BMW 3 Series Review

By Somdatta Basu   |  October 23, 2013


Expectations always ride high when it comes to any new 3 Series, and the sixth-generation BMW 3 Series is no exception. The new 3 Series sedan enters with all the bells and whistles you could expect in an entry-level luxury car. It’s a meticulous evolution of its predecessors with considerable changes under its hood. But mind you, it is not just any upgrade, but a new benchmark redefining the premium car category. Backed by 36 years of history and five generations of a car, the new 3 Series comes with attributes that sets it apart from its predecessors. It is faster, bigger, better, and certainly sportier than before. But genetically, the car remains the same.

At the first glance, the new 3 Series saloon is a pretty sight. It looks and feels more athletic, thanks to its wider dimensions that adds on to its on-road presence. The new BMW 3 Series Sedan comes in four trim lines apart from the entry-level BMW 3-Series 320d version — 320d Sport Line, 328i Sport Line, 320d Luxury Line and 320d Luxury Plus.

Powertrain & Performance

The BMW 3 Series is available in two 2.0L I-4 engine options — a 4-cylinder, 16-valve, 1995 cc diesel engine that churns out 184 bhp @ 4000 rpm and a 4-cylinder, 16-valve 1997 cc petrol engine that makes 245 bhp @ 5000-6500 rpm. The BMW Twin-Power Turbo significantly raises the power output while reducing the fuel consumption of the diesel and the petrol engines. The Auto Start/Stop Function automatically shuts down the engine during brief stops (Red light), thereby reducing fuel consumption.

The drag co-efficient of the BMW 3 Series is excellent as it has wide-ranging and detailed aerodynamics optimisation, which helps in reducing the turbulence around the front wheels. The electric power steering present is different from the conventional hydraulic steering system as it only draws power during actual steering movements. The electric motor remains inert while driving straight.

The engine is mated to 8-speed automatic transmission, which helps in lowering fuel consumption and enhances shift comfort as well. The suspension device consists of McPherson strut in the front and multi-link at the rear that imparts precise handling and a comfortable ride even on bumpy roads.

Build & Styling

The BMW 3 Series is endowed with distinguishable design elements. The BMW Sport Line is the sportier looking version of the BMW 3 Series. The exterior comprises of fog lights, mirrors with automatic anti-glare function, park distance control, rain sensor including automatic driving lights control and xenon head lamps for low and high beam.

The interior comprises of trim in high-gloss black with red accent stripe, sporty looking entry doorsill, sporty leather steering wheel with red contrasting seams, sport seat with exclusive black or red stitching and piping (Dakota leather), colour switch in exclusive palette, ambient lighting, exclusive red accents in the instrument panel and signature key with red trim.

The control display depicts the image of the area behind the vehicle which enables secure orientation when reverse parking. It also depicts the parking guidelines and the obstacle markings.

The BMW 3 Series is lighter as compared to its predecessor which makes it more rigid, precise and agility without compromising on the safety of its occupants. There are highly effective deformation zones in the front and the rear section. These help during the collision of the car when the body converts a large part of the impact energy into deformation. The other safety features present are airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Brake Drying and Fading Compensation, Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Run Flat Indicator, Run Flat Tyres, integrated side impact protection in the doors, integrated side impact protection in the doors, safety body shell, seat belts and warning triangle with first aid box.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros

    • Safety bodyshell
    • Runflat indicator
    • Signature key with red trim
  • Cons

    • The driver airbag and ABS with EBD is available only in the higher end variant