BMW joins the retractable hardtop trend with its 3-series, in the form of the 335i.
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The roofline of the retractable hardtop isn't far from the nonconvertible version and keeps a clean, curved line.
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The top opens and closes slower than on other cars we've seen with retractable hardtops.
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When down, the pieces of the top stack up in the trunk, shifting weight to the rear and severely limiting trunk space.
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While the front part of the car's body wraps nicely around the wheels, the rear looks tubby, with an excessive amount of space between the top of the rear fender and the wheel.
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BMW keeps its classic kidney grille in updated form. Its adaptive headlights come standard.
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The best part of this car is the twin-turbo, 3-liter inline six-cylinder engine. It makes a controlled growl and delivers perfect throttle response.
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As with many other car designers, BMW failed to make the rear look anything more than bland.
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Our test car didn't come with navigation, so there is no LCD or iDrive knob. The stereo and Bluetooth cell phone integration are all controlled through the radio display.
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The red leather interior seemed a little gaudy, but the seats were comfortable. Accent lights on the door emit a red glow at night.
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The shape of the spokes and the metal trim on the steering wheel make for an overall good look.
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The six-speed manual has a very smooth feel, contributing to the overall wonderfulness of the powertrain.
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On our low-option car, audio sources are limited to CD, radio, and auxiliary jack.
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The auxiliary input is located in the center console, a good place to keep an iPod.
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It is easy to navigate folders on an MP3 CD with the BMW interface.
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The equalizer allows for an extra degree of audio fine-tuning.
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The cell phone integration is very nice, giving access to the phone book and recent calls on our Bluetooth cell phone.
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The phone book access is particularly useful in the BMW, offering an alphabetical list of entries.
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