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      01-11-2006, 01:29 AM   #23
Jason
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Motortrend (Feb 2006) - review of 330i vs. IS350 vs. MB C350
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      01-18-2006, 04:12 PM   #24
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http://www.latimes.com/classified/au...autos-highway1

From the Los Angeles Times
RUMBLE SEAT/DAN NEIL
Circle this wagon
Move on, soccer moms. BMW's 325xi is for young men who know where they're going and how to get there in style.
DAN NEIL

January 18, 2006

ACCORDING to my sources — a lot of trashy prime-time TV — young men are not getting a fit and proper education in the gentle art of manhood and are instead emerging from sebaceous adolescence unschooled in matters of taste, style and decorum. Which totally blows.

In the spirit of Esquire magazine's "Things Every Man Should Know" series, let me enlighten you. An all-wheel-drive European sports wagon is the perfect car for a fashionable young man. A night on the town, a month of resort-hopping in the Canadian Rockies, it matters not. This is the sort of car you should own before you are 30, along with an Andiamo suitcase, a great set of cookware and a tailored tux. Gentlemen do not rent clothes.

It's important to read cars as women read them, as the material adjuncts of a man's inner life. (Attention, gay men: The same rules apply, give or take a sweater.) Sports cars are needy, trucks are desperate, boxy crossovers and active-lifestyle SUVs scream "focus-group patsy" — women sense these things with an atavism that is a marvel to behold. A sports wagon, by contrast, conveys an effortless and consolidated sense of self, a worldliness and maturity. You are more than just available; you're eligible.

Speaking of maturity: When you invite women over to your apartment, hide the Xbox.

You have a few choices in the European sports wagon department: Audi, Saab, Volvo. Mercedes-Benz built a lovely C320 4matic wagon until this year, when it didn't. But for the simple, syrupy perfection of a well-stroked piece of machinery, you can do no better than the BMW 325xi wagon, in the mid-$30s. Classic, impeccable, enviable — an entire wardrobe of cars in one package.

The 2006 edition of the 3-series wagon is based on the chassis and interior design launched with the sedan last year; it's powered by the same 2.5-liter inline six putting out 215 hp, up from 184 hp in the previous model. As was true in the previous wagon, the larger displacement 3.0-liter motor in the sedan is not available.

This engine is almost too fine a place for the dirty business of internal combustion. The block is a composite aluminum-magnesium casting. The 24-valve, inline cylinder head uses the BMW's Valvetronic system, varying lift and duration depending on engine load — thus dispensing with the need for a conventional butterfly throttle. On top of the engine is variable-geometry induction. Smooth? Championship bowling balls don't get this kind of polish.

THE purpose behind all these devices is to precisely modulate pumping volumes across a wide range of engine speed to maximize torque and efficiency and minimize emissions. It's complicated, but the result is simple: a linear, compressive, virtually hydraulic surge of power from just about any point on the tach and any gear in the bag (a six-speed manual transmission is standard, while the six-speed Steptronic automatic is optional).

The new wagon, roughly two inches longer than before, comes in at 3,781 pounds compared with the old model's 3,627 pounds. By the seat of the pants, this feels like a 7-second car to 60 mph. This is by no means the fastest AWD wagon out there — may I suggest something in a Subaru? — and its dearth of displacement can become noticeable at drive-for-your-life freeway speeds. But around town the car is capable of truly gratuitous bursts of quickness and bright, vivacious snarls of induction and exhaust noise.

The "x" in the nomenclature refers to BMW's all-wheel-drive system, which the company, known for its devilish German wit, calls "xDrive." A fully intelligent AWD unit, xDrive uses a multi-clutch differential to split torque between the front and rear axles, varying the split depending on available grip.

A new feature — and instantly lovable — is the start-off assistant, which prevents the car from rolling back while the driver is shifting into first gear (it holds the brake for a one-count after the driver lifts his or her foot). It's a lot easier than trying to heel-and-toe the throttle and brake.

Like the sedan, the wagon has double-pivot front suspension — compared to the departing model's front struts -- and five-link rear suspension. To create a little more cargo space under the load floor, the car uses run-flat tires, like those on the X3. I am not wild about these tires, though they are getting better. The wagon's suspension has been carefully tuned to take the characteristic zing out of the run-flats — the sidewalls are very stiff and transmit sharp impacts to the chassis and steering column. Only occasionally when you catch these tires wrong will the impact startle you.

THROW up the hatch, throw down the seats, throw in your skis or band equipment or climbing gear. In terms of practicality and life-carrying cargo capacity, the 325xi sacrifices very little to the upright, lumpen crossovers whose ads blare from the pages of Vibe and Maxim. But this car will carve and thrash in a way crossovers never could -- and you won't be embarrassed to drive it to your boss' house for supper. When in your prime earning years you add more doors to your garage, you can buy more specialized cars — something grand like an Aston Martin, or something noble like a Prius. For now, the BMW Sport Wagon is like a great black suit and Hermes tie, always right.

