BMW 3 Series enthusiasts have a smorgasbord of models to choose from for 2013. Spearheaded by an all-new 3 Series Sedan, the venerated compact sport-luxury model also offers Coupe, retractable hardtop Convertible.
When BMW releases a new 3 Series, it’s big news, always accompanied by major strides in performance, luxury and pure driving enjoyment. At the same time, a new 3 Series introduction brings a case of serious heartburn for competitors, which in most cases are still trying to catch up with the previous 3 Series. The 3 Series sedans, starting at an MSRP of $34,900 for the 328i Sedan, begin the introduction of the new generation. The current-generation Coupe, Convertible and Sport Wagon models continue through the rest of the year.
The BMW 3 Series remains the benchmark for all other models in its class. Brand aficionados know this isn’t just bluster. Read road tests of any 3 Series competitor and you’re sure to see references to the 3 Series as the car to beat in the segment. The automotive media has been showering the all-new BMW 3 Series sedans with praise, and for many good reasons. Chief among them is the arrival of a new era in BMW performance from a new direct-injection turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Making an impressive 240 hp, the new TwinPower Turbo powerhouse can accelerate the 328i Sedan
from zero to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds. That’s very quick, and drivers are in for an even bigger treat from this smooth engine’s torque curve. Belting out a prodigious 255 lb/ft from just 1,250 rpm and holding that peak through 4,800 rpm, the turbo-four feels stronger than a six, yet returns a remarkable 33 mpg highway fuel economy.
Making that level of power possible from a 2.0-liter engine owes to the proven combination of BMW Valvetronic Valve Control, Double-VANOS “steplessly” variable valve timing and High Precision Direct Injection, plus the Twin scroll turbocharger. “Proven” is the right word, because the same technology debuted last year on the 3.0-liter inline six that returns in the 335i models, making 300 hp and 300 lb/ft of torque.
Another big contributor to that eye-opening combination of performance and efficiency is a new eight-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission, offered as standard on all BMW 3 Series sedans. With eight speeds, the transmission helps keep the engine operating most efficiently, yet remains at the ready for a quick downshift for a burst of acceleration. As ever, BMW continues to offer a standard six-speed manual transmission––still among the slickest-shifting manuals in the world––in the 3 Series.
The rest of the all-new 3 Series Sedan is no less alluring, particularly when viewed from the emboldened front end. Slightly larger dimensions provide a roomier cabin, though the 3 Series retains trim packaging for outstanding maneuverability. The four-wheel independent suspension, refined for this new model, rewards the driver with a sublime combination of sports-car-like handling and a smooth, quiet ride.
Customized new “Sport Line,” “Modern Line,” and “Luxury Line” configurations offer exclusive equipment and design elements, allowing you to tailor a 3 Series Sedan more closely to your personal tastes, while the new M Sport Line further sharpens the road warrior prowess of these cars. When also equipped with the eight-speed automatic, both the Sport Line and M Sport Line also sharpen the shift times and include steering wheel shift paddles.
The BMW 3 Series still leads its segment in model choices. The 3 Series Coupe, Convertible and Sport Wagon continue to emphasize that diversity. The 328i models in these body styles employ the 230-hp 3.0-liter inline six, while the 335i Coupe and Convertible share the new sedan’s 300-hp TwinPower Turbo six. With either engine, the six-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission is a no-cost option, ideally complemented by “pull-style” steering wheel shift paddles.
The 328i and 335i convertibles come with something the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A5 convertibles do not: a retractable hardtop roof. The 3 Series Coupe and Sport Wagon offer optional xDrive all-wheel drive.
Come in and see the complete line of BMW 3 Series models and test-drive the car that continues to set the bar for this class.