2014 BMW 435i Coupe (3.0L 6-cyl. Turbo 8-speed Automatic) w/opt 6-speed Manual
Driven On 1/27/2014
The 4-cylinder 428i makes this pricier, less fuel-efficient 435i seem like an extravagance, especially since the two coupes offer similar performance numbers, comfort, interiors and rewarding driving experiences. The value of the 435i dips slightly due to price and fuel consumption, but this is one sweet inline-6.
PerformanceWith acceleration to 60 mph well under 6 seconds, along with our test car's M Sport suspension, brakes and aerodynamic kit, the 435i's thrilling performance meets the expectations of a BMW, yet leaves room for the forthcoming M4 coupe.
The light-action 6-speed manual obeys quick shifts, but tall, widely spaced gearing doesn't make the best use of the 3.0-liter turbo's 300 horsepower. Zero-to-60 mph took 5.6 seconds.
Highly effective and fade-free in our panic brake tests. It stopped from 60 mph in a short 113 ft. The optional M Sport brakes lack some feel, but they're still good for the class.
The optional variable-ratio steering and thick steering wheel offer excellent precision and response, though it could use more feedback. For an electric-assist system, this one's pretty good.
High in confidence and capability, the M Sport and Dynamic Handling packages deliver on their promise. This is a fine-handing machine that gives huge driver confidence.
The delayed and gruff restart of the auto stop-start engine (which can be disabled) is awkward at first. The M Sport brakes on this 435i weren't quite as touchy as the 428i. All else is excellent.
ComfortDespite the optional performance-oriented M Sport equipment, our four-passenger 435i provided ample comfort even for non-enthusiast drivers. Excellent front seats, a compliant ride and admirable quietness.
Optional M Sport front seats are exceptionally supportive yet still comfortable for long-haul road trips. Rear seats (just 2) are a little tight on space, but otherwise well-contoured.
Optional adaptive M Sport suspension manages to sort out road irregularities so well that usually-rough roads seemed new again. Impressive.
With the silky turbocharged inline-6-cylinder engine's subtle intake/exhaust overtones, the 435i never sounds strained. Good wind and road isolation as well.
InteriorExcellent ergonomics combine with an uncharacteristically airy cabin for a coupe. Rear-seat access and rear vision aren't bad considering this is a two-door, and plenty of optional gadgets address some of its coupe shortcomings.
Improvements to iDrive, highly intuitive switches and gauges, plus bonus points for the availability of a well-sorted manual shifter with intuitive clutch action. Excellent M-spec steering wheel.
The front seats are slightly lower than in the sedan, but when considered among its coupe brethren the 435i offers good access to the rear seats with an obvious and effective seat-top release lever.
Comparable interior volume to other coupes, but the 435i manages to feel open and airy, even with its dour black surfaces. The rear seat can feel confining on a long drive, though.
Slightly problematic sight lines out back. But optional parking sensors, cameras, blind-spot and lane-departure warning and forward collision detection provide helpful driver aids.
Large door pockets and glove box, plus plenty of small item storage throughout the cabin. Also, split-fold through-load rear seats expand on generous 15.7 cu-ft trunk.
ValueThe 435i starts just under $47,000, but with a few options it can quickly nudge $60K. Practical standard equipment, good fuel economy, excellent build quality and materials, along with a competitive warranty, maintain its relevance.
Build Quality (vs. $)
Few manufacturers possess the engineering depth, quality control standards and workforce skill to assemble a car as well as BMW.
Plenty of standard equipment: automatic climate control, sunroof, smart cruise control, adjustable steering and throttle control, xenon headlamps, power seats, HD audio, Bluetooth and iDrive w/6.5-in screen.
The 435i starts at $46,925, with the four option packages on our test car running the price to $57,225. That's more than some better-equipped coupes, but it almost feels justified here.
A BMW 428i earns far better mileage, so the 435i's 23 mpg Combined (20 City/30 Highway) EPA ratings are just okay. But the 28 mpg we averaged on our 120-mile test loop is quite decent.
Both the basic warranty and drivetrain coverage last for 4 years/50,000 miles on the 2014 BMW 435i.
There's a 4-year/unlimited-mileage roadside assistance program, along with free scheduled maintenance for 4 years/50,000 miles, which includes oil services, wiper blades, brakes and belts.
Fun To DriveImpressive power, sharp handling, precise steering and an enthusiast-approved manual transmission combine to instill a high level of driver confidence. And, therefore, fun.
Smooth, confident, compliant and extremely capable, the BMW 435i offers the kind of rewarding driving experience one expects of a sport-minded coupe from BMW.
Many choose a BMW purely for the status of the badge. But those who can appreciate the 435i's inherently good dynamics will endure the stigma because it's worth it.