2010 BMW 335i xDrive Sedan

2010 BMW 335i xDrive Sedan 2010 BMW 335i xDrive Sedan
Quick Spin


How do you sharpen the BMW 3-series to keep pace with the threat of the new 2010 Audi S4? You buy an M3, seeing as the supercharged Audi beat the 335i sedan in our recent comparison test of the two. For anyone who still prefers the idea of a BMW over an Audi but wants all-weather flexibility, the 335i xDrive is the answer. With all four tires biting the pavement and 300 turbocharged horses on tap, the 335i xDrive is seriously capable. Although xDrive comes straight from the factory with a rearward power bias, the system can jostle power to the wheel with the most grip. While that’s good for things like snow and rain, the system also makes for gutsy launches that take full advantage of the engine’s power and torque. The xDrive is decidedly heavier than the standard 335i, but it makes a strong case for itself from the first plunge of the throttle.


Despite the 2010 S4’s prowess, odds are that the first entry under “sports sedan” in your reference book of choice will be for the BMW 3-series. Like it or not, the model continues to be a benchmark in the increasingly competitive segment, and the 335i xDrive earns its spot in the hallowed halls of Bavarian metal with some ease. The twin-turbo 300-hp, 3.0-liter straight-six is smooth and rapid, and the six-speed manual is a blessing. It’s easy to feel the added pounds from the xDrive system, however, and because BMW’s sport-suspension tuning is only available on rear-drive models with the Sport or M Sport packages, the all-wheel-drive 3-series rolls more in corners and isn’t as sharp as these cars.


If that old bit about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery holds true, BMW should be blushing constantly. An array of powerful all-wheel-drive sedans from the likes of Infiniti and Lexus—and Audi, of course—has stepped up to give the 3-series something to think about. Although several competitors deliver added luxury or a slightly sharper driving experience for similar money, the 335i xDrive walks the line between the two extremely well, albeit not as well as the S4.


Our tester stickered at $45,325, and there were a few extra items wrapped up in that final figure, including the Montego Blue Metallic paint at $550 and heated leatherette seats for another $500. USB/iPod connectivity will set you back another $400, but the real big-ticket item on our car was BMW Assist with Bluetooth—a system that can deliver directions, restaurant recommendations, and weather reports—at a cost of $750. Although that puts the 335i xDrive slightly under MSRP heavyweights like the Lexus GS350, the new S4 starts at $46,725. Based on our recent experience, we’d cut back on the dining out for a while and spend the extra few grand for the Audi.