The BMW 3 Series has long been an icon in the luxury car segment, and it continues this status as it enters the 2014 model year. For 2014, the 3 Series loses its coupe and convertible body styles, as the new 4 Series takes over these key segments. The 2014 BMW 3 Series comes in four main variants -- 320i, 328i, 328d and 335i -- and the differences between the 328i and 335i are subtle but certainly noticeable.
Based on the same chassis, the BMW 328i and 335i share nearly every exterior dimension. They are 182.5 inches long, 71.3 inches wide and 56.3 inches tall, and sit on 110.6-inch wheelbases. The only dimensions that vary between the two are the front and rear track widths, and weight. The 328i's front and rear track widths are 60.3 and 61.3 inches, respectively, while the 335i is slightly wider at 60.5 inches up front and 62.1 inches in the rear. The 328i is the lighter of the two at 3,360 to 3,410 pounds, while the 335i checks in at 3,545 to 3,555 pounds.
Both models are well-equipped, with features like fog lights, auto headlights, rain-sensing wipers and keyless entry. The 335i does have a slight advantage in this area, as it comes with a few extra standard exterior features, including a sunroof, HID headlights and 18-by-8-inch alloy wheels with 225/45VR18 tires to the 328i's 17-by-7.5-inch wheels with 225/50VR17 tires.
On the inside, the 328i and 335i are identical in terms of passenger accommodations, as they both have 40.3 inches of headroom, 42 inches of legroom and 55.1 inches of shoulder room in the front, and 37.7 inches of headroom, 35.1 inches of legroom and 55.1 inches of shoulder room in back. Both cars seat five people and can carry 13 cubic feet of cargo in their trunks.
Like the exterior, the 328i and 335i share many of the same standard features on the inside, including synthetic leather seats, power front seats with memory, illuminated vanity mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a premium AM-FM-CD audio system with HD Radio, MP3 player and steering wheel-mounted controls; power windows and door locks, Bluetooth, power mirrors, multi-zone air conditioning, rear air conditioning, cruise, a universal garage door opener and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The key differences between the cabin of the 328i and the 335i are the 335i's standard wood-grain interior trim and security system.
The most obvious of differences between the 2014 BMW 335i and the 328i are under the skin. The 328i features the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine -- TwinPower is BMW's twin-scroll turbocharger system -- that produces 240 horsepower from 5,000 to 6,000 rpm and 255 foot-pounds of torque from 1,250 to 4,800 rpm. The 335i features the 3.0-liter, TwinPower Turbo, inline-six engine that delivers 300 horsepower from 5,800 to 6,000 rpm and 300 foot-pounds of torque from 1,300 to 5,000 rpm. Both models come standard with rear-wheel drive and they both have optional xDrive all-wheel drive available.
Both models come standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission with Dual Shift Mode. Buyers can also opt for a six-cog manual transmission if they prefer rowing their own gears.
In terms of track speed, the 328i can sprint to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds with the auto transmission, while the optional manual transmission drops this time by 0.1 second. The top speed of the 328i is an electronically limited 130 mph. The 335i is significantly faster to 60 mph, as it performs the highway-speed sprint in 5.1 seconds with the auto transmission or 5.4 seconds with the optional manual. The 335i shares the 328i's 130-mph top speed.
In terms of fuel economy, the 328i with an auto transmission gets 23 mpg city, 35 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined, while its optional manual transmission drops these numbers to 22 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined. The 335i turns in 22 mpg city, 32 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined with the automatic transmission, while the manual-equipped model gets 20 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined. Gone are the days when a manual transmission always meant faster and more economical.
Suspension and Brakes
The 328i and 335i share the same basic geometry in the suspension department, which include multi-link setups with struts on the front and rear. Both models also feature four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. A key difference is that the 328i has 12.3-inch rotors up front and 11.8-inch rotors on the rear, while the 335i has 13.4-inch rotors up front and 13-inch rotors in back.
Another obvious difference comes when checking out the bottom-line price. The 2014 BMW 328i starts out at $37,300, while the faster and slightly better-equipped 335i chimes in at $43,400.
- Photo Credit Bryan Mitchell/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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