2014 BMW 435i - 2014 Automobile of the Year Finalist

It’s hard for a group of enthusiasts to compile a list of grand new automobiles without including the BMW 3 Series. Awkwardly, the most enthusiast-oriented 3 Series model, a two-door coupe fitted with the silky-smooth BMW 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder, is no longer branded a 3 Series. Never mind the nomenclature; the 2014 BMW 435i is still worthy of consideration, given it encapsulates all we loved about last year’s new BMW 335i sedan but in a somewhat more seductive form.

“I was pleased to discover that, on the track, the BMW 435i felt just as good as a 335i coupe,” writes contributor Ezra Dyer. Associate editor Greg Migliore commended the coupe as delivering from a “steering and chassis perspective,” and lauded the feedback the BMW delivered in corners.

But is the new BMW perfect? “This 435i with the optional Sport package should be the ideal setup, but it’s not feeling quite right to me,” ponders senior editor Joe Lorio. “I wish the steering were better – more linear, and less springy.”

“Much as expected from BMW these days, the 4 Series is a car that looks more or less right and drives more or less right,” notes west coast editor Michael Jordan. “That said, it reminds us that the story in the 3 Series and 4 Series over the past decade really has been comfort, not dynamics. It’s still fast, and still a car worth owning, but it isn’t as interesting to me.”

BMW has won two Automobile of the Year awards, in 1995 for the M3 and in 2006 for the BMW 3 Series sedan.

Photos by Patrick Hoey.

We will be releasing our 10 Finalists for the 2014 Automobile of the Year throughout the week leading up to the announcement of the winner on Saturday, November 16.

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