BMW 335i (2012): Full Review – Part 2

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 11:34:56 by

However, opening the door I was greeted by an ocean of beige in the same shade as old computers, a color that was meant to be inoffensive in offices of the 1980s and ’90s. From leather to plastic surfaces, all was tinted in this excruciatingly oppressive beige. Looking to the instrument cluster for some relief, I was horrified to discover that even the gauge faces were beige, or Oyster in BMW terminology. Give me gauges in black or white, grey or yellow, but beige?

Adding insult to injury, BMW also attached a few heavily textured pieces, ostensibly real wood but with a very plastic feel, around the cabin as trim pieces. This trim looked and felt frighteningly bad, but it gets worse yet. When putting the car through the kinds of paces that exercised its torsional rigidity, that plastic groaned and creaked, making the whole car feel a bit cheap.

The positive footnote to this rant is that the 335i reviewed by CNET is not the only style available. BMW recently trifurcated its 3 Series into Sport, Modern, and Luxury trim lines. The interior-design horror movie represented by this car was the result of a few injudicious choices in the Modern line, such as the Fineline Pure trim pieces. Although it seems that the Oyster gauge backings come standard in the Modern line, so best to steer clear of that one completely.

Another strike against the Modern line comes from the suspension, which felt tuned for comfort. BMW made its reputation on cars that could be driven hard on the weekends, but would also serve the daily commuter. This 335i only met half of that equation. Going into a tight mountain turn at speed, the suspension felt loose, letting the body of the car float dreamily while the tires tried to bite into the pavement.

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