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Sunday, June 1, 2014

2014 BMW 435i Review: Your Sexy, Overpriced Ex-Girlfriend

 

@ BOLD RIDE                               

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Probably sometime in your mid-20s, you ran into a girl that really got you going. I mean she was naughty, and she had expensive taste, but she really knew what turned you on. It didn’t last, obviously, but for the time being, that relationship you had was about as fun as it got.

 This, in turn, is the new BMW 435i. It’s not something you can necessarily live with for the rest of your life — it doesn’t really suit you, it’s expensive, it’s obnoxious — but it knows exactly what to do to get your blood pumping.

But where did this BMW bombshell even come from?
The BMW 435i, aka, the replacement to the BMW 3 Series Coupe was introduced last year so that BMW might able to better compete with Audi’s even lineup.

1 Series Coupe translated to 2 Series, and 3 Series Coupe translated to 4 Series. So on and so forth. And in reality, it’s one of the better decisions BMW has made in years. And the 4 Series, is one of the better driving cars BMW has made in years.


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Under the hood is a twin-turbocharged inline-six pushing out 300 horsepower. And while 300 horsepower may not sound like much in today’s power infested world, it definitely felt like more than enough to get the wheels going.

The rear-drive layout is paired to an eight-speed dual clutch gearbox that turned out to be one of the best shifting gearboxes around. And you have your variation of driving modes from “ECO Plus” to “Comfort” to “Sport” and “Sport+”.

 In all honesty, most of our time was spent in “Sport” where the gears are longer and the shifts shorter. And we even tossed around the backend while in “Sport+” (which disables traction control) more times than BMW would like to know.

It was pure driving pleasure. Rear-drive, turbocharged, BMW pleasure. But there are some flaws.


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Inside, the speedo and tach were simple, maybe too simple. The erect infotainment screen sat awkwardly atop of the dash, followed by a set of numbers, buttons and controls that felt like a test I didn’t study for. And we’re not even talking about the ever-confusing iDrive system. It’s not bad, it’s just confusing as hell.

Another tick that dissatisfied my first-world thinking was the lack of Bluetooth compatibility for music. While it worked fine for phone calls, you had to plug in your phone, and use the iDrive system to control all your music. 

 Also the engine stop/start system is obnoxious, but not unbearable, my seat would adjust itself unknowingly, and one time the gas tank wouldn’t open, so I made sure no one was looking as I drove away to another gas station.

So there are a few things to fault in the tech department, surprisingly. And for the price $54,425, that doesn’t include navigation, or a backup camera, or music synchronization through Bluetooth. Which you can all get in much cheaper cars like the Mazda 3, or the Ford Focus — or, ehem, the Lexus IS.



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But technology gaffs aside, let’s get back to the whole naughty, sexy, former girlfriend thing.

Yes, you could bring back home a Lexus IS, or an Audi A4 to mom, and your whole family will love them and think highly of them — la di da. Or, you could bring your sexy red-head bombshell girlfriend back home, much to the chagrin of your parents. It’s so wrong, but you can’t help but love it.

The BMW 435i just gets a hold of you like that naughty ex-girlfriend. The feeling of the suspension runs from the edge of your fingertips to the bottom of your toes. The steering is precise and engine is powerful and adventurous.

 Where the 435i lacks in technological achievement, it makes up for in pure driving nirvana. It truly lives up to its reputation as “the Ultimate Driving Machine.”

It’s great, and amazing, and we would probably actually buy one. The only problem is — we haven’t even driven the M4 yet *shudders*.



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Specs:

Engine: 3.0L Twin-Turbo 6-Cylinder
Horsepower: 300
0-60: 5.0
Price (as tested): $54,425


Positives:

Driving Nirvana
Gorgeous Design
Evens Out the Lineup


Negatives:

Overpriced
Technology Flaws
No Navigation, Backup Camera