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BMW 3 series

Updated on September 27, 2010

The BMW 3 series is probably the best known of all the BMW range and their biggest seller for many years.BMW has been great at selecting a very complete range of cars and have always been strong in this market segment.

In the early models some of the small motors were less powerful by comparison to other offerings at that time, but very popular nonetheless as they were still impeccable to drive with better handling and brakes than all but the likes of Porsche.

(The 5 series in 2 litre form was a bit the same as the little 3 series to drive. Both cars cruised fine on the freeway, but acceleration was limited by engine size to some degree. The lack of power was down right dangerous in the 2 litre 5 series when the car was fully laden with 5 adults.)

In the last few years the 3 series has grown up in to a full range of vehicles including the magnificent soft top and M3.

The 3 series used to look so much smaller than it's big brother the 5 series and had very few of the options offered on their larger cars.

With the new 3 series the interior space is used so well that this is almost a medium sized car now, and luxury appointments can be optioned that rival it's more expensive and larger brother.

The 3 series is a little easier on fuel, a bit better to park in the city than the more bulky 5 series and holds in own position well, even against the luxury models of the top Japanese makers such as Honda and Toyota as well as other European offerings in this highly contested market segment.

The 3 is a nice sized car for many people who don't carry a full load of passengers very often and want a high quality comfortable and safe auto that is quick and nimble.

The new 3 series is offered with an economical 4 cylinder 16 valve diesel, or the 4 cylinder petrol which is also good for economy, but my choice would be the top of the range multi-award winning 6 cylinder 32 valve petrol motor with 150 horsepower as opposed to 105 horsepower diesel or the 115 horsepower 4 cylinder 16 valve petrol motors.

The M3 has the stunning V8 with some 400 nm of torque and over 300 horsepower and is very expensive as well as very desirable.

The M3 also drinks fuel at an alarming rate and does a quarter mile in under 5 seconds!

Needless to say you can get an enormous range of options to make a 3 series almost as comfortable as it's bigger brother, but the price does reflect that fact too!

You can put a 3 series over $AU$100,000 with all options on the top of the range model with the v8 motor.

Having said that, the basic package has most luxuries you would expect at the price, it's just that as always BMW options are very desirable to have.

If you like the interior to be understated and functional the 3 series is for you. The passenger has a clean area and the driver has all the instruments on a few simple controls. The layout is spacious and uncluttered. The leather interior is beautifully stitched and gives off a wonderful aroma

The steering wheel is very well laid out and some after-market steering wheels have already turned up and some of them are even more beautiful than the original.

The BMW 3 options.

Here are some of the options available on the new car.

The usual packages are well worth consideration first.

BMW have been offering packages similar to the "executive" packages on their earlier cars and some of them are fantastic value when pre-fitted.

For example, for the 3 series you can order the M Sport package valued at $8,700 for a measly $2,500!

Certainly a bargain with 17" alloys, special leather steering wheel, sports suspension, steering wheel navigation, Bi-Xenon headlights and body kit. The car is bluetooth ready.

Other options.

Metallic paint., bigger high end navigation system with 8.8" screen (standard screen is 6.5") Voice Control, Harman/Kardon surround sound system, BMW high end sound system, Hi Fi sound system and more.

For the interior you can also have lumbar support for both front occupants, electric of course. You can by it without it's badges and with an all glass electric sunroof. Individual sun protection and glazing is also an option.

The 3 comes standard with dual zone automatic air-conditioning.


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    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thanks Karen. I'm surprised you haven't had the diesel option in the USA.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Good article. I do with they would come to the us with diesel. I do not think they are elite though. In the us you can get a used 2-3 year old 3 series with good options including x drive ( as we get snow in my area) for about the same cost as a new ford taurus. But a used bmw ups the maintenance so it is a even better deal.

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      You are welcome John.

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 

      8 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Informative hub -thanks

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you Tim. The M3 sounds like the car for you. They are a very fast car. I understand your passion and feel that way myself!

    • profile image

      Tim Bender 

      8 years ago

      Hello earnestshub, love your wealth of information for me. I also was attracted to this car in many ways. Thanks i was entertained from start to finish. I do not know why but i have a thing for fast cars!

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thanks Denizee, they look like they will continue to be elite, even the BMW 1 series is too much money for many.

      Especially if they want to buy the top of the range. It almost puts the 3 series out of it's market position.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      BMW's are elite, and pricey. Anyone who is looking for information on these cars will get a lot of information out of your Hub. Thanks for sharing, I'm not looking to buy one in the near future but know it's on a lot of others wish lists. Thanks for sharing.

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      It is a sweet drive for sure! Your son has great taste in cars.

      The new 3 series is a very serious contender.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      The BMW3 is my son's dream car. When we driving I hear nothing else. Thank ou giving all these details.

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Like you, I have issues with some of the rear styling on some of the later BMWs as well. One of the 5 series has an odd looking trunk gate that I recall.

    • RichardSpeaks profile image

      Richard Kent Matthews 

      8 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area

      I have a challenge with the design of some of the more recent BMWs. The trunk gate in certain cases looks like a last minute add-on. Gives it an incomplete appearance.



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