Chrysler 300S vs. Chevrolet SS vs. BMW 335i

Chrysler 300S vs. Chevrolet SS vs. BMW 335i

Suggestion No. 3 – 2014 BMW 335i

No, it’s not American and unfortunately it doesn’t even offer a V8 engine, but just hear us out for a minute. The BMW 335i makes a pretty compelling case for itself.

When he initially e-mailed us Walter mentioned that he’d be amenable to some German cars, though he was concerned about reliability. He specifically called out the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and BMW 5 Series as models he might be interested in. Both can be had with a V8 engine though neither for 45 grand. The 550i kicks off around $64,000 while the AMG version of the C-Class starts around $61,000.

Skirting the Ask AutoGuide rules of engagement a bit, hopefully without violating the Geneva Convention, we’re going to recommend the ever-popular 3 Series. The 335i offers AMPLE thrust, a reasonably spacious interior and all the features Walt craves.

SEE ALSO: 2014 BMW 3 Series GT Review

In lieu of a classic V8 this car is motivated by a turbocharged inline six. With all kinds of goodies including direct fuel injection and variable valve timing this 3.0-liter engine puts out a claimed 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, though we suspect those figures are conservative, very conservative because this car is seriously quick and exceedingly smooth.

Drivers can opt for either a standard eight-speed automatic transmission or an available six-speed manual, which is a no-cost option. Two four-cylinder engines are also available in lesser versions of the 3 Series. The 240 hp 328i provides a surprisingly enjoyable driving experience.

As for the BMW 335i, it comes standard with automatic climate control, 18-inch wheels, eight-way power front seats, burled walnut trim, push-button start, cruise control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and more items than we care to list… or you’d want to read.

Out-the-door one of these Bavarian beauties can be yours for $44,350 including $950 in destination fees. But keep in mind this is as low as she goes, as that figure includes ZERO options.

2014 BMW 335i Engine

Allaying some of Walter’s fears the 3 Series is backed by a four-year, 50,000-mile new-vehicle warranty; you also get four years of free roadside assistance and a DOZEN years of rust-perforation protection. These guarantees should help him sleep more easily if he decides to take one home.

The 3 Series meets this week’s budgetary requirements and offers an on-road experience that’s tough to beat, especially since it’s smaller than either the Chrysler 300 or the Chevrolet SS. This car’s inline six sings like an opera master and the 335i’s chassis loves to dance. It’s a solid recommendation.

  • M Harris

    Wow – You recommend a car that doesn’t meet three of his basic criteria (American, RWD and V8), is smaller than and has less power than the other two options, and will in reality cost more to buy and ultimately maintain once out of warranty. I doubt you can buy a BMW with zero options but optioned out with similar features to the $47K SS (heated seats, Nav, active safety systems like blind spot warning, etc) and you’re quickly up to $53K for the 335i. I’ve got nothing against BMW’s but apparently you owe them money or something to come up with this as some sort of better alternative to the Chrysler or Chevy.

  • M Harris

    Quick correction to my post…the 335i is RWD, so I guess it really is a better deal…:-)

  • Jake Carlin

    “Walt has a “burning desire” to get another rear-wheel-drive, V8-powered American sedan, though he’s well aware that his options are fairly limited these days. He’ll consider German models[…]”

    The letter writer seems perfectly content to consider things outside of “V8, FWD, American” as long as it fits the spirit of that type of vehicle. The 300 and SS are obviously top contenders, but there’s nothing wrong with also recommending the 335i, other than the fact that it’s tricky to keep one within the $45k budget.

  • Isend2C

    Hyundai Genesis could be a compelling choice too if Walt is OKay with Korean cars. It can have an 8-speed and a 5.0 V8 with 400+ HP and RWD.