2006 BMW 330i and 325i

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The latest 3-series, codenamed E90, replaces the best-selling E46 that went on sale in 1998. Fortunately for BMW fans, the exterior styling isn't as controversial as the 5-, 6-, and 7-series that preceded it, although the interior looks cheaper to our eyes than the outgoing one. Of course, like all new cars, it has grown bigger and heavier, with an interior that rivals the old 5-series' in size. There are plenty of new standard and available features, including a separate key and start button, active cruise control, iDrive and a central navigation screen, voice activation, and Active Steering. Under the skin, there is a new strut front and multi-link rear suspension, while the new in-line six-cylinder engine features a composite magnesium and aluminum construction. The U.S. specification 325i features a detuned 3.0-liter engine (no, that's not a typo) making 215 hp, while the top-line 330i has a 255 hp engine. In both instances, the manual and automatic transmissions have six forward ratios. The available Sport package features eighteen-inch wheels and tires and Active Steering, and tops out at a speed limited 155 mph (the 325i will be limited to 130 mph). When it goes on sale in the U.S. in May, expect a small price hike over the outgoing car, albeit with more standard equipment.

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Front Side View

0504 Bmw 330i 07 445

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