.

BMW 3 Series

Wikicars, a place to share your automotive knowledge

Jump to: navigation, search
Five Generations of the BMW 3-Series
Enlarge
Five Generations of the BMW 3-Series
2011 BMW 3-Series Coupe and Coupe-Cabriolet
2011 BMW 3-Series Coupe and Coupe-Cabriolet

The BMW 3 Series is a line of compact luxury sedan manufactured by BMW since May 1975. It is the successor to the legendary 2002, retaining much of that car's styling. The 3 Series was for some time the smallest car line manufactured by BMW, although that place was in 2004 taken by the BMW 1 Series. The 3 series is BMW's best selling automobile, accounting for nearly 40% of all automobiles sold by the company in 2005.

See Wikicars' comprehensive BMW 3 Series Review.

Contents

Recent Changes

  • For 2011, the South African market gets a limited edition of the M-Sport package on 320i, 320d and 335i sedans called "Dynamic Edition". A total of only 300 units will be made and will only be available in Alpine White, Blue Water Metallic and Space Grey Metallic exterior paint finishes. Making the car unique are the inclusion of items from the BMW Performance program including carbon fiber front splitter, mirror caps and rear spoiler, dark chrome 18-inch alloy wheels, dark chrome tail pipes, Blue Shadow Cloth interior and Alcantara upholstery with Royal Blue stitching, unique floor mats with Royal Blue piping and branded door entry sill strips. [1]
  • Hot on the heels of the unveiling of the facelifted for 2011 3 Series Coupe and Coupe-Cabriolet, BMW has opened the floodgates as well on both the 2011 M-Sport called simply the Sport Edition and the 335is. The Sport Edition includes the M Sports Suspension, M Aerodynamic Package and 18-inch light alloy wheels in a star-spoked, Dark Chrome design. Window shaft covers in High-Gloss Satin Chrome from BMW Individual (specialty options division) also adorn the Sport Edition. The exhaust pipes come in Black Chrome and customers have a choice of special colors such as Blue Water Metallic for the car. Inside are sport seats, an M steering wheel in leather with multifunctional buttons, sports gearshifter, stainless steel pedals and an Anthracite roof line. Seat upholstery comes in a Blue Shadow which combines Alcantara and cloth or Dakota leather and black, all stitched in Royal Blue. The seam color is matched by the same blue in the floormats. The rest of the cabin comes with aluminum touches in Glacier Silver. The 335is on the other hand, will get a twin-turbocharged inline-six (N54) mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, putting out an estimated 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, with an overboost function increasing the twist to 369 lb-ft for short durations. The result is 0-60 times of around five seconds and a top speed of 149 mph.[2][3]

Sport Edition

335is

  • For 2011 the 3 Series Coupe and Coupe-Cabriolet receives a mid-cycle facelift and updated powerplants. AMong the new cosmetic touches include a widened kidney grille, reshaped LED headlamps, front and rear bumpers with restyled lower fascias, new exterior mirrors and finally, reworked tail light cluster with a new color scheme. The changes add 1.14 in to the front overhang and 0.12 in to the rear overhang. Inside, the Coupe-Cabrio gets sun-reflective technology applied on its leather upholstery which is able to reduce surface temperatures on dark interior colors by up to 20 Celsius degrees (36 Fahrenheit degrees) and by as much as Celsius degrees (27 Fahrenheit degrees)on light-colored upholstery. Under the hood, the biggest change is reserved for the 335i which now gets BMW's new twin scroll single turbocharged shoehorned into its 3.0-liter straight six. The new powerplant, designated N55, retains its previous power and torque output (albiet with a fatter torque curve that maintains its peak from 1,200-5,000 rpm), however, the way it delivers that power has changed as it is now more responsive, more fuel efficient, and cleaner-running than its predecessor. [4]
  • For 2009, the 3-Series recieves its first major mid-cycle facelift. Among the changes are a new front and rear bumper fascia design which has been tweaked to match the look of the new BMW CS Concept-inspired 7 Series. The new 3 also includes BMW new, revised iDrive controller and user interface which will now be housed in an 8.8-inch high-resolution color monitor. [5][6]
  • In 2009, BMW will offer new diesel variants to its coupe, convertible and Touring range for the Australasian market. The 320d with the 2.0 litre turbo diesel will be fitted in the range and the 330d with the 3.0 litre turbo diesel fitted only in the coupe and convertible range.
  • The 3 Series gets larger, and includes more rear-seat space and increased trunk capacity. A new inline-six-cylinder engine is introduced that produces greater horsepower and torque; a six-speed manual transmission now comes standard. The suspension is now stiffer, offering up a firmer ride.
  • The 2007 BMW 3-Series Convertible recieves the "Individual" trim package.
  • For August 2007, BMW has unveiled the M Sport Package for the 3 Series Coupe. [7]

Styles and Major Options

Trims

Current Trims for the 2006 BMW 3 Series
Current Trims for the 2006 BMW 3 Series

Currently, there are 9 different 2006 BMW 3 Series trims available:

Pricing

Today's actual prices for the 325 and 330 can be found at CarsDirect.

