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What Year BMW 335i Should You Buy

What Year BMW 335i Should You Buy?

The BMW 335i is part of the automakers 3 Series as the E92 coupe. Additional options in the production line include the E90, E91, and E93, which are sedans, touring wagons, and convertibles, respectively.

BMW first introduced these models in 2004. They were collectively manufactured until 2013 and sometimes marketed as the E90s or E9x vehicles.

These models served as the technological introduction of run-flat tires for BMW. When you bought a 335i, it didn’t come with a spare.

What Year BMW 335i Should You Buy?

From 2006-2009, BMW produced a 3L N54B30 inline-6 twin-turbo engine with 302HP and 295 pound-feet of torque. For the 2010-2013 models, the vehicle received an N55B30 engine instead. That means the performance of all 335i vehicles is about equal. Horsepower upgrades require a 335is.

The BMW N54 was a straight-six gasoline engine with twin-turbocharged features that the automaker produced from 2006 to 2016.  It was the first design of its type that the company could mass produce.

It was also the first turbocharged gasoline engine BMW offered since the M106 stopped being made in 1986. The 335i launched this design for the E90 series.

In 2009, the N54 was phased out to make way for the N55. The updated engine can be found in the later 335i vehicles on the road.

The N54 was such a good engine that it won five consecutive awards for being the International Engine of the Year. It would also win three straight “10 Best Engines” prizes from Ward’s.

If drivers upgraded to the 335is, they could get an extra 20 HP from that vehicle. You’d be purchasing a supercharged N54 to achieve the results.

What makes the engine unique is that it uses piezo injectors for direct injection. If you have a 335i with the N55, the technology uses solenoid-type injectors instead.

Most experts agree that the ratings offered for the N54 are below its full potential, especially when equipped with the 335i. It has minimal turbo lag, provides a consistent delivery, and produces a pleasant roar.

◼️ Problems with the N54 Engine in the United States

Although the N54 engine was highly successful globally, some of them experienced failures for American drivers. The issue was with the high-pressure fuel pump, which eventually led to a voluntary recall to fix the issue. A class-action lawsuit was filed because of the problem.

If the high-pressure fuel pump fails while the engine is operating, it causes everything to stop functioning. This problem created several near-misses on highways across the U.S. in the 2000s. BMW issued service bulletins that proved they were aware of what was happening.

The lawsuit was filed in April 2009. BMW decided to settle in in June of the following year. By October, the voluntary recall was issued for all vehicles with the N54 engine with the pump that failed from model years 2007-2010.

This recall was applied to 130,000 vehicles, with pump replacements requiring about 40,000 of the cars. BMW also increased the warranty period for the part to ten years or 120,000 miles.

Some vehicles had multiple pump replacements that didn’t resolve the issue. That led to some drivers having their car refunded under some lemon laws.

The warranty extensions for the N54 engines with the 335i only apply in the United States. If you’re wondering what model you should purchase, you might consider buying one with the N55 engine to avoid potential problems.

What BMW 335i Chassis Do You Prefer to Use?

When you purchase a BMW 335i, you’re almost guaranteed to be driving on the E90 chassis. It was only at the end of the production line that a few models received the F30 design instead.

The body styles are remarkably similar. The F30 has a “meaner” look to it, making it feel like you’re getting behind the wheel of a sports car. With the E90 chassis, the experience is closer to a luxurious day with the family running errands, taking a road trip, or commuting to work.

You have a sub-genre of the E90 called the LCI to consider when looking at the BMW 335i. It has different headlights, taillights, and a grill that changes the look for some drivers.

You’ll find interior differences between the two chassis, with the F30 feeling a little more modern compared to the E90. The focus on long-term comfort and legroom is something that you don’t want to ignore.

Both chassis handle well. You’ll get plenty of stability turning corners or rounding curves. The center of gravity is slightly lower with the F30, which means there are a small number of tracking benefits that you could see by purchasing a later model

◼️ Power Steering Makes All the Difference

Updated steering requirements have trickled down through all vehicles because of today’s fuel economy and emissions standards. If you purchase a 335i with the F30 chassis, this technology is what you’ll receive.

When you buy the E90 frame for the 335i, you’ll have the traditional hydraulic steering to use. It feels more responsive, especially when taking a corner, because it delivers meaningful feedback through the wheel.

You won’t receive that feedback when using the F30 chassis.

The problem is that the technology in the F30 makes it cost more. If you’re purchasing a vehicle with that chassis, you could pay two to three times more for the car because of the electronic steering and other luxury updates.

