2008 BMW 335i Sedan Review

BMW Expert Reviews

2008 BMW 335i Sedan
>>> Review by Twain Mein | >>> Photos by Derek Mau


  • Amazing engine with breathtaking acceleration
  • Incredible handling
  • Surprising amount of interior space


  • Poor gas mileage (averaged 16.6 mpg)
  • Surprising cost cutting and sub-par quality for a $46,000 car
  • Uncomfortable seats

This is a review of the BMW 335i 4-door sedan; it features a 300 hp twin-turbocharged engine, compared to the “base” 328i that is rated at 230 hp. As equipped, the 335i stickered at $46,000.

2008 BMW 335i Sedan

Driving Impressions
Though slotted between the base 328i and hot rod M3, the 335i has a special sport suspension and incredible twin-turbo six cylinder that is flat out fast; faster than the last generation M3. It’s something of a sleeper hot rod. When I got the keys, I was excited to drive the car but worried because it was bright, crimson red with 300 hp and a 6-speed manual transmission. Perfect color and combination for cop bait!

The 335i had the typical solid feel of BMWs. And, despite low profile (40 series front and 35 series rear) 18” run-flat tires, the ride was remarkably smooth yet still provided a lot of feedback to the driver with just a hint of dartiness. BMW has mastered the balance between stiff tire sidewalls, negligible body lean, and a supple ride. The car feels exceptionally solid and didn’t bottom out over steep driveways or bumpy roads. Amazing!

2008 BMW 335i Sedan - Bridgestone Potenza RE050 run-flat tires

However, there were some glaring cost-cutting moves which I find hard to reconcile in a car of this pedigree and price. Most noticeable is the under-hood and interior trunk paint. It is a dull matte finish that doesn’t look the same as the exterior. It’s confounding; is the matte “more durable” or is it simply a way to cut costs? Additionally the overhead light switches had a cheap looking and feeling plastic cover. In the trunk, the thin carpet houses similarly cheap plastic pull panels to get at equipment underneath.

Interior Comfort and Ergonomics
The interior is good but not great. There is a wonderfully thick steering wheel, with detents at the 9 and 3 o’clock positions, and the shifter falls well at hand. However, the clutch throw seems proportionally longer than the brake/throttle pedals. The 6-speed shifter has close spacing between reverse, 1st, and 3rd, lending a degree of uncertainty at times. The shifter throws are also somewhat long which is a bit irritating. The biggest drawback, however, is the black leather seats. They are not perforated and felt “hot”, perhaps because of the large greenhouse (admittedly, the pulse-quickening acceleration and handling might have had something to do with the sweat factor). Side vision mirrors were also a bit small which made it difficult to see traffic behind.

2008 BMW 335i Sedan - 3-spoke leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel 2008 BMW 335i Sedan - 6-speed manual transmission 2008 BMW 335i Sedan - out side view mirror

Otherwise, space and amenities were excellent. The stereo sounded fantastic and had ample volume. Rear seat room was surprisingly good thanks to the carved out toe room and sculpted front seats that give the impression of relative airiness. Headroom for a 6 footer was acceptable front and back, even with the sunroof. There was good “spreadout” room for the upper torso in front, though the door handles and console encroach on “splay out” space for your legs. Ostensibly, this is to help hold you in under aggressive driving (and proved to be a good thing in the twisties). It was nice to see one touch power windows for front and rear as well. Lastly, this model featured 60/40 folding rear seats that offer enhanced pass-through cargo space while also being easy to use.

2008 BMW 335i Sedan - 2008 BMW 335i sedan interior

(Continued on page 2 – Performance | Handling | Styling | Value | Conclusion | Rating )

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  • tSINJINt says:

    For the gentle person with the ’09 Audi a4 Quattrow could not beat the BMW xi in a test of traction. so I would park that junk.

  • Derek says:

    @Pchan – since BMW has officially announced a recall on the fuel pump and injector problem, it shouldn’t be a problem getting the problem fixed on a certified pre-owned 3-series that is under warranty by the dealer.

    Look at the service records for the 3-series you are planning to buy. If the fuel pump problem hasn’t been an issue up to now, then most likely it won’t come up during your warranty period.

