Picks for the Top Ten 2011 BMW Models

Is it just us or do you ever find yourself wasting time on BMW’s website optioning up your favorite Bavarian sedans, coupes and SUVs? Well, maybe it’s just us. We have spent enough time investigating the many trim levels and engines on offer with various 2011 BMW models and we think these are ten of the best. Do you agree?

And remember, just because it is expensive doesn’t always mean it’s good. That’s why the M6 (or any 6-series for that matter) is nowhere to be found on this list. So even though the economy is tough it never hurts to dream a little bit, now does it?
2011 BMW 128i Coupe
A luxury car maker is only as good as its most basic, stripped out model and in some ways a manual transmission equipped 128i is the closest you can come to finding a true 2002ti (the iconic 60’s coupe that put BMW on the map) descendant in the BMW line. The 128i is all about driving, the feel of the sweet shifting manual and the melodious straight six. No turbos, no gadgets—just one of the most fun to drive cars around.

But if you do have nearly $50,000 lying around the new 1-Series M variant looks set to be a whole lot of fun. Too bad they are only sending 1,000 to the United States.
2011 BMW 328i Sedan
Having recently driven an automatic 328i for the first time we were shocked at how fast it was thanks to the lightning quick reflexes of that gearbox. While we would prefer a manual transmission 328i there is no shame (or feeling of lethargy) when behind the wheel of this entry level 3-series.
2011 BMW 335i Coupe
If you are going to treat yourself to a coupe you might as well go the whole hog and enjoy the turbocharged 300 horsepower straight six in the 335i. As with any 3 build quality is exemplary, handling out of this world and the steering has more natural feel than ten of its competitors put together.

For the new model year all 335i models have 3.0 liter straight 6 engines with one turbocharger instead of the two that came with last year’s version. Oddly enough, power output is identical for both motors but efficiency is improved thanks to a new 8-speed automatic option. There is a high performance 335is coupe model on offer, however, with a more powerful version of the old twin turbo engine. Got that?
2011 BMW 335d Sedan
Attention all eco-geeks or tree stump pulling torque lovers! You can now officially have your cake and eat it too. The driving pleasure of a 3-series sedan mixed with a diesel 6 with 425 lb. feet of torque (more than the M3) and 36 miles per gallon highway. Could it get any better? Well, BMW could offer it with a manual transmission option but we should just be glad it’s even here.
2011 BMW 535i
The new shape 5-series may not be ground breaking or even all that attractive but the interior shares many upscale styling cues with the luxurious 7-series. It may not make you weak at the knees but it should make for a fun to drive executive express.
2011 BMW X5 xDrive35d
While most people probably say they bought their X5 diesel because of the environment or because of concerns about gas prices, the reason they love their X5 diesel is because of the fact that it is E.T. mothership fast at passing speeds. This car has so much power when the turbo is on boost that if you aren’t used to it you could easily find yourself in the rear fender of that Hyundai in front of you.
2011 BMW X6 M-Series
Take an SUV, remove the utility (read: spaciousness) and send it to the guys who brought you the M3 and M5 sport sedan icon. After that happens you should get a vehicle that makes no sense. And really, it doesn’t. But that is the beauty of the X6. Despite it having no purpose this thing looks cool, goes like stink (thanks to a turbo V8) and handles better than most any other SUV out there. They did it just because they knew they could and BMW should be applauded for that.
2011 BMW Z4 sDrive35i
Simply put this is the best looking folding hardtop convertible on the market today with the top up or the top down. Although you may lose most of the trunk with the top down you really won’t care because you will be looking gorgeous. And the 300 horsepower 6-cylinder version goes like stink in such a lightweight and small vehicle application.
2011 BMW M3 Sedan (Manual Transmission model)
This is a performance sedan offers a V8 that actually requires a lot of revs to get the most performance from it. We are not sure that has ever been the case with an 8 cylinder before but we love that BMW
is up to challenging its M-powered drivers. With the M division downsizing engines it appears that this may be the only and last 8-cylinder 3-series.
2011 BMW 750 Li Extended Wheelbase
This luxo-barge may lack the V-12 from the 760Li extended wheelbase model but thankfully it retains its limo-like rear legroom. The other benefit is that the 750 starts at $88,000 as opposed to the quasi-ridiculous 760Li which starts off at $137,000. For that much money a Bentley or Maserati is within easy reach. That’s why the 750Li makes so much more sense. That is, if spending nearly $100,000 on a car can ever be called sensible.