Gentlemen, start your weekends.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*

2006 BMW

325xi wagon

Base price: $35,295

Price, as tested: $40,840

Powertrain: 2.5-liter inline six-cylinder engine, 24-valve DOHC, variable-valve timing and lift, variable induction; six-speed manual transmission; all-wheel drive.

Horsepower: 215 at 6,250 rpm

Torque: 185 at 2,750 rpm

Curb weight: 3,781 pounds

0-60 mph: 7 seconds

Wheelbase: 108.7 inches

Overall length: 178.2 inches

EPA fuel economy: 19 miles per gallon city, 28 highway

Final thoughts: Bachelor of arts

Automotive critic Dan Neil can be reached at dan.neil@latimes.com.
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      01-31-2006, 10:15 AM   #25
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MOTOR WEEK Review

http://www.mpt.org/motorweek/reviews/rt2502b.shtml
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      02-04-2006, 03:02 PM   #26
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I do not understand what they say, but they have nice pictures...

http://totalcar.hu/tesztek/bmw330xd/
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      02-05-2006, 02:52 PM   #27
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Hi,
I understand the arcticle (what a surprise!), and they (the testers) were very delighted with the 330xd. I try to translate just the last paragraph:
"Anyone who wish an always controllable prestige sedan with a great diesel engine, and his bodysize is under the 95% average, couldn't be disappointed. Not so often gets such a car into my hands, that I regret to giving back so much. I even had dreamed with this one."
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      02-10-2006, 09:38 AM   #28
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Autoweek: 330i v. IS350
http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dl.../60126002/1004
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      02-18-2006, 11:17 AM   #29
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What Car? Car of the Year 2006 - 320d

Scan of UK magazine What Car? March 2006

The 320d won the Compact Executive Class & was also awarded overall car of the year.
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      04-18-2006, 07:10 AM   #30
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For you Canadians out there...

323i -> http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/jm/06_323i.htm
325xiT -> http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/cc/06_325xit.htm
330i -> http://www.canadiandriver.com/articl...06bmw_330i.htm
330i winter test ->http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/mc/06bmw330i.htm
330xi -> http://www.canadiandriver.com/articl...06bmw330xi.htm
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      04-18-2006, 10:59 AM   #31
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The latest Issue of Winding Road

The latest Issue of Winding Road
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      06-29-2006, 02:14 PM   #32
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The BMW 3 Series. 2006 World Car of the Year.

http://news.bmwusa.com/servlet/websi...rRFohmtHpsDJht

http://www.bmwusa.com/news/news.htm?...tm?article=269

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      07-04-2006, 09:21 AM   #33
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335i E92 Coupe Review by Autocar
http://www.autocar.co.uk/FirstDrive_...p?RT_ID=220878



335i E92 Coupe review by Channel4
http://www.channel4.com/4car/feature...re.jsp?id=2574
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      07-04-2006, 12:19 PM   #34
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E92 Coupe review by Motion Trends

http://www.motiontrends.com/2006/m04...es_coupe.shtml
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      07-05-2006, 06:02 PM   #35
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E92 review by World car fans with lots of pics some new...

http://www.worldcarfans.com/news.cfm...coupe-in-depth
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Update Sept 08: Moved to Whitehorse and had to buy out of my lease. Miss the car a lot. Will return to BMW family in a couple of years.

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      07-10-2006, 09:15 AM   #36
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here's a link to MSN UK's first drive

http://cars.uk.msn.com/Reviews/artic...umentid=620978

4Car (driving impression): "impressive but won't leave you breathless"!

http://www.channel4.com/4car/feature...id=2574&page=2
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      07-22-2006, 10:19 PM   #37
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I can't wait to take advantage of ED!!
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      07-25-2006, 02:42 PM   #38
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New article on the e92 for Canadians:

http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/pw/07335i.htm
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      07-30-2006, 10:55 PM   #39
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E92 reviews:

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do...ticleId=116129

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Con...l=969048871196
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      07-31-2006, 02:44 PM   #40
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335i review:

http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dl.../60719007/1006
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      08-01-2006, 01:22 AM   #41
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Australian 320D review

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25943
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      08-02-2006, 03:03 PM   #42
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Winding Road magazine review of 335i coupe (very nice write-up)

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26131
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      08-08-2006, 03:29 PM   #43
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EVO (UK) review of the 335i

Good review, only negative is speculation regarding 18" wheels on the cart tracks that pass for UK roads

http://www.evo.co.uk/carreviews/evoc.../bmw_335i.html

May need registration to access.
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      08-11-2006, 11:45 AM   #44
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Here is a review of the 335i coupé from the September 2006 issue of Top Gear. I only bought it for this article, as - unlike the tv programme - the magazine is $hit.
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