Trim

325i

325xi

325xi Sports Wagon

325Ci Coupe

325Ci Convertible

330i

330xi

330Ci Coupe

330Ci Convertible

Price

MSRP

$30,900

$32,800

$34,600

$32,300

$39,600

$36,600

$38,500

$37,600

$44,900

Invoice

$28,300

$30,030

$31,665

$29,575

$36,215

$33,485

$35,215

$34,395

$41,040

Destination Charge on all 3 Series models: $695.

Gas Mileage

As seen on the FuelEconomy.gov website, the City/Highway MPG averages are as follows:

Automatic

Trim

325i

325xi

325xi Sports Wagon

325Ci Coupe

325Ci Convertible

330i

330xi

330Ci Coupe

330Ci Convertible

MPG

21/29

20/27

20/27

19/27

18/26

21/29

20/27

19/27

18/25

Manual

Trim

325i

325xi

325xi Sports Wagon

325Ci Coupe

325Ci Convertible

330i

330xi

330Ci Coupe

330Ci Convertible

MPG

20/30

19/28

19/28

20/29

19/27

20/30

19/28

20/30

19/28

Reliability

JD Power and Associates gives the BMW 3 Series a reliabilty rating of 4/5 stars.

  • RECALL ALERT: On August 13, 2008, BMW announced a recall affecting 200,000 MY 2006 3-series, MY 2004-2006 5-series cars and MY 2004-2006 X3s due to a faulty front passenger airbag sensor that could develop from small cracks within the seat detection mat. Though no one has reportedly been hurt, such a defect might stop the front passenger airbag from deploying in the event of an accident. [8]

Safety

Most BMW 3 Series models include four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, stability control, dynamic brake control, front-seat-mounted side airbags and head curtain airbags for the front and rear. The sedan's and wagon's stability control system integrates several brake-related features, such as wiping the pads in the rain and snugging the pads to the rotors when the driver lifts off the throttle. All models come equipped with BMW’s adaptive brake lights which illuminate more intensely, over a larger area, when the driver applies the brakes full-lock or the ABS operates. The 3 Series are the first cars in their class to offer radar managed cruise control which automatically brakes if the car gets too close to the car ahead.

Safety features that come standard include dual stage front-impact airbags that deploy at different rates depending on the severity of impact, front side-impact airbags and full-cabin head protection airbags. BMW no longer offers rear side-impact airbags on the 3 sedan, on the basis that few buyers took the option, and that the protective benefit does not exceed the risk of airbag related injuries. Active safety features on all 3 Series models include Dynamic Stability Control anti-skid electronics and the latest generation anti-lock brakes. The ABS preloads the brake pedal when the driver suddenly lifts off the gas pedal, and includes a feature that lightly sweeps the brake discs dry every 1.5 seconds when it's raining.

Photos


Colors

The BMW 3 Series come in the following colors and depending on trim:

  • Alpine White
  • Electric Red
  • Jet Black
  • Mystic Blue Metallic
  • Monaco Blue Metallic
  • Arctic Metallic
  • Sonara Metallic
  • Barrique Red Metallic
  • Deep Green Metallic
  • Titanium Silver Metallic
  • Sparkling Graphite Metallic
  • Black Saphhire Metallic

Interiors color choices available include:

  • Leather:
    • Beige
    • Black
    • Gray
    • Terra
  • Leatherette:
    • Beige
    • Black
  • Trim
    • Burl Walnut Wood
    • Poplar Natural Wood
    • Aluminum

Main Competitors

Hybrid Models


Unique Attributes

  • Window switches are cluster in the center console by the driver’s armrest.
  • Committed to the in-line 6 cylinder versus the more common V6.
  • From its sporting origins in 1975, the E21 generation, available in two and four-door forms(e30 on), as well as a later in-house full convertible (e30 on) (replacing one developed by Baur of Germany), became a more formal range that was synonymous with the "yuppie" generation. Being an accessible prestige-badge car, the 3 Series' reputation grew at this time. By the early 21st century, the E46 3 Series, designed by American Chris Bangle, was the best-selling car of its size in the world, as commonplace in Asia and America as in Europe, while maintaining its prestigious image.

Resale Values

BMW was the winner of "Best Resale Value" for a brand in the Kelley Blue Book 2006 BEST RESALE VALUE AWARDS. The 3 Series is no exception.

