2011 BMW 335i Convertible

The calendar says we haven’t hit the first official day of winter yet and your mind may be displaying visions of sugarplums in preparation for the quickly approaching holiday season. But should there be an interest in a convertible in your near future – especially a convertible with a German accent – you might want to start thinking about cheaping-out on gift giving this season so you can save your pennies in time to enjoy topless cruising weather when the northern hemisphere welcomes the return of the sun’s warmth.

BMW makes a very nice little hardtop convertible on the 3-series platform but calling it affordable may not be an option for many folks. Leasing may make things more attractive or at least consoling yourself with the fact that many Bimmer purchases are investments might ease the sting a bit. One thing is for sure though, and that is the guaranteed enjoyment achieved when the wheels begin to roll.

Springtime in the Texas Hill Country is an almost unbeatable experience and seen without the interference of glass and metal makes it that more pleasurable.

We visited with the 335i convertible from BMW recently and a power retractable hardtop roof takes “The Ultimate Driving Machine” to the next level. Yes, I am the one who wrote a while back that this 3-series did not trip my trigger like so many colleagues in the glossy print business but the BMW is still undeniably a good vehicle with great road attributes and leaves most drivers sad when their trip comes to an end.

For milder climates, the included Sport package on our tester was a welcome addition providing sportier seats, suspension, steering wheel and tires and wheels. The list of standard features is already above reproach and the 335i touts a 300 horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine in traditional inline configuration. This is backed by a smooth, six-speed automatic gearbox that sees paddle shifters with the sport steering wheel.

Fuel economy with the turbo motor rolls in at 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway so “quality time” with the new Bimmer will translate to quality miles as well.

In addition to all of the usual safety technology built into modern vehicles the BMW we received also included park distance control, iPod and USB adaptor, nav system and satellite and HD radio.

Pricing for a 2011 335i convertible from BMW begins at $51,200 with our test model rolling in at a healthy $62,250. Certainly not cheap and certainly not an option for many, but the BMW 335i convertible is certain to provide an ultimate driving experience in “The Ultimate Driving Machine.”

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