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BMW 3-Series Coupe engines, drive and performance

2006 - 2013 (change model)
Performance rating: 5 out of 55.0

Written by Parkers Experts Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

The showcase engines in the 3-Series Coupe are the two twin-turbos – one petrol and one diesel. The 335d uses a 3.0-litre engine fitted with twin-turbos, which produces 286bhp and masses of low down grunt. As well as being rapid with a 0-62mph time of just 5.9 seconds, it’s also superbly refined and quiet, plus capable of 42mpg. Equally impressive is the 335i, which similarly uses a 3.0-litre engine with dual turbos – but produces slightly more power with 306bhp on tap.

It’s quicker from 0-62mph with a time of 5.5 seconds (not far off the thunderous M3) and silky smooth too with a delightful eager nature and zero turbo lag. The entry-level petrol engine is the 320i – the only four-cylinder petrol in the line-up, which is smooth and quiet but enjoyable to drive with a 0-60mph time of 8.8 seconds. The 325i brings this down to 7.4 seconds plus it’s one of the best engines in the line-up – it sounds delightful and has a responsive and sporty nature, yet still manages to deliver 40mpg.

The 330i actually uses the same 3.0-litre engine as the 325i, but tuned to deliver 272bhp and significantly more pulling power. Of course if you intend to cover long distances it will be the diesels that make more sense and the smallest 320d is capable of an impressive 59mpg. The 325d and 330d actually use the same 3.0-litre diesel engine but in two different outputs (of 197bhp and 245bhp) but both manage to return 50mpg.

The BMW 3-Series has always had a great reputation for driver enjoyment and the Coupe version takes this even further. Like the saloon it has superb steering, that reacts intuitively to even the slightest inputs, plus it corners precisely with superb grip thanks to the rear-wheel drive set-up. And although surefooted it is wonderfully agile too and makes for an incredibly rewarding car to drive along a twisting road.

The suspension is a little on the firm side – to help minimise body roll in bends, which is noticeable over bumpy roads, but considering the 3-Series Coupe is a sporty car it rides well.