Although the E90 has more hydraulic components and working parts, it delivers the traditional driving experience that 40-something adults remember when they were first learning how to drive. That’s why it tends to be a popular choice, even though some model years are approaching 20 years of service.

History of BMW Translates to the 335i Decision

The official founding date for BMW is March 7, 1916. That’s when the company formed as an aircraft engine manufacturer.

The automaker preserves that history with its logo. The white portion represents the propellers of a traditional aircraft design against the backdrop of a blue sky.

BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke) was officially named in 1922, although the company first started using the name and abbreviation as early as 1913. The company’s first product was a straight-six aircraft engine.

That core idea is what you’ll also find in the straight-six engines in most BMW 335i models today.

The company started building cars in 1928 when they bought a company that was creating Austin Sevens vehicles under license. Those first BMWs were rebadged Dixi marques that were designated the 3/15. During the 1930s, the automaker would start creating sports cars and luxury vehicles.

During the war years in the 1940s, BMW focused on aircraft engines and motorcycles. Many of their factories were bombed in the last years of the conflict, and those that remained in Allied-controlled territory were not allowed to produce aircraft or motor vehicles after the war.

BMW survived those times by making bicycles, pots, and pans. They were allowed to restart motorcycle production in 1948, while the first new vehicle would be the 501, produced in Bavaria. By 1955, their range of cars expanded enough to let the company become a top contender in many markets.

By the time the BMW 700 was released, the company had recovered enough to become a global name for drivers.

The 335i was part of the generation that shifted to turbocharged engines for the first time. If you can find a vehicle that received an upgrade to the N63 or N74 engine from a special order, that’s the one you want to purchase.

After 2013, BMW shifted its focus toward electric vehicles and upgrading the 335i to the next generation.  Starting in 2016, you could purchase a 340i with essentially the same specs and displacement as the earlier models.

Choosing Between the 335i and 340i

In 2016, BMW changed the badging of certain vehicles. Almost all the 28i models within their lineup became 30i, while the 35i cars went to 40i. This change happened around the same time that the B58 engine was introduced to the lineup.

Although the 340i carries a different designation, it’s essentially a 335i. Both vehicles offer a similar performance profile, get targeted to the same buyers, and feel about equal when you’re behind the wheel.

Here are the different comparison points to consider if you’re looking at the differences between the 335i and the 340i today.

BMW 335i ModelBMW 340i Model
Engine Choices:N54 Engine (2007-2010) N55 Engine (2010-2015)B58 Engine (2016-2020) B58TU Engine (2019-Present)
Chassis:E90 Series Chassis (2007-2013) F30 Chassis (2013-2015)F30 Chassis (2016-2019) G20 Chassis (2020-Present)
Performance:300 HP; 0-60 mph in 5 seconds320 HP; 0-60 mph in 5 seconds
Curb Weight:3,549 pounds3,684 pounds
Dimensions:177.95 inches long, 71.65 inches wide, and 55.91 inches high183 inches long, 71 inches wide, 56 inches high
Transmission:6-SpeedZF 8-Speed Auto

The main thing to note about the 335i vs. the 340i is the handling differences. With the updates introduced by BMW in the later model, changes to suspension geometry allow for a better handling experience.

The 340i also has a better electric power steering design, improved stability control, and updated rear dampers. These changes are why you can see some slight improvements to the overall performance, especially under racetrack conditions.

If you have a G20 model, it’ll handle better than the F30. The E90 design comes in last with that comparison.

It all depends on what you find to be fun to drive. The E90 delivers the classic experience, while the F30 and G20 provide responsiveness without the need for force or strength to stay on the road. Some people find the latter to be artificial, almost like a video game, while others don’t mind the electrical steering approach.

◼️ Tuning Potential of the Later 335i and 340i Designs

The 340i pulls ahead of the 335i with its B58 engine. BMW chose to use a closed-deck block to produce a stronger overall design.

When you drive the B58, the engine gets air-to-liquid cooling instead of relying on the traditional air-to-air approach. You’ll also get a better factory turbo and an improved cooling setup.

If you compare the N54 engines to the B58 design, they’re essentially equal for tuning. The older 335i cars have an authentic twin-turbo design that makes them capable in almost any driving environment. It might not have the same advancements like the latest trends, but stomping on the gas will still force you back into the seat.

You can track that comparison point by looking at the engine’s whp figures. When you push a stock 340i with the B58, you’ll get up to 500whp. That’s the same figure that the N54 produces with the older 335i models.

If you have an N55 with your 335i, you’ll get up to 425whp with the stock engine.

When you can do aftermarket tuning on the engines, the N54 can take you to the extreme. It doesn’t take much to top 600whp, while extensive modifications can put you in the range of 700 to 1000whp.

