Feature Flick: Benchmarking the Benchmark – 2012 BMW 335i Tested

Few vehicles in the last several decades have racked up as many accolades, awards, and first-place comparison finishes as the BMW 3 Series. It is the definitive benchmark for performance sedans the world over. Yet the practical considerations of driver and passenger comfort, fuel efficiency, and other factors have conspired to seemingly dilute the essence of the 3 Series. Have they? Motor Trend tests the 2012 BMW 335i to find out.

BMW’s well-loved turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six returns for an encore performance, putting out the same 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque as it did in last year’s model.  Motor Trend associate road test editor Carlos Lago notes, there’s a lot of apparent overkill in the car, with an 8-speed automatic transmission, and four driving modes -- two of which are driver-customizable. Is this technology for technology’s sake, or meaningful improvements to the 3 Series formula?

As you can see from the test figures, at least on paper, the new 3 Series lives up to the reputation burnished by its predecessors, performing in the same league as cars with ostensibly more sporting missions. But how does it fare on a more subjective level of driver satisfaction? Watch the video to find out what Motor Trend's Lago thinks of the all-new 2012 3 Series.

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