Still the standard when it comes to perfectly sorted vehicle dynamics, potent and sophisticated engines, high-quality interior materials, wide range of configurations to suit any taste, available all-wheel drive.
Costs more than most competitors, not much interior storage space.
There are several reasons why the new 2007 BMW 335i Convertible has been built with a retractable hardtop instead of a conventional cloth top.
Most of them are practical but boring, like security and wind noise. But for Albin Dirndorfer, BMW's project manager for the new 2007 3 Series Convertible, it is all about elegance.
"Elegant people don't want to hop around their car, fastening latches or covers," Dirndorfer explains during the introduction of the 335i convertible here in Scottsdale, Arizona. "Elegant personalities have their own style, and this car looks right with the top up or down," he continues.
We don't remember doing much hopping around with the last 3 Series convertible, but we know what he means. Then Dirndorfer describes the drip moldings on the new top as "the perfect accessories, like an elegant woman's handbag," and we're thinking he's going a little too deep into the whole "elegance" thing.
Lost in translation We can see why Dirndorfer felt the urge to take his "elegance" metaphor a little too far. The new 335i convertible is an attractive mix of complex engineering and fine design.
With the top up, the convertible's roof line is nearly identical to that of the coupe. Unless you look carefully at the cut lines of the hardtop and the distinctive angle where the rear glass meets the deck lid, you would never be able to tell the convertible apart from a standard 3 Series coupe.
Although built from lightweight steel, the hardtop's three folding panels don't make the structure of the car any more rigid when the top is deployed. This chore is accomplished by chassis reinforcements built into the floorpan and rear bulkhead.
This additional structure, plus the hardtop and its operating mechanism, pads on 452 pounds to the 3,571-pound 335i coupe for a total of 4,023 pounds.
In order to maintain optimal front-to-rear weight distribution, plastic quarter panels are used up front. According to BMW, these new panels are not only 50 percent lighter than equivalent steel versions, they're also dent-resistant.
Go ahead and mark this as the only time BMW will ever draw technical inspiration from Saturn.
No-compromise convertible With 30-percent-larger side windows, BMW says overall rearward visibility has been increased by 38 percent. After a few hours behind the wheel we're 100 percent sure it's easier to see out of the 335i convertible than its rag-top predecessor.
In fact, when you're in the driver seat, the convertible feels nearly identical to the coupe. Headroom isn't compromised and the interior headliner fits perfectly without any exposed hardware.
When it's time to drop the roof, you can pull the short lever mounted on the center console between the seats, or you can even use a switch on the key fob if you're standing beside the car.
It takes all of 22 seconds on the way down and 23 ticks on the way up, so the hardtop easily passes the stoplight test. Good thing, too, as the top won't work on the move since the rear deck obscures the license plate as it opens up. (This is a federally mandated restriction, we're told.)
Tricky top If you've ever seen a card dealer cut a deck with one hand, you have an idea of what the Edscha-engineered hardtop looks like as it retracts and is stowed beneath the rear deck.
The front piece slides over the middle panel, while the back piece goes on top. Then the steel sandwich stacks itself neatly under the deck lid, leaving a perfectly crisp profile from the car's nose to its tail.
BMW's designers specifically pointed out that the low beltline of the new convertible keeps the backseat from feeling like a deep-sided, leather-lined hot tub, as with most convertibles. They're right, because the view from the backseat is great, but legroom is in short supply and the hardtop mechanism pushes the backrest slightly forward.
Cargo room is also down a bit due to the complex top. The 12.3 cubic feet of trunk space available with the top up is reduced to 7.4 cubic feet once the top is stowed, where it intrudes into the trunk. Still, this is more cargo volume than the Volvo C70, the only other hardtop in the class.
An enlarged cargo pass-through for the rear-seat backrest is a new option for a BMW convertible. It's about twice the width of the standard pass-through behind the armrest cutout, although the rear seatback has to be folded down to take advantage of it. It's big enough to swallow a set of golf clubs, but you're better off taking your SUV to the course instead.
Taking the edge off The twin-turbo, 300-horsepower 3.0-liter inline-6 in the 335i convertible might have the mass of 4,023 pounds to move around, but there's not a quicker four-seat convertible short of a Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG. BMW claims this new convertible with its six-speed manual transmission will accelerate to 60 mph 5.8 seconds, just 0.3 second slower than a coupe with a six-speed manual.
We think the optional six-speed automatic is the better setup for this car, though.
This new ZF-engineered transmission makes very quick, precisely timed shifts in the automatic mode, and shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel let you shift manually. It's interesting that a company known for offering manual gearboxes in nearly all of its models has introduced an automatic so good that it nearly makes a stick shift seem obsolete.
The convertible's structural reinforcements prove their worth on the road, because there's zero cowl shake and no noticeable flex in the body either. BMW says this convertible has the highest torsional rigidity of any convertible in its history, and we can tell you that it drives that way.
Meanwhile, air turbulence in the cockpit is well controlled, too, especially with the rear-seat wind blocker in place.
Push this car hard on the road and it feels like the convertible has been dialed back one notch compared to the coupe. There's a bit less road feel and the car makes slower transitions from turn to turn. Blame the extra 452 pounds or the 225/45R17 tires (the Sport package will offer front 225/40R-18 and rear 255/35R-18 run-flat tires), yet the car still drives great. It invites you to thrash it in the same way as the 3 Series coupe does.