  • Pchan says:

    I am considering buying a certified pre-owned 2008-2009 335i. Has there been any official or unofficial progress with the fuel pump and injectors. Are 328i suffering from the same fuel pump issue?

  • Allen says:

    I have owned my 2008 BMW 335i since September of 2008. The recall issues with the high pressure fuel pump are well know, and I had my share of problems. Each time that I took the car in, I was told that the software needed to be tweeked. Finally, when the recall came out my service advisor told me that he had know all along what the problem was with my car, but that BMW would not pay for him to replace the high pressure fuel pump. Cold comfort to me. Even after having the recall work done I continued to experience problems with the car, so I took it to another dealership. They told me that the previous dealer had only changed the fuel pump and that the fuel injectors should have been changed at the same time. They proceeded to change the injectors. I continued to have problems with the car. Today I was informed that I needed a new “low pressure” fuel pump. However, according to my service advisor the part is not in existence anywhere in the world and will have to be specially manufactured for my car. I have now officially reached the end of my patience with BMW. This was once my “dream car” but now I consider it my nightmare.

  • Tony says:

    Fantastic auto, Stage 2 Dinan as well. Is there a more fun car to drive fast? Quiet like a library at 270K/hr. Not even a hiccup with this auto. Not a fan of no spare tire idea but so far never had a flat tire issue. Only twice had the ‘low tire pressure’ warning and that gave me lots of warning (came in at 29 pounds) to refill/repair.
    This is not an off the line car though, I think my ’98 GTP would take it for the first 100 yards.

  • Mark says:

    I must be one of the lucky ones. Zero problems on my ’08. Even after doing the Dinan Stg II upgrade. If you thought the car was quick before, this will put an even bigger grin on your face.

    I’ve always heard bimmers were expensive to maintain, but I had zero problems with my ’06 330, so I bought an ’08 and still no problems. Let’s just say this car see’s nothing but spirited driving.

  • Scott says:

    My 08 335i has been bullet proof. I love it and am keeping it forever. Fastest, coolest, best handling car I have ever driven. Some issues with the HPFP but most don,t have any problems. For those that do there is almost a forever warranty on them.

  • Mike B. says:

    I bought a brand new 2008 335i. After driving for about 20k it mysteriously started to cough and sputter in the middle of the road one night. I was a pretty scary experience stopping in the middle of the road with cars zipping by and you’re trying to navigate it to the side of the road.

    Anyways, I have the car towed to my dealer, they fix the problem in a few days (they replaced the high pressure fuel pump) and sent me on my way. They did all this w/o disclosing that these particular models (2007 onwards) with the twin turbo are a known defect. I come home and google this issue on a whim and lo and behold there are thousands of others just like me in North America who suffered from this same issue. I read that BMW USA offered a 10 year 200K extended warranty on the fuel pumps. After reading this, I zipped down to my dealer to speak with a manager. I ended up ripping them a new one for about 2 hours on how they failed to disclose this to me and how they put mine and my wifes safety in jeopardy. Anyways, long story short, they contacted BMW Canada on my behalf to f/u on this issue. Now, I also have the same 10 year 200K warranty on my fuel pump.

    I’ve had my high pressure fuel pump changed twice (3 in total including the original pump when bought the car) in about 6 months. The dude at the dealership told me quietly that they’ve had to change some ppl’s pumps up to 7 times! I will be unloading this car as soon as the warranty is up since its about $2-$3K each time to swap out a fuel pump with parts and labour! Outrageous!

    Other than all that, they’re a dream to drive!

  • Phoenix335 says:

    I purchased my 08′ 335i Sedan in Oct 07′. I love the car when it’s not in the shop but I’m starting to consider getting rid of it due to a number of problems I’ve had with it. First of all, the Bridgestone run flats that the factory put on the car were nothing but problematic for me. I’ve since replaced them with non-Bridgestone, non-run flats with no problems in over 15k miles. The factory tires seemed to constantly have nails in them and we all know they can’t be repaired. My water pump also went out at 44k miles, which is when I started having oil leaks also. They just replaced the oil pan gasket and less than a week after getting my 335i back, it’s already back in the shop with what appears to be a shot alternator or possibly an electrical problem. Bottom line is, the car is great for speed, handling and overall performance but has proven terribly unreliable. I never expected it to be as reliable as the Japanese competitors but I definitely expected more from BMW and German engineering than what I’ve experienced. I wish others on this post would be more specific about their problems with this car instead of just posting short reports blasting it w/o more details.

