Review of the new BMW 435i
Lets get this out of the way right now: this isn’t a 335i at all.
I had the M-sport package and it was well-loaded. First thing, the engine sounds better than in my 2014 3-series. Also gone from the 335i days is the waste-gate rattle. However, when you sit in the car, the interior feels cheap and a bit too ‘tanky’ for my tastes.
The car has the same 6-cyclinder twin-turbo the 335i did, but the power delivery isn’t there. I did some on-ramp 0-100 tests. The guttural, raw delivery that made the 335i a critics car is lacking here. The 435i, which I drove it in Sports + (means higher revs, firms the chassis, and turns off transaction control) felt like it was always teasing you, making you reach for the power you want to be there, but the BMW 435i won’t give to you. This teasing persists most of the test drive. The Sports + makes the engine like to play around in the 5-6.5k rev range, too. I tossed the car into third gear and floored it. I was expecting instant power, but the power was a bit more spread out over the RPMs, not so heavily weighted towards the beginning as in the 335i.
The electronic steering is iffy. A lot of has been said about this, so lets not beat the dead horse. Lots of automotive journalist bemoaned when Porshce moved its 911 model to electronic steering. My Current 3-series has it, and it does feel a bit ‘kiddy’. There isn’t as much resistance when turning the wheel. Notable, the 4-series has a bit more in sports mode, but it doesn’t have much resistance when you try to turn. The steering wheel lacks the feedback and ‘feel’ that you get with hydraulic steering.
Well-equipped 435i: $60,500
Well-equipped 428i: $52,000
Here is the issue I have: at this price point, you can easily pick up a 2011 M3, which is leagues better. You can also get a C63 AMG Benz, used Porsche 911. The price point really has a lot of heavy-hitting competitors. The Cayman S is another notable car at this price point. I did not get as many ‘nice BMW’ looks as I did in the 650i Gran Coupe.
Navigation screen is beautiful. Much improved over its predecessor.
After thinking back on it for a while, BMW doesn’t want this to be as good as the 335i, because it’s a completely different car. It feels bigger, and reminds me of the 650i than the 335i. It’s more akin to call it the 6-series little brother instead of the 3-series’ big brother.