The road to Kalba is a long and winding one: Cliché, borrowed from a thousand travelogues, of various length and bent. Like saying the BMW 3-series is a nice and sporty drive. But some clichés are there to be repeated, over thousands of long and short drives.As for the long and winding roads to Kalba, the all new BMW 335i kept them short on an unwinding drive.






The new BMW 3 series is 93 mm longer, 37mm wider in front and 47 mm at the rear, and has a longer wheelbase by 50mm, compared with the previous model. It has a 50-50 front-rear balance too!






The Drive

On those ‘high’ ways, as I nudged the pedal, the ascent showed smoothest on the tachometer. The BMW 335i is lenient when it comes to engine speed, even as the 400 Nm of torque is made available early in the cycle. Yet the power felt more composed and reliable punctuated with exhaust blows that sounded delicious like those pop-in-your-mouth candies, but with a sting!

Despite early availability of torque, the take off is pretty grounded and heavy suggestive of true German mettle – powerful and precise, and therefore never rushed!

The normal D resorts to quicker and shorter throws while the S mode stretches the 8-speed automatic to higher rpm ranges before shifting down. Resonating with the BMW’s 3-series spirit, the 8-speed manual, easily accessed via paddle shifts or the console lever, is a delight to engage on meandering roads or highway escapades. At low speeds in city traffic, though occasionally, the 3.0 L gasoline reactor’s erratic bursts did show up!

The V6 twin turbo engine has been tuned to thunder against your parking lot ramp. It is something you’d love to listen to – and it does keep you company inside the cabin when you rev up. That is, till the wind takes over on highway speeds, especially when the road is a snaky stretch in the middle of a mass of dunes.

F30 BMW 335i SPORT: 3.0 L Inline Six-cylinder Twin Turbo technology, Rear Wheel Drive, 300 hp@5800 rpm, 400 Nm torque

For the sake of those unfamiliar with the unique BMW gear lever: it’s a joystick that makes the shifts a gentle nudge. The park button is at the head of the gear knob and merely needs to be touched at stop. As for driving dynamics, this new entry-level BMW sport sedan offers four driving programmes – sporty, ultra sporty, comfortable and ECO PRO mode – the last one designed for ‘extremely economical driving’ which I couldn’t bother with for too long on a long road.


The BMW 335i holds out with exceptional grip but it isn’t a perfect 10 around curves – at least in ice skating terms, though the elegance of that sport the new Bimmer does bring to mind! But there is never a moment that flays the pleasure and feeling of being in control. The car has a good turning circle and a sharp response making it pretty useful in slaloms and cul-de-sacs.

Fuel efficiency: Top speed: 254 km/hr; 0-100: under 6 sec, Test Fuel Efficiency: 7.37 Km/L, Price: AED 155,000 onwards Tested version: AED 241,000

The Drive is amply assisted by a range of technologies – which are tremendously useful even in this vigorously sporty sedan! The head up display showed me navigation cues as well. My car came with lane change warning (which includes blind spot alerts) and start-stop function, but optionally you can go for active cruise control, lane departure warnings (which happens when you stray from your lane) and forward distance warning too!

The Design

My Bimmer for the weekend was RED, with a sculpted bone line, and a beveled rear end that merged with wide wraparound LED lamps – they reminded me of red-hot coils. The sloping rear glass makes the new BMW 3-series’ boot look shorter in its semblance to a coupe. The gently ascending waistline and lightly flared wheel arches get the sporty spirit to stand out.

With the BMW, the hood line has been receding with age, and now sharply dive down to stop just short of the logo in front – under which a three dimensional grille with its 16 menacing teeth flashes its grin.

But nothing compliments its aggressive character like its shark-like visage. Unlike the pinched rear end, the long hood slopes more sharply at the front for a more aerodynamic look. A pair of inner hood lines add to the sharpness. Keeping with the current sporty drift, there is a hint of black just above the twin-exhausts, which are painted black as well. The stylish front fenders have their share of design intricacies, with the prowling puma eyes placed just above them – long, narrow and all seeing!

Cabin and controls

Driving gizmos are becoming standard fare for the segment but few offer this many and this much. The new BMW 3-series Connected Drive is a comprehensive tech-station with voice activation – useful in both navigation and selecting radio channels, or even sparing a quick glance at the owner’s manual. I found the meter that displays the power and torque an ‘interesting’ sport utility – graphically seeing how they vary with the sport and comfort modes! Chances are, you will never master the encyclopaedia of technical wizardry in the new BMW. But relax, all you need to know is accessible with a quick briefing.

Longer wheel base means more legroom, but the 3-series is still stingy when it comes to storage amidst this delectable cabin aesthetics!

The design makes waves on the cabin deck, quite literally. The interior is exceptionally luxurious yet more impressive is the way it retains its sporty character. Take the red stitching that passionately accentuates the black leather so lavishly wrapped around the cabin – on the steering wheel as well as the seats. Or the red metal strip across the AC base that affords a nice strap-line to the cabin of my 335i Sport.

On a red hot day in a red hot car, my family gratefully appreciated the dark tinted rear glasses and the sun blinds for even the quarter-glass. By the way, the glasshouse is of perfect proportions – where privacy meets viewing tower convenience.

“You have reached your destination” – the voice alerted us to the arrival of our target position, which was set to Kalba beyond Fujairah. A few metres ahead of us lay unpaved gravel – the navigator couldn’t have been more accurate!

Family drive

Family men should be pleased these days – for sport doesn’t come in between family and men at least in cars! This Bimmer is immensely mindful of the priorities – the premium leather seats and the longer wheelbase offer enough legroom comfort though I wouldn’t “stretch” that point. Suspensions are built to please the family and the driver more or less, depending on the drive mode you choose.

I found the boot space a bit small though satisfactory by sport sedan standards. The console storage isn’t much either; the shallow armrest compartment and the deep door-side pockets together take care of bare necessities. Absence of space for little details was noticeable. But hey, you don’t get that sport badge on the sides for nothing!

The all-new BMW 3-series is available in three engine variants: the four-cylinder 320i & 328i and the six-cylinder 335i; all come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and TwinPower Turbo engines technology.

Compare the BMW 335i and Mercedes C350

The most anticipated face-to-face on the planet should be this one. Hold your breath as we analyze this peculiar win-win situation! Click for a full review of the C350

C350 +: Powerful drive, precise steering, a speck more of comfort, noiseless cabin, excellent music system, sporty leanings meet the eye in the grille, the seats and aggressive lines, more balanced as a family car

335i +: More power yet with unruly torque at times; more fun to drive, more engaging steering feel, wind noise high at higher speeds, more tech-packed, the sporty leaning is everywhere – from the leather styling to the aggressive lines.

On par: Equally adept in Driver Assistance and electronically perfected driving manners

With 12.5 million cars sold since its launch in 1975, the BMW 3 Series is still the BMW Group’s worldwide best-selling series.

The essential BMW 335i


UPSIDE: Sleek captivating design, Great fun to drive, powerful and sporty, abundant technology assistance, luxurious and comfortable cabin, Warranty and maintenance package

FLIPSIDE: Wind noise at high speeds, boot space suffers from coupe-like design, occasional steering correction, pricey in comparison

Drive Courtesy: BMW Middle East/AGMC
Picture Courtesy: Sudeep Koshy/Supplied

All-new BMW 335i review: Dashing! was last modified: August 13th, 2017 by Sudeep Koshy

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