Since 1975, the BMW 3 Series has provided a more accessible entry point to those in search of a BMW for sale. So successful was the 3 Series in fusing a joy of driving with the practical demands of life, that it became a benchmark for performance sedans to aspire to (and be measured against). The gauntlet applied to both competitors and BMW, with the latter's subsequent series having much for which to thank the pioneering 3 series.


The 3 Series presents as a more palatable alternative to those who may not possess the cache to swing the newest 7 Series. That said, the 3 Series is anything but a concession; engineered with all the refinement and performance you'd expect from a BMW, the 3 Series sits among the best within its vehicle class. 


Now in its 6th generation, the 3 Series delivers sedan and wagon body style options (in addition to those variants included within the X and M series). Possessing all the signature design notes expected of a BMW, the 3 Series boasts a wide stance that conveys a sporty athleticism, but is contoured to avoid any sense of bulk. With precise weight distribution and dynamic design, the 3 series meets the rigors of any daily driving with class, refinement, and agility.


3 Series Sedan

In discussing the accessibility of the 3 Series, the 320i stands first and foremost. Powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, it delivers 180 horsepower and 200 lbs-ft of torque; and the optional six-speed manual transmission should please traditionalists who may find themselves troubled by the increasing rarity of a manual gearbox. With effortless clutch and smooth, crisp shifting there is plenty to love. 


Wrangling 248 horses and 258 lbs-ft of torque, the 330i outperforms the likes of the Infiniti Q50 and reigns content in its marriage of power and smooth ride quality. Whether paired with the six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission, one might think that the 330i is powered by something more than a turbocharged four-cylinder. Pulling through shifts with ease, the 330i is a strong reminder of why the 3 Series remains the venerable defender of all titles within its class. 


The 340i boasts a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder that serves up 326 horsepower and 330 lbs-ft of torque, efficiently delivering explosive performance with a responsive driving experience. With a sportier design, the steering and suspension of the 340i speak to the continued forward motion of the 3 Series; and an optional 8-speed ZF automatic transmission gives some fun options to those who don't embrace a manual gearbox. 


Similarly-equipped, but offering some variant experiences are the 328d and 330e sedans. The former houses a diesel engine that delivers 180 horsepower and 280 lbs-ft of torque. Performance of the latter is subsidized by an electric engine yielding a combined 248 horsepower and 310 lbs-ft of torque. 


And rest assured, if you favor sustainable transportation, the 3 Series has something for you in the hybrid 330e. Superficially indistinguishable from the rest of the series sedans, the 330e strikes a cord in marrying the expectations of a BMW with the functionality of a hybrid. A 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder is paired with an electric motor that (combined) delivered 248 horsepower and 310 lbs-ft of torque, and an impressive 72 mpg fuel economy. 

Further 3 series-inspired offerings exist within BMW X and M Series, respectively.


The SUV offerings of the former include the X3, a compact SUV with the luxury one would expect of a BMW. Depending on trim level, the engine options include a 2.0-liter four cylinder (producing 240 horsepower, 260 lbs-ft of torque, and 24 mpg combined) or a 3.0-liter inline-6 (delivering 300 horsepower, 300 lbs-ft of torque, and 21 mpg combined). 


The latter serves up a true performance sedan in the M3, packing a 3.0-liter inline-6 to crank out 425 horsepower and 406 lbs-ft of torque. With a combined fuel economy of 20 mpg, the M3 is as comfortable on the track as it is in traffic, proving that performance and practicality are not mutually exclusive.


3 Series Touring

The Touring translates the 3 Series initiatives into a classic wagon styling. Echoing all of the sportiness of the sedan design, the Touring furthers the sense of functionality with an extended footprint, enhanced cargo and storage space, a "contactless" tailgate and independent rear windscreen. This is a 3 Series built for daily life, and quite possibly for yours. 


3 Series Gran Turismo

The Gran Turismo injects some innovative quirks into the 3 Series, standing defiantly against the expectations of sedan, wagon, and crossover purists. Possessing a wheelbase that is 4.4 inches longer than that of the 3 Series Sedan, the GT conveys a different feel altogether. While its elevated seat positioning gives it a sense of practicality, its performance mirrors that of its sedan cousin. Factor in cargo capacity and smooth handling, and the hatchback stands alone; but does so with both purpose and confidence. 


More To Explore

BMW's signature Editions further tailor the 3 Series to the palate of the individual driver. The Sport Line Shadow creates a sense of sleek athleticism. Using high-gloss and dark trim elements on the exterior, the interior favors leather trim and contrast stitching which, combined, create a bold, yet minimalistic appeal. If the the Sport Line Shadow utilizes subtlety, the M Sport Shadow Edition takes a more dynamic approach. This mindset evolves further within the Luxury Line Purity, using satinized aluminum accents to enrich the exterior, and rich leather trims throughout the interior. 


BMW takes great pride in leaving very little room for criticism. What room the 3 Series does create allows the more casual driver to embrace one of the finest driving experiences on the road. When searching BMW for sale, your local dealership is glad to answer any questions that you may have. Whether you're interested in the accessibility of the 3 Series, or aspire to some of the more advanced offerings, BMW of Cincinnati is here to help.