The N55 cannot handle the same aftermarket tuning when you want to focus on your horsepower goals.

What Are the Benefits of Buying a BMW?

Setting aside the potential issues of a 335i with an N54 engine that didn’t go through the voluntary recall process, there are several benefits to consider when looking at a BMW automobile.

If you’re looking at several different cars today to decide on the best models to meet your needs, here are a few reasons when this German brand is worth reviewing.

1. It is a better investment for many drivers.

Most vehicles lose a significant portion of their resale value within 3-5 years. Once you drive the car off the lot, it sees a 20% decline almost immediately. When you purchase a BMW, you won’t see as steep of a decrease.

The problem with BMW happens in the first five years. You’ll see about a 50% loss in value during that time because some models are prone to expense or catastrophic failures.

Once you get past that time, the holding power of the investment makes sense. Depending on how much mileage is on the 335i and its overall condition, you can find it priced anywhere from $9,000 to over $22,000.

2. BMW vehicles have excellent longevity.

You can expect the average BMW 335i to stay on the road for 200,000 to 250,000 miles with its original equipment. It’ll need excellent maintenance to achieve that outcome, which means you’ll want to stay up-to-date with your regularly scheduled service needs.

Although a BMW is more expensive to maintain than other brands, you’ll get more from your investment when you stay proactive about its service requirements.

It’s not unusual to see BMW vehicles from the 1980s still on the road today, getting used for everything from commuter cars to family transportation.

3. You receive several features.

The 335i and other BMW vehicles come with several safety features to help make driving a more comfortable experience. It is built to minimize the feeling of an impact when it occurs, help you spot what is lurking in your blind spot, and much more.

Here is an overview of what you can expect from the later models of the 335i design.

Airbags:• Driver and front passenger; curtain first and second row; seat-mounted, driver and passenger, front seat knee protection
In-Vehicle Assistance:• BMW Assist eCall
Headlights:• High-intensity bi-xenon low and high beam options bi-xenon
Door Locks:• Power locks with two-stage unlock
Exterior Light Control:• Fully Automatic
Traction Control:• ABS and driveline
Crash Rating:• 5-star crash ratings from the NHTSA except for the driver’s side and the overall front rating, with the lowest protection found along the lower leg and foot
Recalls:• N54 engine, inoperative exterior lights from software upgrades

4. The interior quality is excellent.

It doesn’t matter which 335i option you decide to drive. BMW delivers a well-crafted driving experience, putting the driver and each passenger into the optimal position. Whether you’re on a long road trip or driving across town to do your grocery shopping, the cabin design will exceed your expectations.

BMW carefully chooses durable, tasteful materials to ensure you get to enjoy the luxurious experience over the vehicle’s lifetime. It is unparalleled excellence that can only come from a flawless approach to installation and design.

5. You can afford the 335i.

The MSRP for a new BMW from the 2021 model year starts at $35,400 for the X1. You’ll pay about $10k more to get into a 3-series vehicle or $20k for a 4 or 5 series. Those prices are comparable to most sports cars you can find for sale today.

When you don’t mind shopping in the used marked, the 335i is typically found for less than $10,000 today. If you can find something with under 100,000 miles on it, you could easily get 5-7 years of life out of the vehicle without performing significant maintenance.

What Is It Like to Drive a BMW 335i?

Some people love to drive a BMW. For others, it can be the worst experience they’ve ever had behind the wheel.

I would call driving a 335i the reason why the brand gets described as being the Ultimate Driving Machine. Even though you can use it as a commuter, it fits into the sports category because of its handling.

There’s a road I love to drive with my BMW filled with tight corners. They have the speed limit set low because several hairpin curves are part of the experience. I can usually double the recommended speed without feeling like the car is out of control.

Even when you’re operating at high speeds, the 335i feels like it wants to do more. It starts climbing effortlessly, delivers the quick power for a pass, and offers comfort simultaneously. You can’t beat the performance.

Ever since I owned a 1970s Mercury Capri, I’ve been partial to power steering with a manual. I always called that vehicle my “rally car” because it delivered an incredible experience in almost any driving conditions. Until I stepped into a BMW 335i, nothing even came close to what I could accomplish.

Although I wouldn’t admit it in person, the 335i is superior to the Capri, even though mine is an automatic.

I think what I like most is that when I see the BMW parked and ready to drive, it makes me feel happy. I’ve loved every moment with my 335i, and I think you’ll agree that no other car compares when looking at the overall driving experience.

If you want something with a touch more power, the 340i is a reasonable alternative.


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