The 3.0-liter diesel is hooked to a six-speed automatic transmission. Automatic is currently the only gearbox option available, as a factory manual 'box reportedly will not hold up to the engine's massive torque. Ours is equipped with a sport steering wheel, also part of the Sport Pack, which is fitted with gearshift paddles that let you row through the cogs yourself. Selection isn't as swift or crisp as a twin-clutch manual setup like the DCT available on the M3, but good enough to impart a decent degree of DIY satisfaction.

All things considered, this could actually be the most well-rounded BMW I've ever driven, and we're pretty stoked to have it as part of the long-term fleet. If you are looking to increase your fuel efficiency without having to sacrifice a sporting drive, or if you're even just a little bit curious about clean-diesel Euro technology, you have to get behind the wheel of a 335d. Jump in your current ride, drive down to your local BMW dealer, and ask for a test drive. I command it.

2009 BMW 335d
*Layout
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive

*Engine
3.0-liter I6, dohc, 24-valve, turbocharged and intercooled

*Transmission
Six-speed automatic

*Performance
Peak Power: 282 hp @ 4400 rpm
Peak Torque: 428 lb-ft @1750 rpm
0-60 mph: 5.9 sec.
Top Speed: 155 mph
Fuel Economy (EPA est.): 23 city/ 36 hwy

*Base Price: $43,900

*Price as Equipped: $54,245
Destination Charge: $825

*Options: Space Gray Metallic paint: $550; Black Dakota Leather: $1,450; Sport Package (18-inch wheels w/performance tires, sport steering wheel w/paddles, sport seats, sport suspension, Shadowline trim): $2,150; Comfort Access system: $500; fold-down rear seats: $475; heated front seats: $500; Park Distance Control: $700; iPod and USB adapter: $400; navigation system: $2,100; satellite radio: $595

At A Glance
+ Incredible turbo diesel engine, signature BMW handling
-- Run-flat tires make for an overly bumpy ride Total mileage: 3,949 Fuel economy: 28.3 mpg

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