By on January 30, 2012

With Audi offering an A4L in China, BMW naturally has to get in on the act. Now that a new, locally made 3-Series is debuting, BMW will offer a 335Li for customers who want to be driven, rather than drive the…erm…Ultimate Driving Machine.

The car will be made in collaboration with local joint venture partner Brilliance. The 335i was apparently an import in previous generation, but the 335i will be made locally. While the A4L starts at RMB272,800 (about $43,000 USD), pricing for an E90 3-Series (not the F30 pictured above) starts at RMB299,800 ($47,000 USD) all the way up to RMB626,200 ($99,000) for an imported 335i. Expect the new F30 cars to start below RMB300,000.

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14 Comments on “BMW Offering Stretch 335Li In China...”


  • avatar
    THE_F0nz

    dumb de dumb dumb…. DUMB.

    A person paying extra for the stretch 3-Series is going to feel inadequacy when a 5-Series drives on by. Not to mention that 7-Series… Or the stretch version of either. I don’t really get the Chinese market.

    I guess I probably feel like the Europeans did years ago when almost every car we made came with a 5+ liter engine.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      I think the whole point of these stretch cars, is to display “inadequacy” when parked next to someone higher up the corporate ladder than you. CEO drives a 7, VP a 5, Director a 3, Manager a 1, and the rest a bicycle or something. But everyone has a chauffeur, hence need real back seats.

      Nope, it makes no sense to me, either; but it does help explain Jim Chanos’ position on China.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Sorry for the slightly off topic post (although it does reference both BMW & Audi), Derek, and I do believe this complies with Bertel’s mandate on cut and paste (I’m only pasting 2, short sentences), but there’s a really good article out explaining why 1) hanging on to an older car is financially wise, and 2) establishing that newer cars (at least by one study) are far more problematic than ones that are 10 years old (and more expensive to fix, too.

    Just wanted to toss that out for any TTAC writer to hone down on, if they so choose, and you’re the newest TTAC writer, so what gives?

    “A new BMW 3-Series is three times as likely to develop a fault in the braking system as one of the older models.” [The article goes on to talk about other makes/models and the similarities with Beemers.]

    “One in three 2005-2009 Audi A4s will have engine woes, as opposed to only one in 10 of 2000-2005 versions.”

    Older cars cheaper to fix and 10% less likely to break down

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2012/01/30/older-cars-cheaper-to-fix-and-10-less-likely-to-break-down-115875-23726799/

    • 0 avatar

      DeadWeight

      I appreciate this, but please contact me directly next time rather than posting in the comments thread. With that said, any reader who wishes to pass any info like this along is more than welcome to, as long as its through the appropriate channels. Editors at ttac dot com is the general account or my account dkreindler at ttac dot com.

  • avatar

    This one seems obvious to me. The best use of this wouldn’t be for chauffering. It would be to carry around one or two rear facing car seats plus two adults who can stretch out their legs in front if they so choose. If they had stretched versions of cars like this and other cars here, vans and SUVs wouldn’t be half as necessary. Looks to me liek you could fit two rear facing car seats and three adults comfortably into that 335Li, and stick a bunch of crap into the trunk.

    I REALLY wish they would bring stretched compact-to-midsizers here that they make in China.

    • 0 avatar
      Advo

      Maybe there’s an unfulfilled need for these here, but are we going to accept a luxury vehicle made in China any time soon? Even the Koreans are having a difficult time breaking into the high-end mindset, so it’s not so much the quality of product as it is something else that influences perception.

      Anyways, I’d be amused if I saw kids being ferried around in one of those stretched BMWs here. I’d know who was actually in charge in that family and who were the mere “servants”. (kidding)

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I don’t get the whole “gigantic kiddie seat” dilemma. Kiddie seats that fit this size car MUST exist, as a 3-series is a very common mid-size family car for most of Europe. Certainly FAR more common there than here in the States. They may not be available for $29.95 at Wallymart, but they must exist. Europeans have just as many kids as Americans, and I can’t imagine thier kiddy-safety laws are any less stringent. And if anything, Germans and Swedes are taller than the average American.

    • 0 avatar
      danman75

      We have a 3 series with two child seats in the back — one forward and one rear facing. The forward facing seat has zero effect on the seat in front. The seat in front of the rear-facing seat does need to be pushed forward to make room, but it’s not too bad.

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    I’ve seen a number of these around. Sometimes sitting next to non-stretched 5 series. And after looking at both in fair detail, I have to has the question, if you can get this in a “long” version, why bother with a 5 series?

    They are so similiar in size and appearance that without reading the back of the cars I frequently mistake one for the other. And I’m usually “one of those guys” who can tell a make/model/year from 100 yards off.

    It’s a better car I think than the normal size 3 series, especially when you put families into the mix. For an individual with no kids, probably not, then again why is an individual with no kids buying a 4 door?

  • avatar
    amca

    This article misses the most interesting thing on the 335iL – the chrome trim around the windows is given a piece that extends straight back along the window line and onto the rear fender. It’s so Chinese it’s hard to believe – what a little touch can do.

  • avatar
    tkmedia

    um yeah, it’s not like most chinese can have more than one kid.

  • avatar
    compuccesory

    There is a slight mis-understanding perpetuated by the English speaking blogsphere about the point of long wheel base sedans.

    Some might be “company” or “department” cars that have a driver but most are private vehicles and not chauffeur driven. Rather, the reason why the LWB models are popular is because the back seats in a Chinese car are used a lot more than the back seats of an American car. Think about it, when was the last time you as an American used your back seats for adult passengers? How many times a year does it happen? For long trips? I bet it’s actually pretty rare. Most people in America own cars of their own, even teenagers. the average US household has something like 5 cars. In America back seat comfort and leg room just isn’t that important. This isn’t true in China or most of the developing world where rates of car ownership are lower and an extended family might just have one car and maybe one driver. It’s not just because they are poorer, cars in China are more expensive both in absolute terms and as measured by income, not to mention the various limitations on car ownership and congestion regulations in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai. Car owners in China actually USE their back seats a lot more – taking the extended family on outings, or business trips with clients and co-workers, all situations where the driver actually cares about the comfort of the back seat passengers. Most elderly people in China don’t own their own cars or know how to drive, neither do most teenagers, these people would depend on a family member to drive them where as in the US your mother in law and your teenage son probably have their own cars. Americans who do have large families in close proximity often have minivans or large SUVs specifically for that purpose.

    If you want a similar example of a market niche in reverse, consider the existence in the US market of large non-luxury 2 door coupes based on midsized sedans. Stuff like the Mitsubishi Eclipse, Honda Accord coupe, Nissan Altima coupe, Toyota Solara, and all those FWD junkers GM use to make (Grand Am coupe, etc). These cars basically don’t exist outside of the US, because only in the US are there significant numbers of people who 1)want a comfortable large car, 2)would rather have a comfortable space for the driver and 1 passenger instead of back seats, and 3) can’t afford a Merc SL or BMW 5 series. It’s a unique American affectation.


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