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      06-27-2010, 01:48 PM   #1
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Cool Autoblog revisits 2010 335i sedan: Deserving of all its gushing praise

Review: 2010 BMW 335i Sedan is what we've been missing

We like to think of ourselves as a voice of the people – a place for the proletariat of the interwebs who clamor for an honest take on the latest automotive hardware. To that end, we've always viewed the constant stream of fawning over BMW with something of a jaundice eye. We get it. The company builds good products, but does it really deserve wave after wave of gushing prose in every car magazine? Even more troubling, does the 3 Series deserve its honored position as the benchmark against which all other mid-sized sports sedans must be measured?

In a word, yes. We say that almost against our plebeian nature, but if you've come searching for a scathing tear-down of the bread-and-butter 3, best point your clickers elsewhere. After a full week with the 2010 BMW 335i sedan, we've come to understand why the bastions of auto-journodom have spent the last 10 years drinking the BMW Kool-Aid. It's just that good. Read on to find out why the latest 3 Series continues the tradition.

BMW has had 35 years to get the 3 Series recipe just right, and stylistically, the car has never exactly shattered the mold with wild bodywork. While Bimmer fanboys continue to debate whether or not Chris Bangle was the brand's savior or Satan, no one will debate the fact that his work on the 3 Series was a much needed change of pace. To this day, Bangle's influence still lingers over the sheet metal of our sedan. While the "Bangle Bustle" never quite made it to the four-door's rear, the subtle creases and slight flares that came into the BMW bloodline under the designer's reign remain to this day. The look isn't something that we'd call outrageous, but it is quietly gorgeous.

Up front, the 2010 335i couldn't be mistaken for anything other than what it is. The nose wears the same flared nostril grille and round headlights as the rest of the Bavarian flock and the slight contour of the hood line gives the face something of a furrowed brow. As a result, you can't help but think that if this car could speak, it would do so in a series of guttural grunts and growls. Whatever the tongue, traffic seems to understand just fine – cars make room for the 2010 335i like a bad habit.

Our tester came dipped in Le Mans blue – a dark metallic paint that makes every crease and curve pop no matter the lighting. The sedan also wore a set of 18-inch, 15-spoke dancing shoes that are part of the $3,750 M Sport package. For that kind of change, BMW will be kind enough to equip your four-door with a slightly tweaked suspension and reworked aerodynamic cues, along with a speed limiter that allows a higher top end. We'll – ahem – have to take their word on that last part. Out back, the 335i can be differentiated from its less potent kin by the prominent dual exhaust and a reworked rear diffuser. When viewed from the rear, the car loses some of its menace, but the design is still plenty attractive.

The M Sport package brings with it a smaller, leather-wrapped steering wheel and an M-branded shift knob and door sills. Our tester also came with a snappy two-tone interior, complete with beige leather seats and a black dash with faux metal accents. The overall effect is attractive, though the M goodies seem at odds with the light-colored leather. That's okay, though, because that steering wheel and shifter feel fantastic in the palm of your hands, even if they look like the 335i is wearing a pair of running shoes with a three-piece suit.
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