The Essential BMW 3 Series Buying Guide
Nothing says luxury and performance quite like a BMW. And for those that are interested in picking up a new BMW, there’s no better way to join in on the fun than with a BMW 3 Series of your own.
With high scores and rave reviews from professionals and enthusiasts alike, a new BMW 3 Series strikes a great balance between affordability, power and performance — and with new features like a generous trunk and standard digital gauges, the BMW 3 Series has never been better.
After five decades of production, a BMW 3 Series remains the benchmark for a compact luxury sports sedan. The seventh generation was introduced in 2019 and the latest 2022 models have improved on just about everything you’ll find in the cabin or under the hood, all while giving you that iconic BMW look from outside the vehicle.
In this BMW 3 Series buying guide, we’ll help you make sense of your options and the different models so that you can identify the best BMW 3 Series to buy or lease when you finally make it out to your local lot for a test drive and a closer look. From plug-in hybrids to the performance oriented M3, there’s a BMW 3 Series for just about everyone.
What’s New With the BMW 3 Series?
Regardless of which BMW 3 Series you intend to buy, the entire 3 Series range has received significant upgrades for the 2022 model year. Digital gauges are now standard on all models and slick ambient interior lighting sets the mood each time you set foot inside. Up front, laser LED adaptive headlights make it easy to see at night, and new paint options encourage even more ways for you to express yourself.
Beyond the standard features, many options allow you to tailor the car to your precise need. Inside, the roomy interior is just what you’d expect from the luxury carmaker, and plenty of tech and bells and whistles round out the feature set and brings the 3 Series decidedly into the modern age.
As for performance, handling and power, the BMW 3 Series certainly won’t let you down. All the 3 Series engines accelerate well and brake just as confidently, and the solid steering is impressive and responsive. The steering wheel itself is thick and provides a secure grip no matter your driving style, and the solid M Sport suspension gives you great contact with the ground in any driving situation.
After all, the BMW 3 Series basically created the mold for a luxury compact performance machine and automakers the world over have been trying to play catch-up ever since. The playing field may have shrank in recent years, but the BMW 3 Series still stands above the rest.
BMW 3 Series Models
All BMW 3 Series vehicles are RWD standard, though BMW’s great xDrive is available as an AWD option. Each model comes with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and only the M3 is available with a six-speed manual transmission.
The 2022 BMW 330i features a 2.0 liter turbocharged I-4 engine that produces 255 hp and 294 foot-pounds of torque. That’s good for a 0-60 time of 5.4 seconds with the RWD option and 5.5 seconds with AWD. Gas efficiency sits at a comfortable 26/36 city/highway for RWD and 25/34 with AWD.
The 2022 BMW M340i features a 3.0 liter turbocharged I-6 engine that produces 382 hp and 368 foot-pounds of torque, a 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds and 23/32 city/highway for RWD and 22/31 with AWD.
The 2022 BMW 330e features a 2.0 liter turbocharged I-4 engine with an electric motor that produces 288 hp and 310 foot-pounds of torque and 28/75 city/highway for RWD and 25/67 with AWD.
The 2022 BMW M3 features a 3.0 liter turbocharged I-6 engine that produces a spritely 473 hp and 409 foot-pounds of torque and 16/23 city/highway for RWD and 15/22 with AWD.
The 2022 BMW M3 Competition features a 3.0 liter turbocharged I-6 engine that produces a staggering 503 hp and 479 foot-pounds of torque for a blazing-fast 0-60 of 3.5 seconds and 16/23 city/highway for RWD and 15/22 with AWD.
What About a BMW 3 Series Coupe?
Unfortunately, there is no longer a BMW 3 Series coupe — all BMW 3 Series vehicles feature four convenient doors, though if a coupe is important to you, there is a similar second-generation 4 Series coupe that may fit the bill. Mechanically, both series are highly similar while external styling varies slightly.
BMW 3 Series Built-In Tech
Each 2022 BMW 3 Series features a generous 10.3 inch touchscreen and infotainment center. Up front, there’s an even larger 12.3 inch digital gauge display, which places the new 3 Series firmly in the higher end performance camp. Numerous ports, plugs and chargers are also available to help you connect your wireless devices and keep them topped off on longer trips, and the fantastic Harman Kardon premium sound system provides 16 speakers of audio bliss while inside.
If you’re looking to buy or lease a new BMW 3 Series, we welcome you to come take a test drive at Otto’s BMW in West Chester, PA.