The 3 Series from BMW is one of the most popular and most capable cars offered from BMW. The company’s slogan has long been “the ultimate driving machine” and when you consider all that the 3 Series has to offer this may be the car that they had in mind. The 3 Series BMW’s continue to be the top selling model in the United States and these sports sedans, wagons and coupes offer some of the best engineering, technology and power that BMW offers in any of their models.
The 3 series family of cars encapsulates a wide variety of body styles, engine options and of course price. There are enough options to make each vehicle as unique as the person driving it. If you are looking for the top of the line in the M Series that would be the M3. This sports sedan is boasting a big V-8 that turns a harmless looking sedan into a real road warrior. The M3 is a powerhouse and an elegant vehicle offering top of the line suspension, power train and comfort. Combining sheer power, performance and luxurious comfort is one of BMW’s specialties and it really shows in the M3.
Drive: Rear-wheel, 4-wheel
Trim levels: 328i, 335i, 335is, 335d, M3
Body styles: Sedan, coupe, convertible, wagon, 4- or 5-passenger
Engines: 3.0L I-6, 230 hp, 200 lb-ft
3.0L twin-turbo diesel I-6, 265 hp, 425 lb-ft
3.0L turbo I-6, 300 hp, 300 lb-ft
3.0L twin-turbo I-6, 320 hp, 332 lb-ft
4.0L V-8, 414 hp, 295 lb-ft
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 6- or 7-speed automatic
Passenger volume: 84.2-92.0 cu ft
Cargo space: (sedan/coupe/convertible) 12.0/11.1/9.0; (wagon, rear seats up/down)
24.8/60.9 cu ft
This generation of 3-series is nearing the end of its run. A new 3-series sedan is set to debut in January and will go on sale later in 2012. In the typical BMW cadence, the current-generation coupe and convertible will overlap the new sedan and wagon, once they arrive. For now, however, there are 2012-model 3-series in every body style, except for the M3 sedan; it ended production in October. The M3 coupe and convertible continue, however.
Dual front, side, and side curtain air bags (except in the convertible); active head restraints for the front seats; traction and stability control; and ABS with panic brake assist are standard. Adaptive xenon headlamps are optional on the 328i, standard on the others. BMW Assist, with automated crash response, is optional (standard on the M3).
All: 13-23 mpg city/20-36 mpg highway
- Great to drive
- Variety of models/powertrains
- M3 is a superstar
- Base versions lack equipment
- Sedan is about to be replaced
- Competition is getting closer
The definitive European sport sedan.
- Audi A4/S4/A5/S5
- Cadillac CTS
- Infiniti G25/G37
- Mercedes-Benz C-class