  • audi lover says:

    Ever try the 09 Audi a4 with sport suspension??? blows this piece of junk bmw out of the water!!

  • Pete Truong says:

    To BMW 335I owners,

    This model has a defect and you must bring it in to replace the defect part asap. The high pressure fuel pump has a defect.

    My car stalled/stopped in the middle of the road 2 weeks ago. I am lucky that I am still alive. If it happenned on the freeway, I may not make it alive. I drive it at 75-80mph on the freeway. Imagine that it stalls/stops at that speed on the freeway and there is/are car(s) that follow my car. Boy, that would be FUN…

    Folks who work at BMW dealership told me that it is a known problem!!!!! When I bought the car, the saleman at that dealership did not disclose that information to me.

    Fix it as soon as you can!

  • Tim says:

    Hummm….consumer reports

    2007 335i Junk reliability
    2008 335i Junk Reliability
    I wonder about 2009; oh we know that answer. Don’t ask a BMW representative; ask a owner. We’ll tell you where all the good tow services are.

    How bout those 2010 models; heard any good news on the web about these jewels? Oh …..bad fuel pumps. Injector issues….

  • Derek says:

    As with most cars, people have experiences on both sides of the fence. I have close ties with a BMW service manager and two owners of (E92) 335i coupes. The two owners that I know have had zero problems with their fuel systems, regularly maintain their cars and haven’t had any bad experiences with service issues while logging an excess of 15k miles every year. I’ll have to check in with the BMW service manager to find out how pervasive the fuel system problem is with the E90/E91/E92 generation of cars.

  • Rocco says:

    I would not recommend the 208 335i. BMW North America just repurchased mine because it could not be repaired. There are known problems with the fuel system on these cars and BMW has been aware of it since the model was first released. After only 15 months, mine started bucking, coughing, and sputtering. It spent 29 days in the shop, and then BMW called and offered to buy it back from me. I loved the car, but wouldn’t buy another BMW, especially not a 335i.

  • Chris says:

    My new 2008 spent over 30 days in the shop. 50K and being towed twice; huh…the ultimate “towed” machine. I would not recommend this car to anyone. Complete nightmare.

  • Elchin says:

    It will be a dream to have BMW 335i for me. I LOVE THIS CAR more than myself!!!!:((((

  • Jimmy says:

    Amazing from handling to acceleration this car is a rocket, I have a silver titanium 08′ 335i that I just bought and I love it. It is not a beast like the M3 but it has a much smoother ride. I am parking the Toyota and ROCKIN the BEEMER!

  • Kevin says:

    I would not recommend another BMW. I have a 2007 BMW and had nothing but recurrent tire troubles. Every few weeks I have to fill in air in one of my tires. The same damn tired. Brought to the dealer 4 times and they just filled the tire and reset the button and said, everything is fine. THEN, one guy had the galls to tell me that I should check my tires every 2 wks anyway and fill as needed. Come on, I have had cars before and never had to fill up the tires as much as this one. Seems to be a problem with the run flat tires and my dealership is not admitting to such but just filling it up and telling me how special my tires are on my on 335i. Special alright, a special P.O.S. I will never, buy or lease another BMW. I’m going back to lexus and toyota.

  • twain says:

    Nice work! Amazing how performance speaks for itself. It really is an amazingly well-rounded car.

  • Larry Solomon says:

    I ordered my 08 335i in Novenber of 07, and took delivery in February. When I told my wife how much I’d spent, $53,000 plus, her words were “you spent that much? I don’t get it” Note: We live in Hawaii, and prices are a little higher here. I also added a bunch of extras.

    After about a week, my wife decided to take it to the store by herself. When she returned, she was grinning from ear-to-ear and said those three litte words that warm a car lover’s heart, “I get it.”

    This is the most amazing car I have ever driven. It is scarily fast, and corners like a go cart. I have a few minor gripes about the car such as no dip-stick and the rain sensing wiper switch being a little hard to locate the first time, and the window switches are a little too far forward for my taste.

    I would not hesitate on recommending the 335i to anyone.

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