Review: BMW 3 Series Coupe (2006 – 2012)

Rating:

Stylish four-seater coupe. Plenty of room for four and their luggage. Comes with a great choice of engines including frugal diesels. 335i is outstanding to drive.

Tight in the back for 6-footers. Some very serious problems with first generation 335i.

Recently Added To This Review

9 November 2018

Report of misfire in engine of 2007 BMW E92 325i Coupe at 70,000 miles. Cured by replacing all six coil packs. Read more

9 May 2018

Recall because wiring configuration means that vehicle vibrations could potentially cause frictional corrosion on the plug of the power distributor causing the car's engine to cut out. Affects BMW 1... Read more

10 April 2017

R/2017/114: BMW 1-Series; 3-Series; Z4 and X1. PLUG-IN CONTACT CABLE MAY MALFUNCTION. It is possible that the connection between the B+ cable and the Power Distribution Box can become damaged by wear... Read more

BMW 3 Series Coupe (2006 – 2012): At A Glance

Unlike previous 3-Series coupes, this one shares no body panels at all with the saloon. It sits on a long wheelbase, helping reduce pitching over undulations. Somehow it's been "de-Bangled" of the sometimes-odd styling quirks of all recent BMWs. You don't have to persuade yourself it's a good-looking car. It simply is. Though a bigger car than the E46 coupe, on average it's ten kilos lighter. And it's very practical, too.

Road Test BMW E92 335i Coupe

What does a BMW 3 Series Coupe (2006 – 2012) cost?

List Price from £29,460
Buy new from £21,754
Contract hire from £263.51 per month
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BMW 3 Series Coupe (2006 – 2012): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4488–4612 mm
Width 1757–1782 mm
Height 1369–1395 mm
Wheelbase 2725–2760 mm

Full specifications

There's plenty of leg and headroom both front and back for four full-sized people. The long, deep 440-litre boot seems almost as commodious as a VW Jetta's. The back seatbacks fold down individually. And between then there's a ski-hatch. I didn't have any golf clubs with me but reckon you could get four bagfuls in lengthways if you needed to.

It's easy to get comfortable behind the wheel. An electric arm passes you your seatbelt. All the controls fall naturally to hand, except the gearstick, which, as in the E90 and E91, is about an inch too far back and can leave you brushing the iDrive button when you change gear.

Child seats that fit a BMW 3 Series Coupe (2006 – 2012)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the BMW 3 Series Coupe (2006 – 2012) like to drive?

The first E92s on the market were the 218hp 325i and the 306hp 335i. These are the cars we tested.

October 2006 saw the arrival of the 272hp 330i, the 231hp 330d and the 286hp 335d. Then Spring 2007 saw the launch of the four cylinder 320i and 320d.

The cars all come with a standard 6-speed manual transmission or a new 6-speed automatic with ergonomic thumb and fingertip steering wheel shifters. Left to its own devices this box will change down four gears at once if you floor it from 50mph in 6th and will learn from the way you drive the car how you want it to behave.

With the twin-turbo 335i engine it's sensationally quick, offering 0-60 in 5.3 seconds, yet a reasonable 29.7mpg combined if you take it easier. It's also beautifully flexible, delivering maximum torque of 400Nm (295lb ft) all the way from just 1,300rpm to 5,000rpm. So it has better than diesel torque delivery as well as a high rev limit of 7,000rpm. Flooring it on the motorway we saw an indicated 160mph in no time at all (true speed-limited 155), a speed at which the car was rock-steady.

But the 6-speed manual is the real peach. That allows you to exploit the creamy smooth power delivery exactly the way you want to without the box changing gear half way round a corner. It's a lovely, precise shift, allowing easy block changing and the whole car feels beautifully balanced, its informative steering telling you exactly which of the four wheels is close to or slightly past its limits of adhesion. 6th gives you a relatively relaxed 36mph per 1,000rpm cruise too, and a theoretical top speed of 182mph at 5,000rpm with the restrictor off.

In comparison, the 218hp 325i is a much more sedate machine, especially on 225/45 R17 ‘comfort ‘ tyres. The engine is still BMW smooth and sweet, of course, but just doesn't have the rompaway grunt of the 335i. And with the DSC off, understeer is much more apparent. Your reward is a combined mpg of 33.6 which is not at all bad from a four seat coupe with a 0-60 of 6.6 and top speed of 153mph.

So does the car get the nod? Of course it does. Especially the 335i. It's less powerful than an M3, of course, but the power delivery is so much nicer I'd have one in preference any day. And if it's a toss up between an E92 coupe and a CLK, for me, at least, it would have to be the BMW.

The 286bhp/590Nm 335 diesel coupe, availaible with the 6-speed autobox only, is another fantastic engine, and very well matched to the auto, whether driven using the ergonomic paddleshits or just left to itself. The wall of torque gets you past anything, yet you can still find yourself in relatively flat areas of power and torque delivery. It doesn't sound like a diesel from inside the car, and if you have not driven a 335i it will feel fantastic. It will also suit drivers who must have an automatic because the 335d auto theroetically takes you 8 miles further on every gallon. But the sheer pleasure of driving the 335i manual does it for me. That's the one I'd go for, despite having to pay 27% more for my fuel.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
318i 45 mpg 9.1 s 146 g/km
320d 59–60 mpg 7.5–7.9 s 125–128 g/km
320d Automatic 53 mpg 7.6 s 140 g/km
320i 43 mpg 8.1 s 154 g/km
320i Automatic 42 mpg 8.8 s 159 g/km
325d 50 mpg 6.9–7.3 s 151–153 g/km
325d Automatic 46 mpg 7.1 s 160 g/km
325i 39 mpg 6.6–6.7 s 168 g/km
325i Automatic 38 mpg 7.1 s 174 g/km
330d 50 mpg 6.0 s 152 g/km
330d Automatic 46 mpg 6.1 s 164 g/km
330i 39 mpg 6.0 s 173 g/km
330i Automatic 38 mpg 6.2 s 175 g/km
335d 43 mpg 5.9 s 174 g/km
335i 31–34 mpg 5.5 s 196–218 g/km
335i Automatic 34 mpg 5.4 s 196 g/km

Real MPG average for a BMW 3 Series Coupe (2006 – 2012)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

80%

Real MPG

20–58 mpg

MPGs submitted

724

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the BMW 3 Series Coupe (2006 – 2012)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Does my car qualify for the £140 rate?

Does my car qualify for the £140 rate? It's a 2010 BMW 3 Series Coupe 2.5-litre.
No, simply because it is not a new car purchased from April 2017 onwards. Your car is still on the current CO2 based VED bands and there is a possibility that the rates will go up slightly from April.
Answered by Honest John
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