Criticisms

Criticisms of the 2006 BMW 3 Series are relatively minor:

  • Price: It is the most expensive car in its class.
  • Trunk Space: Trunk space is small and it costs $475 to have the option to fold down the back seats.
  • Navigation: BMW’s version of a navigation system, called iDrive, is routinely cristisized for being very difficult to use.
  • Tires: The tires have lifespan of merely 12,000 miles. Owners need to replace them on an annual basis for approximately US$300 each. Minimum annual maintenance cost on tires = US$1,200.

Generations

Sixth Generation (2012-present)=

The Sixth generation 3 series got improvement in terms of handling,performance,and CO2 emission. The styling has ben redesigned to look more retro and mature.




Fifth Generation: (2006 -2012)

Fifth Generation BMW 3 Series
Enlarge
Fifth Generation BMW 3 Series

The 2006 and 2007 BMW 3 Series are both part of the fifth generation. The E90 began production in May 2005. Currently, four engine options are offered, two being part of the new 'N' series of BMW inline engines featuring a lightweight magnesium/aluminum construction and technological innovations such as individual cylinder throttles, steplessly variable valve timing, and dual stage intake timing. The clean and sleek styling, while based on the recent 5- and 7-series redesigns, has been better praised than its bigger cousins. The E91 touring model has also been available since fall 2005 along with 4WD models 325xi, 330xi and 330xd. The E92 2-door will come out in September of 2006 along with BMW's new N54 twin-turbo engine.

Fourth Generation (1999 - 2005)

Fourth Generation BMW 3 Series
Enlarge
Fourth Generation BMW 3 Series
Main article: BMW E46

The E46 chassis began to replace the E36 specification for 1999. Only the 4-door sedans were updated that year. The E36 coupé and touring models lasted one more year until the E46 replacements arrived for model year 2000. The 2.8 L cars were called 328 while 2.5L cars got the confusing 323 name. The new M54 engines appeared for 2001; with the new 3.0L 330 replacing the 328, BMW renamed the 2.5L car the 325. Also in 2001, the compact 3-door version appeared on the european market, but it was replaced in 2004 by the 1 series. During the second half of 2005 the E46 sedan and touring were phased out in favour of the new E90. The E46 coupé and convertible remain in production well into 2006.

Third Generation (1992 - 1998)

Third Generation BMW 3 Series
Enlarge
Third Generation BMW 3 Series

Also known as the "Dolphin shape." The E36 was sold from 1991 through 1998. It employed the "Z-axle" multilink suspension in the rear which had been proven in the Z1. DOHC engines were used across the range, with VANOS variable valve timing introduced in 1993.The four-door E36 was sold from Fall, 1991, in the United States but the E30 coupes were retained until well into 1992. The E36 convertible was delayed until 1994. The hatchback 318ti Compact was introduced in 1995, but it wasn't very successful, as it shared some chassis components with the Z3 (and E30) instead of the E36; namely, the semi-trailing arm rear suspension configuration. The "Touring" station wagon was sold in Europe from 1995, but was not offered in the United States.The 2.5L M50B25 used in the 325 models was replaced in 1996 with the 2.8L M52B28, creating the 328 line. Another 2.5L engine, the M52B25, was reintroduced for 1998 but the cars were sold as 323 rather than 325. The 4-door 3 Series models were replaced after 1998 in the US, while the 2-door models lasted through 1999.

Second Generation (1984 - 1991)

Second Generation BMW 3 Series
Enlarge
Second Generation BMW 3 Series

The E30 was sold from 1984 through 1991,through 1993 Conv only. The E30's introductory price of US$18,210 was nearly double that of the E21 just 7 years earlier, but the availability of a six cylinder engine and 4-door body style (in 1985) earned sales. The torquey "eta" six in the 325e produced 121 hp (90 kW) but met the strict emission standards of the time and was the most powerful BMW offered in the United States since the 2002 Tii. The lineup was joined in 1987 by the high-output 325i and 325is. Though the engine displacement was reduced to 2.5 L, output was up to 168 hp (125 kW) as the company focused on performance rather than economy. Rev limit for the new motor was raised from 5000RPM to 6500RPM, as a shorter stroke was employed with the new motor.An all wheel drive version, the 325ix, joined the lineup for 1988. The four-cylinder 318 was dropped in 1985, but a was brought back with a new, 1.8L DOHC motor (M42B18) for 1991. The most-powerful American BMW E30 ever also came that year in the form of the M3. It used a 192 hp (143 kW) S14 straight-4 with a 4-valve head adapted from the M88 six and Bosch fuel injection.

