Open the trunk and leave it opened. Tap the accelerator, the turbos kick in and it is off like a shot. The upgrade twin-turbo six in the 335s is one of the most viscerally satisfying engines in production. Powertrain choices, traditionally a strong point, encompass everything from a frugal 4. So-called turbo lag, or a slowed response to the gas pedal as the turbos start spinning, is almost nonexistent.
Manufacturer Info Sources: 800-831-1117 -. These cars still define sports sedan or coupe or wagon , and they remain the target for every luxury car brand from Acura to Volvo. Using a T25 bit, remove the 6 torx screws holding the two housing halves together and separate housing. All remain class benchmarks for overall performance. With fob in pocket, the doors unlock automatically as the driver approaches, and the seats are waiting in their proper position. You feel the engine's subtle vibes in the shifter and row the gears just for the fun of it.
To see what details are different this year, check out a of the two model years. What's New for 2008 Having introduced two all-new body styles last year, the 3 Series undergoes few changes for 2008. The convertible carries over unchanged. We prefer the manual transmission, even though it isn't perfect, mostly because it allows the driver to more thoroughly exploit the goodness in the 3 Series engines. The 328i and 335i Convertibles might be the sexiest 3s, with their fully automatic, one-button folding hardtop.
Cargo volume increases to 24. Tom Lankard contributed from central California, and Larry Edsall from Marin County in Northern California. Paddle shifters can be added to models equipped with the automatic transmission and the Sport Package. The 3 Series convertible offers the least cargo space. For starters, the rear air vents can be separately adjusted for both temperature and air volume. Stand-alone extras include an iDrive-based navigation system with real-time traffic updates, active steering, adaptive cruise control, keyless startup known as Comfort Access , heated front seats and satellite radio.
The 328 gets about 17-18 mpg in the city and 25-28 mpg on the highway, depending on the body style, transmission and drivetrain. At the same time, the 3 Series is an ideal long-distance cruiser, delivering both a comfortably controlled ride and a quiet cabin environment. The front door panels are different on each side, as well. Still, we'd prefer a traditional key. The difference, of course, is the convertible's retractable metal hardtop, which opens or closes at the touch of a button in just 22 seconds. The car turns harder at lower speeds than it does at higher ones, for example.
The non-linear, progressive algorithm that controls the brake system can make smooth stops a challenge in casual driving, at least until the operator has had some time to get familiar with the feel of the brake pedal. Model designations are consistent across the body styles and standard equipment is similar, though the coupes and convertibles include a few more features in the base price. It is in a housing. The 3s are superbly balanced cars, and in the right circumstances they're almost sinfully fun to drive. In short, Active Steering works to diminish the intuitive, pure-bred feeling many buyers seek in the 3.
The new car's electrically assisted power steering is quite good and, thanks to software updates, will likely get better , but it's not great, and when it occasionally communicates what the chassis is doing, it tells you what just happened. We put 50,000 miles on this car in less than 3 years and only sold it because we needed something with 4 doors. Clutch-pedal effort makes taking off easy, without having to think about it, and the gear ratios are perfectly spaced for either the base or turbocharged engine. The two-door 3 Series coupes are the sportiest. The critical acclaim the 3 Series has enjoyed year after year is all but unmatched. In profile or front three-quarter view, the 3 Series Convertible closely resembles the coupe. But then we come to the engine.
The convertible lacks the side curtains, but the regular front side airbags extend up to head level and there are also pop-up rollover hoops. The Sport suspension may be jolted by potholes, but it responds immediately and maintains a level ride rather than seesawing up and down. While the engine doesn't have the low-end thrust of the twin-turbo 335i and its unique 3. In a market fraught with cars that offer little more than point-to-point transportation, the 3 Series' driving qualities are hard to match. But aside from subjective price-value analysis, the noteworthy hitch in the 3 Series is the downside of the electronic gizmos. Given the overall competence of the standard suspension, the Sport package could be considered an unnecessary expense. No problem with shift response when you do it yourself, and the steering-wheel paddles mean you can manually shift the automatic without removing hands from the wheel.
Available all-wheel-drive adds extra security in foul weather. They have as much power as most drivers will ever need, and they deliver the same inherent goodness as the 335s, without much less really useful stuff. Differences lie in body style or exterior design, though the coupe and convertible have belts for four passengers rather than five. Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle. All offer a choice of aluminum or different wood interior trims, with vinyl upholstery and a six-speed manual transmission standard.