PH Blog: The new 3 Series as mile-muncher

Hola from sunny Spain...
Hola from sunny Spain...
We all know that Speed Matters, so when BMW got in touch to ask us if we would like to drive a new 3 Series back to the UK from its press launch duties in Spain, our first question was 'what's the fastest one you've got?'.

...Mind you there's even snow down here
...Mind you there's even snow down here
The answer was a 335i, which for now tops the new F30 3 Series range with its familiar but thoroughly excellent 306hp Twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six. Excellent. Better still, it was a display model and the only 335i out there, so until we got our hands on it, would be untouched by journalistic hands.

We'll bring you a full first drive of the new 335i once we get back to Blighty, so we'll only deal with a few first impressions here. So what are they? Well, the new F30 3 Series is, er, very much like the old one, only a little bit better in almost every respect. Faster, cleaner, more 'athletic' (both in the way it looks and the way it drives), but very, very familiar. So much so that more than once I've already forgotten that it's an all-new car I'm driving - but I mean that as the highest of compliments.

335i covering ground
335i covering ground
In 335i guise it's also an epic mile-gobbler. Okay, so the 328i might have the edge when it comes to balancing power and economy (245hp, but 44.1mpg on the combined cycle), but the 335i counters with the fact that it's the only six-pot 3er available for now (and it's only a tad behind on economy, claiming 39.2mpg in automatic guise). And the new 3 Series, any new 3 Series, is a sufficiently comfy, pleasant place to be that the miles just fly by.

It's a good thing the 335i can devour big distances, though, because my initial plans for this trip had me in France by now and yet, as I type, I'm in Valencia. That's still 370-odd miles in half a day, mind, including an hour or two where I got bored of motorways and headed into the back-roads of Murcia, so call it bad planning on my part rather than the car's fault.

That does mean, however, that tomorrow (Saturday) will be a pretty mammoth trek, because Mrs Riggers is arriving in Poitiers in the afternoon. And that's 700 miles north from Valencia. Should be quite a test. I'll let you know how I get on...

Riggers

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Comments (61) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Notsofastfrank 13 Feb 2012

    Is Riggers still driving?
    When is part 2 due?

  • gangzoom 13 Feb 2012

    Oddball RS said:
    (and it's only a tad behind on economy, claiming 39.2mpg in automatic guise).

    So any news on what it actually does then? one of the posters early on stated that he can get 40 Mpg, out of his earlier car at an average of 59 mph? BUT that its currently reading 22 Mpg - unless of course he does bank jobs thats pretty crap in my book.
    If I did bank jobs i'll be driving a M5 not a 335ismile. My current commute is about 5 miles through stop and go traffic. My old 350Z use to return 17mpg for the same trip, so the 335i is actually pretty good in comparision, considering it has 10% more BHP, and 3 more seats.

    Have to say starting to like the look of the new 3 Series...did have my heart set on a F10 M5 to replace the 335i but cannot wait to see the new M3smile

  • Oddball RS 13 Feb 2012

    (and it's only a tad behind on economy, claiming 39.2mpg in automatic guise).

    So any news on what it actually does then? one of the posters early on stated that he can get 40 Mpg, out of his earlier car at an average of 59 mph? BUT that its currently reading 22 Mpg - unless of course he does bank jobs thats pretty crap in my book.

  • Lunja 13 Feb 2012

    loomx said:
    Love the new F30, and the MPG figures were enough to pull my out of a Diesel for a daily driver. Picking up my F30 328i in may smile can't wait!
    Congratulations! l went to look at the new 3 series today and was very impressed by both the claimed fuel economy and 0-60 time of the 328i. What sort of mpg did you see during your test drive?

  • Hellbound 12 Feb 2012

    RichB said:
    loomx said:
    ...the MPG figures were enough to pull my out of a Diesel
    Pull your what out?
    Steady now, keep it clean.

    This sounds like the greatest all rounder in this segment. I know we'll end up seeing plenty of these on our roads, but that's a testament to how good BMW are at making such cars. Despite pointless (to 99% of us) criticisms of at the limit steering feel, this is shaping up to be another best selling class leader.

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