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2007 BMW 3 Series Review: Road Test, Specs, Photos 2007 BMW 3 Coupe Road Test Review

by Jeff Voth

They say California is the place you oughta be, especially when something as special as the new BMW 3 Series Coupe is about to be unveiled to the public. So I packed my overnight bag and headed west to San Francisco to see the next critical component for the continued success of Bavarian Motor Works.

Longer and lower than the sedan version of the 3 Series introduced in 2005, the real beauty of any BMW lies in its sporty nature.

2007 BMW 3 Series Convertible Review: Exterior - Road Test, Specs, Photos

Crisp character lines punctuate the side profile of this sexy coupe, wrapping the outer skin in a sharp dressed look that’s ready for anything. A sleek hood drops dramatically to the ground, as if caressing the pavement in anticipation of what’s to come. In back, an integrated rear deck spoiler adds the finishing touch to the overall aerodynamic effectiveness of its active shape.

Inside, the 3 Series Coupe offers first-class amenities and design.

A 3-spoke, tilt/telescope multi-function steering wheel coordinates the driving experience. Steering feel is typical of most fine European sport sedans; firm, with excellent feedback and control at the limit. Stereo volume adjustment and program selection are easily altered from the steering wheel, with directional controls, headlights, wipers with automatic rain sensing and rear wiper switch all within easy reach.

Front seats feature excellent thigh and back support. An 8-way adjustable driver’s seat and 6-way adjustable passenger seat is standard on the 328i and 328xi Coupe, while the 335i Coupe benefits from 8-way power adjustment.

Storage space is limited on the 3 Series Coupe, though it does include a front armrest with stow capability and rear facing climate controls. Front cupholders extend out from the dash on either side of an illuminated glovebox. A rear center armrest folds down for added back seat comfort.

Side door pouches are small and tapered, perfect for sunglasses and keys, but not much else. Music plays through the standard AM/FM stereo with CD player, 10 speakers and built in MP3 capability. Optional is the Logic 7 audio system with 13 speakers including digital sound processing and surround sound simulation.

Trunk space is excellent given the curvy dimensions of this coupe. Rear storage capacity is set at 11.1 cu ft, perfect for luggage and several golf bags.

BMW 3 Series Coupe Review : Interior : Road test, specs, photos

Heating and cooling the 3 Series Coupe is the function of a dual-climate control HVAC system. With adjustments made directly in front of the gear shift, it provides excellent airflow to the passenger cabin and an easy to understand digital interface. Three-stage front heated seats are optional.

Windows are power with comfort open/close functionality and built in anti-trap safety. A 2-way power moonroof with one touch opening is also included.

Safety is never an option for BMW and the 3 Series Coupe is no exception. Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS are just one part of the standard safety package. Other features include Dynamic Stability Control and Dynamic Brake Control, Brake Fade Compensation and Run-flat tires. Dynamic Traction Control is standard on 328i/335i, while the 328xi offers Hill Decent Control. Xenon adaptive headlights illuminate the darkest country roads.

Passive safety features include dual front-impact airbags with occupant detector, front seat side-impact airbags, (seat mounted) front and rear seat side-impact airbags and 3-point seat belts and headrests for all passengers.

A Start/Stop button to the right of the steering wheel engages one of two engines available on the 3 Series Coupe.

The 328i and 328xi models feature a 3.0 liter DOHC, 24-valve inline 6 cylinder engine that produces a potent 230 hp at 6500 rpm and 200 lb-ft of torque at 2750 rpm.

Mated to a 6-speed manual transmission with quick snap throws between each gear, the 328i is capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds. The 328xi requires an additional .6 seconds to reach the same benchmark speed.

Equipped with the optional 6-speed Steptronic automatic, the 328i reaches 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, while the 328xi achieves the same result in 7 seconds. Top speed for the standard 328i and 328xi is 130 mph. Sport Package increases this to 155 mph.

BMW 3 Series Coupe Reviw : Exterior : Road test, specs, photos

Deceptively smooth, this 6 cylinder engine feels competent around town. As a cruiser, it makes very little noise, belying the speed available as you progress upwards through each gear. Once on the highway, it is just as comfortable at 65 mph, as it is at speeds more suitable to Europe’s superhighways.

The more powerful 335i features the first-ever twin turbocharged DOHC, 24-valve, 6-cylinder engine with double Vanos variable valve timing. A true “bahnstormer” on the road, it delivers an intoxicating 300 hp at 5800 rpm and 300 lb-ft of torque between 1400-5000 rpm.

Featuring a double-pivot type front and 5-link rear suspension, gas filled shocks, front and rear stabilizer bars, the 3 Series Coupe is virtually unstoppable on the road. In any type of weather, it handles corners with all the aplomb of a much more expensive sports coupe. Adding to the list of firsts in a 3 Series Coupe, x-Drive will be available on the 328 model lineup as of October.

A sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, x-Drive is a multi-disc clutch design that apportions more torque to the rear wheels when it senses understeer and less if it detects oversteer. The results are imperceptible to the driving experience except for the fact the car never feels out of control, even when driving conditions are less than ideal.

If love at first sight is any indication, the new 3 Series Coupe has everything going for it! Gorgeous at any angle, it looks, drives, feels and acts every bit as sporty and elegant as you imagine a fine sport coupe should. Possessing beauty and brawn, the streets of San Francisco proved the 3 Series Coupe has what it takes to succeed and then some.


2007 BMW 3 Series
Description:
Luxury sports coupe
Model options:

328i, 328xi, 335i

Transmission:

6-speed Manual, 6-speed Steptronic Auto

Wheelbase:

108.7 inches

Overall Length:

180.3 inches

Steering:

Engine speed sensitive power assist

Braking:

4-wheel vented disc brakes with 4-wheel ABS

Fuel Economy:

Manual: 19/28 mpg
Automatic: 20/29 mpg

MSRP:

328i: $35,995
328ix: $37,795
335i: $41,295

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