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Why do people love the 3 Series so much that it is BMW's number one selling car? It is because BMW hit the right check marks with this series. From a plethora of options and styles tied together by high-quality performance and safety, the 3 has been a top premium sedan for decades. People buy these cars because they get the job done in style. Whether you need a main vehicle for the family or something sporty to catch the attention of others on the road, the 3 is a top pick that does it all.

If you have never experienced what it is like to drive this vehicle or don't have much information, it's time to change all that. The 3 Series has a long and celebrated history of redefining premium sedans while giving customers options no other car manufacturers can match. The current generation offers even more with BMW's latest high tech safety and convenience features.

It's hard to go wrong with the 3 since it offers so much. Regardless of what you need out of your car, chances are that the 3 Series can deliver in spades.

The Origin Story

BMW first introduced the 3 Series during a time when cars had to get smaller in order to survive: the great gas crunch. Back when large vehicles owners either couldn't find or afford the fuel necessary to drive around, BMW quickly found the secret recipe for success: smaller, sportier cars and sedans that gave people great performance. As the whole world healed from the oil shortage in the mid-1970s, BMW introduced the 3 Series as a replacement for their aging 2002 coupe.

The first model, known as the E21, was only available as a 2-door sedan. After a while, however, the company learned that their customers need options from the same vehicle lineup. The body styles expanded to the point where the 3's six generations have included 4-door and 2-door sedans, 2-door convertibles, 2-door coupes, and 5-door station wagon and hatchback vehicles. One of the reasons BMW has been so successful with the 3 Series has been the sheer range of options the line offers its customers. 

The line saw growing popularity in the American market starting in 1980. While other smaller cars failed to gain traction after the gas crunch, BMW tailored the American version of the vehicle to meet the demands of their customers. The need for more power under the hood and larger interior space were some of the reasons BMW expanded the line to include other body styles like the hatchback and station wagon variants.

These days, the 3 Series is in the sixth generation phase. Despite the differences between the first 3 Series models and now, one thing remains the same: BMW offers customers options to suit their individual wants and needs. Introduced in 2011, the generation kept many of the popular features of the previous generations while offering more performance under the hood. The current generation continues to be BMW's most popular model, accounting for almost one-third of the company's total sales each year.

Plenty of Choices

What other car comes in so many styles and choices? From a traditional sedan to a 5-door hatchback, the 3 Series combines a lot of options other models and brands separate. You may wonder why a single series tries to cover so much ground. The answer is simple: why not?

With different model styles, you will undoubtedly run into issues with finding the right balance of specs and features. Different models will come with different engines or trims. You might like the performance specs of one model but prefer the interior package of another. Why should you have to make certain sacrifices when it comes to finding a car that hits all of your wants and needs out of a vehicle?

The 3 Series design approach eliminates the challenge of finding everything you want under a single model. It may seem like a lot of choices at first, but it will make sense once you begin to learn about how BMW sells these cars. In short, it starts with a core selection of engines that keep the performance between a sedan and hatchback, for example, consistent. If you need more power or want to save on gas, there are options for you.

Beyond the hood, BMW makes the process of understanding all the different features and trims easy. You don't have to worry about keeping track of small little details and differences between different models. Say goodbye to the days where you thought you found one promising model, only to find out it is lacking a basic feature all its cousins include as standard.

With the 3 Series, you can rest assured that the features you need will be available regardless of the style. All the different types have similar or the same performance, convenience, and safety features. That is what keeps everything within the 3 Series name in the first place. We don't sell drastically different cars under the same umbrella. A 3 is a 3 no matter what the style.

F30, F31, F34, F80?

It can be confusing once you start to learn about all the different little designations BMW likes to label their vehicles. Don't know the difference between an F30 and F34? Don't worry about it. As long as you know the style you want and the features you need, you will be able to find the right 3 Series from our inventory. That is also why we have helpful staff on hand to give you assistance whenever necessary.

The current generation of the 3 Series sports several different styles that BMW distinguishes with the F30, F31, and F34 labels. They are all still 3 Series vehicles and largely come with the same trims and options. The major difference is usually either body style or the overall performance design. In other words, each option will be geared to meet your personal tastes in a car without having to look at several different BMW or competitor models. 

The basic lineup includes the F30/F31/F34 lineup that ranges from a sedan, station wagon, and 5-door "Gran Turismo" style vehicle with a swept rear hatch. Performance wise, this lineup includes a number of engine options, all of which use BMW's signature Turbocharging technology for the first time in the history of the 3 Series. The base engine is a 180 horsepower engine paired with an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. Other options include a 248 horsepower V4 and a 180 horsepower turbo diesel version. 

The interior holds up to five people comfortably regardless of the body style. The gentle, spacious curves of the roof means each person has ample room for stretching out. The touring model also adds extra interior space, up to 27.5 cubic feet of cargo room in the back with split rear folding seats. Finally, all of the models sport BMW's signature iDrive infotainment interface which includes a number of standard and optional features like Apple CarPlay, a Wifi hotspot, GPS navigation, and an upgraded 16-speaker audio system.

The M holds a special place in the 3 Series history. BMW decided to try something a bit different with this version. Taking the sporty features and handling that made the 3 Series popular, the company amped up the performance to make a truly sports-oriented vehicle that didn't skimp on the convenience. 

You can think of the M as the younger, sportier version of the standard 3 Series styles. By packing more power and juice under the hood, BMW designed something that would meet the demands of thrill seekers who still had a family to drive around during the typical week. The M is a hybrid of BMW's refined approach to elegant convenience and true performance that outpaces other cars in the same class.

Checking Out Our Inventory

The best thing about the plethora of options you get with the 3 Series is we can keep many options in stock in our inventory. We like to stock a variety of different trims and styles of the current generation, including the M, so we can meet the demands of our customers. Since the 3 Series is still the most in-demand BMW vehicle, we make sure you can walk onto our lot and drive off with your preferred 3 Series the same day. 

Of course, we can also custom order one from the manufacturer as well. If we don't have something you are looking for, our helpful staff will sit down with you to create a customized order we will then send straight to BMW. From the options, style, trims, and colors, we can create something that will truly fit what you want or need out of a car. Vehicles are shipped straight to our lot, so you will only have to wait a little while before you can drive away with your new 3 Series car. 

Come down to our lot to see what we have in stock or check out the rest of our website for updated information. We would be happy to give you personal assistance to see which versions and features of the 3 Series can meet your needs. Ask our staff about our many financing options, as well, to help you afford this entry-level luxury vehicle.

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  • Sunday Closed

BMW of Cincinnati North
A BMW M Certified Dealer Certified Center

105 West Kemper Road
Directions Cincinnati, OH 45246

  • Sales: 513-782-1122
  • Service: 513-782-1124
  • Parts: 513-782-1125