Ad Radar

BMW 3-Series

The BMW 3 Series is a compact premium car that was originally introduced as the as a replacement to the BMW 2002 in 1977. Since that time, 3 Series has gone on to be enormously successful in the United States. In the ensuing decades, BMW has also introduced six generations of the premium compact luxury car. While the 3 Series is still regarded as a compact sports sedan, over the years it has grown steadily in size. Though no heavier than the previous generation, it is larger. Currently, the 3 Series is on its sixth generation and is codenamed F30.

More on the BMW 3-Series
About the BMW 3 Series

The BMW 3 Series is the top-selling BMW model in the United States and for good reason. Reliable and stylish, the 3 Series makes an excellent vehicle for daily driving as it allows drivers to get through their day-to-day commute without sacrificing comfort and drivability. The 3 Series has a long lasting reputation for being well built and providing a respectable engine power for what is ostensibly a small luxury car with a flair for the sporty side.

BMW 3 Series Features

Not only is the sixth generation of the BMW 3 Series larger than previous generations, it's also faster. The 2012 model is also lighter than the models preceding it, with more optional features, too, including a hybrid variant and cameras at all corners for parking assistance.

The 2012 BMW 3 Series is approximately 3.7 inches longer than the model it replaced. It also rides on a wheelbase that is two inches longer and has wider front and rear tracks. The expanded wheelbase allows for added backseat space with more legroom. Yet, in spite of the car's increase in size, the 2012 3 Series somehow manages to weigh 88 pounds less than the previous generation, which was known internally as the E90.

Stylistically, the F30 is very similar to the E90 with only slight modifications. The car's front end is pulled back a little tighter and the headlights are stretched toward the distinct kidney-shaped grilles. Optional xenon headlamps are available, and models that are equipped with them also feature LED "eyebrows" that fit over the headlights.

Mechanically, the car also has some new features and options. The new 3 Series is available with two different turbocharged engines, depending on the model. The 328i model features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder twin-turbo engine, while the 335i features a turbocharged six-cylinder. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder that's used in the 328i is the same one that powers the BMW Z4 sDrive28i. It's capable of generating 240 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. It can also make it from 0-60 in an impressive 5.7 seconds. The turbo six in the 335i, on the other hand, produces 300 hp, 300 pound-feet of torque, and can hit 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds. Both engines come with a standard six-speed manual transmission and have an optional eight-speed automatic available. First-run editions of the car will be equipped with rear wheel drive; while there are plans to introduce all-wheel drive versions in mid-2012.

While trim levels are not something BMW is known for offering, the sixth generation 3 Series will be available in three different lines beyond the base model: Sport, Luxury, and Modern. Sport line models feature glossy black exterior trim, black chrome exhaust tips, and black and red interior accents. The speed limiter on the Sport model has been raised to 155 mph.

The Luxury model feature chrome exterior trim, glossy wood and inlays in the interior and finely stitched leather seats. The Modern edition features satin aluminum rim, a lighter dash, and leather seats that come in black as well as white.

BMW 3 Series Evolution

Third generation versions of the 3 Series date from the years 1992 through 1996. These were considered among the best cars from that era that combined luxury with performance. Body styles available in the third generation included sedans, hatchbacks, coupes, and convertibles. Engine options included a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, a mid-range 170-horsepower inline-6, and a six-cylinder that could generate 190 horsepower.

The fourth generation of the 3 Series, also known as the E46, was highly regarded and available in body styles that included coupe, convertible, and wagon models. Like the third generation, cars belonging to the E46 generation were regarded as being top of their class. The fourth generation spanned the years from 1998 through 2005.

The fifth and most recent generation of the 3 Series, also known as E90, was available as sedans and wagons. Model designations for the fifth generation were the 325i and 330i. The 325i was powered by a 215-hp 3.0-liter inline V-6 while the 330i featured the same engine increased to 255-hp. The fifth generation was introduced in 2006, and the following year BMW made redesigned coupes and convertible versions available.

Select a BMW 3-Series Year

close