At A Glance
Plus +
Straight up performer, amazing entertainment system, canyon god

Minus -
Lackluster interior, no gear indicator in D or DS mode, no oil temp gauge

Total Mileage: 8,900
Fuel Ecomnomy: 30 mpg

With most relationships, time is an important part of the courtship. Brief dealership test drives don't give you the full story. How could you possibly buy a car after a mere 20 minutes behind the wheel? But people do and sometimes wish they spent more time before signing the dotted line.

Editor Bidrawn thinks the BMW 335d is a fantastic car. In fact, he would probably make one helluva BMW salesman (he'd make a lot more money, that's for sure). So when I expressed my doubts about the BMW oil burner, he shoved the key in my hand and simply said, "See you next month." Now this is the way to "sell" a car.

My lengthy evaluation would take the BMW 335d all over Southern California, from the crowded streets of the San Fernando Valley to the wilds of the Mojave Desert. I wanted spend some quality time with the 335d, pushing buttons, twisting knobs and subjecting it to various driving scenarios. Also, because of the 335d's diesel fuel efficiency claims, I wanted to plot a 400-plus-mile road test in one day using only one tank of fuel. The route I plotted consisted of city streets, long stretches of open highway, and treacherous mountain roads.

I first stopped off to fill up the tank since the needle was on empty. I was amazed to see that the price of diesel was 50 cents cheaper than premium gas. I filled up for less than 40 dollars and was on my way. The first 200 miles were pure freeway and I spent most of the time evaluating the cabin's interior features. I found the indicator stalk sort of difficult at first; the blinkers would stay on when I wanted them off and went off when I wanted them on. Eventually, I gave up using them altogether. An hour later, I discovered the three-blink option in an iDrive sub-menu. I set the preferences to my driving style and all was good. My blinker frustration was soothed over by the sound system's kicking bass, the sweet sounds of the Sirius satellite radio and easy-to-use navigation-all controlled with a touch of a button. I also love the overall comfort and seating position, and after the long journey I didn't feel an ounce of fatigue or wear.

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