The way it does this though is so laid back that it just isn’t a big deal for the car to do it.  On the street I like an extremely competent yet laidback car. It puts a smile on your face, but lets you relax at the same time.

Driving wise the 335d has the famous driver focused feel that all BMWs have. The handling is great, and the whole car is right at home with sporty driving just as much as it is with relaxed highway cruising. The transmission, while automatic only, is pretty good too with its manual shift mode responding better than most such gearboxes.

a normal interior for a special BMW

In the interior, the 335d is exactly like any other Bimmer, comfortable, and sporting with high quality throughout. That is really what I love about this car; it is something different, but it doesn’t scream about it to everyone as you drive by. It is a Bimmer, a good one at that, and that is all that it tries to be. All of the impressive figures and whatnot come from it just being a very well done car by a very competent company. In my opinion the 335d is the best diesel car on the market today because it is exactly what I think diesel cars should be, legitimate offerings with real performance in the high-end sector. You don’t compromise anything when you buy a 335d.

Here's where the 335d's torque figure sits among other cars on the market. Pretty impressive.

I do have some gripes with this car though. First off, the 335d is only offered in rear wheel drive, not a good thing in the snow with over 400ft/lbs of torque. There needs to be a 335xd with all wheel drive that would allow the car to make full use of its power and torque under any weather conditions. Also, I think they should offer a manual transmission and market it more as a legitimate sports sedan because that is exactly what it is.


Prices of used 335ds can be as low as $35k at this point, and are dropping. Most examples have well under 50k miles on them. You really can get a solid deal on a pre owned one, and can save yourself as much as $10k when compared to the most basic brand new car. With prices continuing to fall, the value you get is just vastly increasing.

335d with trains

The 335d is poised to be a fantastic pick up on the secondhand market. I am hard pressed to find a much better daily driver for someone who wants a fun car that does well on gas. Many 335ds will be coming off of leases soon, meaning they will be well maintained and have relatively standardized mileage. In my opinion the 335d is the best diesel car offered in the US market because it offers great performance as well as the excellent mileage that is expected from all “green” cars. This diesel Bimmer is firmly on my list to pick up, and if you enjoy a fast, efficient, luxury car then I suggest you put it on yours as well.


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