First Generation/Origins (1975 - 1983)

First Generation BMW 3 Series
Enlarge
First Generation BMW 3 Series

The E21 line was produced from May 2, 1975 (1977 in the USA) through 1983. Originally a replacement for the 2002 coupe, the first 3-Series was a 2-door only. The New Class sedans would be replaced by the 5 Series.


Worldwide

The 3 series accounts for 40% of BMW’s sales worldwide.

The UK police uses the BMW 330d Saloon and Touring as Interceptors as part of a four-year deal beginning late 2010. Other cars in the docket include the 530d Saloon and Touring, all variants of X1, X3 xDrive20d, X5 xDrive30d and xDrive40d. [9]


Design quirks and oddities

The E46 328ci was the only BMW car featured in Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec.

In the What Women Want survey conducted by the RACV in 2003, the 3 Series is the most popular choice among women buying a BMW.

Awards

  • The BMW 3 Series has been on Car and Driver magazine's annual "Ten Best" list 16 times, from 1992 through 2007, making it the second-most common entry on that list after the Honda Accord but it has the most consecutive wins.
  • The E90 was named "Best New Sports Sedan" in the 2006 Canadian Car of the Year.
  • The 3 Series was also named the "World Car of the Year" at the New York Auto Show in April 2006. Voting was done by 46 international journalists, on a broad range of qualifications, striking an ideal balance between performance and practicality.
  • British television show Top Gear, named the new 3 Series the "Ugliest Car of the Year" in 2005. Other nominees were: the Ssangyong Kyron, the Ssangyong Rodius and the Ssangyong Musso.
  • Named Edmunds.com Most Wanted Coupe Under $35,000
  • Aslo named Edmunds.com Most Wanted Sedan Under $35,000
  • The BMW 3 Series earned the Silver "Top Safety Pick" designation for good performance in front and side crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
  • The BMW 3 Series topped two segments on Strategic Vision's 2005 Total Value Index. The 3 Series ranked highest in the Near Luxury Car segment, while the 3 Series Coupe was tops for Small Specialty over $25,000. These results are for 2005 models. BMW finished at the top of a number of Individual Total Value Components including Technical Innovations, Warranty, Durability and Resale.
  • The BMW 3 Series Voted "America's Best Sedan" by readers of AutoWeek.
  • The 335ci won Top Gear Australia's Best Coupe for 2008.

See also


image (between 170-190 pixels)
BMW

The BMW Group


BMW | Rolls-Royce | Mini


Current: 1 Series · 3 Series · 5 Series · 6 Series · 7 Series · Hydrogen 7 · Z4 · X1 · X3 · X5 · X6 · 5 Series GT · Megacity EV

M Cars: M1 · M3 · M5 · M6 · M Coupe · M Roadster · M535i · X5M · X6M

Historic: 507 ·Z8 · Z3 · Z1 · 503 · 328 · Isetta · 8 Series · E3 · · · · · · · · · ·

Racing: M3 GTR · V12 LMR · V12 LM98 · 320 Turbo · 3.0 CSL · 700 RS · F1.09 · Z4 GT3 · M3 GT2

Concept: Nazca M12 · Nazca C2 · Nazca C2 Spyder · Z11 · Z13 · Z18 · Z07 Concept · Z9 Gran Turismo Concept · Z9 Convertible Concept · X Coupe · CS1 Concept · xActivity Concept · H2R · Mille Miglia · M3 Concept · CS Concept · Just 4/2 Concept · Concept Z4 Coupe · Turbo Concept · X6 Sports Activity Coupe Concept · Concept X6 Active Hybrid · Concept 1-Series tii · M1 Homage Concept · GINA Light Visionary Concept · M8 Prototype · 750i ActiveHybrid Concept · X1 Concept · Hydrogen Powered Salt Flat Racer Concept · 5 Series Gran Turismo Concept · Z Vision Concept · E1 Concept · Vision EfficientDynamics Concept · SIMPLE Concept · Concept ActiveE · ActiveHybrid5 Concept · Concept Gran Coupé · Concept 6 Series Coupé


iDrive · DesignworksUSA · ConnectedDrive · BMW Welt · Franz Josef Popp · Max Friz


Karl Friedrich Rapp and Camillo Castiglioni Corporate website Independent



image (between 170-190 pixels)
BMW 3 SERIES

The BMW Group


BMW | Rolls-Royce | Mini


Variants

E21 · E30 · E36 · E46 · E90 · E91 (Touring) · E92 (Coupe/Cabriolet) · F30


iDrive · DesignworksUSA · ConnectedDrive


Karl Friedrich Rapp and Camillo Castiglioni Corporate website Independent


External Links

News & References

Enthusiast Sites and Forums


This page uses content from Wikipedia; see BMW 3-Series, which includes these contributors.

Personal tools
Toolbox