In my adventure to the higher end of the auto industry,
I find it difficult to put my finger on this one because of my inexperience. I used to ignore BMW because there line up is confusing and they're not particularly attractive. However, in the past year or so I have begun to notice the subtle beauty that is BMW. The styling isn't mad or threatening. It's more of an elegant aggression that has been moulded into leather, steel, and a dash of carbon fibre.
The 435i comes with a 320HP 3.0-liter inline-six that comes in either manual or automatic, rear or all-wheel drive (XDrive). I was fortunate enough to get my hands on the manual, XDrive variant. It was also equipped with the M Sports package which includes 18-inch wheels, sport seats, M sport suspension, M steering wheel and an aero kit.
Sliding into the vehicle you are embraced by the previously mentioned sport seats with an astonishing amount of power options. They are comfortable and snug, encouraging you to take corners faster and faster without sliding about. The most noticeable thing standing out to me while we set off was the heads up display. Behind the wheel, a contraption projects your speed, entertainment and phone options onto the windshield just below your eye line, allowing you to stay connected to the car while not being distracted.
The manual transmission was so different from what I've been driving recently (mostly mustangs and focus'). Smooth and firm, it's very generous when it comes to the throw, allowing you minimal room for stalling. Steering is light and responsive unless in Sport+, then the steering becomes a bit heavier. Tooling around town, I got the sense that this car had two faces. There was the business man, composed and respectable.
Then, when pushed, there's the mad man. This car can achieve a crazy amount of g's when your cornering. Jumping into the passenger seat to take pictures, I was able to be ferried about by someone who knows the car very well. He took off, tires squealing and exhaust bellowing. Gear after gear the 435i pushed forward, faster and faster with little to no turbo compromise. I found myself gripping the a pillar handle rather than actually taking pictures. The B roads were no match as we ate up curve after curve, speed steadily increasing.
Finally, arriving back at our starting point, we were both grinning and walking around the vehicle in awe. I hope in the (near)future I am able to test more cars like this.
The ultimate fact is that the 435i isn't the most luxurious or the fastest. Not the most expensive or technologically advanced.
For me, it's a starting point. A taste at what the higher end of the auto industry has to offer.
Consider me addicted.