Small price to pay Set to go on sale in April for around $46,000, the 2007 BMW 335i Convertible will enter the market with few direct competitors.
Sure, there are convertibles like the Audi A4 cabriolet, Mercedes-Benz CLK and Volvo C70, but none of them put together 300 hp, a retractable hardtop and a stiff, driver-oriented chassis all in one package like the BMW.
Factor in all that elegance, and it's not even close.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.
Is the 2007 BMW 3 Series a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2007 BMW 3 Series and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2007 3 Series featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
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How do people like the 2007 BMW 3 Series? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2007 BMW 3 Series and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2007 3 Series 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2007 3 Series.
Review Just spent a bundle fixing an oil leak caused by a PLASTIC valve cover that cracked. This is apparently common for these models after 60K. Mine had 76K and was regularly serviced at the dealer. In my case, oil leaked onto the ignition coils, causing the engine to misfire. Unbelievable that the 'ultimate driving machine' uses plastic on a part that is subject to such heat.
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What options are available on the 2007 BMW 3 Series?
Available BMW 3 Series 2007 Submodel Types: Sedan, Coupe, Convertible, Diesel, Wagon, Hybrid, Hatchback
Exterior Colors: Jet Black, Alpine White, Black Sapphire Metallic, Mineral Grey Metallic, Titanium Silver Metallic, Glacier Silver Metallic, Imperial Blue Metallic, Space Gray Metallic, Monaco Blue Metallic, Mineral White Metallic, Mediterranean Blue Metallic, Melbourne Red Metallic, Estoril Blue, Blue Water Metallic, Montego Blue Metallic, Platinum Silver Metallic, Crimson Red, Orion Silver Metallic, Platinum Bronze Metallic, Liquid Blue Metallic, Orient Blue Metallic, Steel Blue Metallic, Arctic Metallic, Sparkling Graphite Metallic, Estoril Blue Metallic, Jatoba Brown Metallic, Sparkling Bronze Metallic, Mojave Metallic, Deep Sea Blue Metallic, Silver Gray Metallic, Deep Green Metallic, Sonora Metallic, Mystic Blue Metallic, Atlantic Blue Metallic, Steel Gray Metallic, Tasman Green Metallic, Electric Red, Le Mans Blue Metallic, Bright Red, Oxford Green Metallic, Sunset Orange Metallic, Arctic Silver Metallic, Imola Red, Alpine White II, Alpine White III, Barrique Red Metallic, Brilliant Red, Calypso Red Metallic, Fern Green Metallic, Madeira Black Pearl Metallic, Samoa Blue Metallic, Siena Red Metallic, Titan Silver Metallic, Topaz Blue Metallic, Vermilion Red Metallic
Interior Colors: Black leatherette, Black SensaTec leatherette, Venetian Beige leatherette, Black premium leather, Black Dakota premium leather, Beige leatherette, Venetian Beige/Black SensaTec leatherette, Black Dakota w/Dark Oyster Highlight leather, Oyster Dakota leather, Saddle Brown Dakota w/Brown Highlight leather, Saddle Brown Dakota w/Exclusive Stitching premium leather, Gray premium leather, Black, Beige premium leather, Saddle Brown/Black premium leather, Gray, Black Dakota leather, Black Dakota w/Red Highlight leather, Chestnut Brown premium leather, Venetian Beige/Black Dakota w/Dark Oyster Highlight leather, Coral Red Dakota w/Black Highlight leather, Black SensaTec w/Red Highlight leatherette, Saddle Brown Dakota premium leather, Natural Brown, Saddle Brown premium leather, Gray leather, Coral Red Dakota w/Black Highlight premium leather, Coral Red/Black premium leather, Black Dakota w/Red Highlight premium leather, Cream Beige leatherette, Venetian Beige/Black Dakota leather, Cream Beige premium leather, Black w/Red Highlight leatherette, Cognac Dakota w/Dark Brown Highlight leather, Dakota Oyster/Black w/Dark Oyster Accent leather, Saddle Brown Dakota w/Brown Highlight and Brown Lower Dashboard leather, Oyster/Black premium leather, Sand, Terra/Black premium leather, Venetian Beige Dakota w/Dark Oyster Highlight leather, Coral Red/Black Dakota premium leather, Venetian Beige Dakota premium leather, Black Dakota w/Exclusive Stitching premium leather, Black leather, Cream Beige Dakota premium leather, Gray/Black Dakota premium leather, Natural Brown leather, Beige leather, Oyster Dakota w/Dark Oyster Highlight premium leather, Oyster premium leather, Oyster/Black Dakota premium leather, Sand leather, Tanin Red, Venetian Beige Dakota w/Exclusive Stitching premium leather, Venetian Dakota premium leather
Popular Features: Rear Bench Seats, Stability Control, Auto Climate Control, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Trip Computer, Tire Pressure Warning, Post-collision safety system, Aux Audio Inputs, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Automatic Emergency Braking, Power Driver Seat, AWD/4WD, USB Inputs, Bluetooth, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Sunroof/Moonroof, Alarm, Upgraded Headlights, Heated seats, Electronic Folding Mirrors, Navigation, Parking sensors, Back-up camera, Keyless Entry/Start, 2nd Row Bucket Seats, Leather Seats, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Blind Spot Monitoring, Heads up display, Upgraded Stereo, Soft Top, Lane Departure Warning, Power Liftgate/Trunk, 360-degree camera, Hardtop, Adaptive Cruise Control