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Ratingperson Test Drives the 2014 BMW 435i M-Sport

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A Dream Come True

I had my eyes on the BMW 335i since 2007. The coupe, known as the E92, was absolutely stunning and left a lasting impression. With its twin turbochargers, retractable hardtop, and iconic kidney grille, it was a car that I desperately wanted to own. Unfortunately, I missed my chance. However, my teenage dream came true when BMW generously let me borrow one of their first 2014 BMW 435i M-Sport models for a week.

A Name Change, but Still an Impressive Car

One of the first things to address is the name change. BMW has decided to number their sedans with odd numbers and coupés with even numbers. This decision has caused a bit of controversy among enthusiasts, but personally, I don’t have any issues with it. The name doesn’t affect my opinion of the car; it’s the performance and overall experience that matter. The 435i is powered by a 3.0L turbocharged 6-cylinder engine, delivering a modest 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. Contrary to popular belief, the N55 motor in this car features a twin-scroll system with a single turbocharger. The power delivery is smooth and consistent throughout the powerband, with virtually no noticeable turbo lag.

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A Competitor Worth Mentioning

The main competitor to the 435i is the Audi S5, which is powered by a supercharged 6-cylinder engine with slightly higher output. I must admit that the BMW slightly trails behind in terms of performance. While the 435i can achieve 100 km/h in five seconds flat, it lacks the low-end grunt that I expected. However, equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission, passing power is abundant, and downshifting is rarely necessary for overtaking slower vehicles on the highway.

Unparalleled Handling, with a Hint of Artificiality

The handling of the 435i is truly impressive, as expected from a BMW. The electric steering is excellent for maneuvering through busy city streets, although it doesn’t provide the same road connection as the older hydraulic systems. I had a previous-generation BMW 323i in the family, and while it lacked power, it excelled in handling and cornering. The 435i takes it up a notch, almost anticipating my next move. However, it does feel slightly artificial and reminiscent of a video game. The xDrive all-wheel-drive system, equipped in the test car, is fantastic, but if I were in the market for a car in this class, I would opt for the rear-drive model to save some money.

The Perfect Manual Transmission

The clutch and shifter in the 435i are absolutely flawless. With the rise of brilliant dual-clutch transmissions, I’ve been worried about the demise of the traditional manual. Driving this BMW with a manual transmission reminded me of the joy and connection it brings. Surprisingly, fuel economy remains consistent regardless of driving style. Even with my spirited driving, the 435i managed a commendable 10.3L/100km. Switching to “Eco Pro” mode during highway cruising reduced that number even further to an impressive 8.0L/100km.

Loaded with Luxury and Technology

My test car was a heavily-loaded 435i xDrive M-Sport. It came with all the expected toys such as a sunroof, Harman-Kardon stereo, Bluetooth connectivity, and dual-zone climate control. Additionally, it included features like Comfort Access, adaptive LED headlights, a heads-up display, and iDrive with navigation. The stunning Estoril Blue paint job came at an extra $800. The total price for my as-tested 435i was $65,000, which initially seemed steep. However, once I started seeing it as an executive sports coupe rather than just a performance car, the price felt more justified.

Technology Simplified for the Average Consumer

The evolution of BMW’s iDrive system is truly impressive. From its inception in the 2002 7-series to the present, it has come a long way. The control mouse now acts as a touchpad, allowing users to physically write out numbers and letters for input. It’s a concept similar to what newer Audi models offer, but with better execution. The heads-up display, softly glowing in orange, is unobtrusive, especially at night. BMW has managed to simplify a vast array of technology for the average consumer, and it’s nothing short of marvelous.

Minor Issues, But Still a Supermodel

While the overall experience with the 435i was exceptional, there were a couple of minor points that bothered me. The “M” badges on the fenders seemed excessive and detracted from the car’s design. It made the car look like it was trying too hard. Another issue was the hood release. Unlike the standard safety latch under the hood, the lever under the dashboard needed to be pulled twice to open the hood. Although it’s unlikely to accidentally open, it deviates from the automotive norm.

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The 2014 BMW 435i M-Sport Gallery

BMW 435i M-Sport

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That’s it for our review of the 2014 BMW 435i M-Sport. If you’re interested in learning more about Ratingperson, visit their website here.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Ratingperson.

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