Given the car’s unsuitability for enthusiastic driving, its various electronics systems became my primary focus. Those included an around-view camera system, very convenient for maneuvering in tight spaces. Not only does it show a top-down view on the car’s LCD, but also has a rearview camera with active trajectory lines and a front split view, useful for nosing around blind corners.

Also available on the 335i is BMW’s automatic parallel parking system, which worked very well when I tested it in other cars. BMW also offers a blind-spot detection system and adaptive cruise control, both excellent safety and convenience technologies.

The navigation system, optional in the 335i, used a hard drive for map storage. Viewed on the car’s LCD, the maps offered excellent 3D views, including rendered buildings and topographical features, as well as 2D views. BMW lets the driver choose a single or split screen, with the right side showing anything from current music playback to trip information.

I was very happy with the car’s route guidance, especially in conjunction with the optional head-up display. The LCD and HUD showed very clear graphics for upcoming turns, and were good about dynamically changing the route whenever the integrated traffic reporting found a jam up ahead.

In some ways, this 2012 BMW 335i was a disappointment. A big part of BMW’s reputation has to do with its cars’ sport handling capabilities, something this car lacked. However, changes in trim and options would have most likely restored the car to what it should be. Likewise, the cabin design was atrocious, yet more tasteful options are available. I think this particular 335i represents generally poor choices, not only in options but in what BMW is willing to let its cars become.

 

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