BMW3 Series

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Base model shown as 2020 Sedan
2020 BMW 3 Series Sedan - front view

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Top Features of Base Model

  • Improved driving feel
  • Comfortable ride and cabin
  • Top-notch infotainment system
  • Standard safety features
Pro Review

BMW 3 Series: Everything You Need to Know

About the BMW 3 Series:

The BMW 3 Series has been winning the luxury sport sedan battle in America since the early 1980s. This German sedan has been offered in many different body styles and with a number of engine options over the years. It serves as the backbone of BMW's lineup, and has often been a benchmark for other premium brands.

The BMW 3 Series is comfortable, sporty, and has strong brand recognition. It is easy to recommend to new-car shoppers.

What’s New in the 2019 BMW 3 Series?

The 2019 BMW 3 Series has been redesigned. The sedan uses a new platform that provides better handling and overall performance than the previous model.

The latest BMW 3 Series is slightly wider than before. It is also three inches longer. This pays dividends in both stability and trunk space. A full 1.6 inches of that stretch is in the wheelbase, which increases rear leg room. Despite being larger, the BMW 3 Series is over 100 pounds lighter than the car it replaces.

Other updates to the 2019 BMW 3 Series include:

  • A mightier 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This unit now generates 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
  • Improved iDrive infotainment system.
  • New interior design and materials.

The 3 Series comes standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This marks the first time a manual gearbox is not offered with the car. All-wheel drive can be ordered as an option. Fuel economy for the BMW is listed at 26-mpg city and 36-mpg highway.

Of note: Currently, only the 330i four-cylinder turbo sedan has been redesigned for 2019. The previous generation wagon carries over as a 2019 model, and is outside the scope of this guide. A turbocharged six-cylinder engine will be offered for the 2020 model year in the M340i. It is not available as a 2019 model.

What Does the 2019 BMW 3 Series Compete With? The 2019 BMW 3 Series competes with the following vehicles:

The most popular version of the 2019 BMW 3 Series is the Sport trim. This is the most affordable version of the vehicle. It includes 17-inch wheels, power adjustable seats, a panoramic sunroof, and parking assistance.

The BMW 3 Series is appreciated by young professionals seeking their first luxury car. It also appeals to sedan buyers who want something fun to drive.

Exterior Design of the 2019 BMW 3 Series

The 2019 BMW 3 Series looks very similar in overall design to the model that came before it. The front bumper and hood have a more aggressive look. The same is true of the headlights.

The BMW 3 Series Sport Line comes standard with LED headlights, 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, and power-folding side mirrors. The Luxury Line trim adds more chrome. The M Sport model is the most extroverted of the trio. It includes a track-inspired body kit as well as 19-inch wheels.

Interior Style in the 2019 BMW 3 Series

Like its exterior, the interior of the 2019 BMW 3 Series leans toward the conservative. Still, it's not unattractive. There is more plastic than may be expected in a luxury vehicle. This is most apparent on the center console, where some switches feel flimsy. Door trim, dashboard, and seat materials, however, have a quality look and feel. This is true for both the base imitation leather and the real leather that is available on the Luxury Line and above.

The BMW 3 Series scores points for its large rear seat. It's one of the most comfortable four-passenger compact luxury sedans available. Front seats are also comfortable, and the M Sport's well-bolstered buckets are supportive. LATCH attachments are included to install child safety seats in the rear. Trunk space is also good for a smaller sedan, with a center pass-through to handle longer gear such as skis.

The 2019 BMW 3 Series offers an excellent infotainment system. The iDrive system combines a touch screen with a rotary dial and buttons on the center console. It is easy to navigate and offers logical commands. Alongside Audi’s MMI system, it is the best in its class.

What Technology Comes in the 2019 BMW 3 Series?

The 2019 BMW 3 Series offers a high level of technology features. But some of them may seem a bit gimmicky. This is true of the infotainment gesture controls, as well as the voice-activated personal assistant.

The 2019 BMW 3 Series comes standard with:

  • 8.8-inch infotainment touchscreen.
  • 5.7-inch LCD cockpit display.
  • Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Three zones of automatic climate control.
  • Keyless entry.
  • Pushbutton start.

The following can be added:

  • 3D parking camera.
  • 10.3-inch infotainment screen.
  • Harman Kardon audio system.
  • Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.
  • 12.3-inch LCD cockpit display.
  • Parking assistance.
  • Navigation.
  • Head-up display.

Optional packages are required to sample most of the BMW's higher tech features.

What Kind of Safety Features are in the 2019 BMW 3 Series?

The 2019 BMW 3 Series splits its safety equipment evenly between standard and optional gear.

All versions of the 2019 BMW 3 Series come with the following safety features:

  • Collision warning with automatic braking. This system stops the car automatically if a possible collision is detected.
  • Lane departure warning. A feature that alerts the driver if the car leaves its lane.
  • Adaptive cruise control. This system maintains a safe speed and distance between the 3 Series and traffic ahead.

Optional safety equipment for the 2019 BMW 3 Series includes:

  • Extended traffic jam assistant. This system can follow the vehicle ahead at low speeds, keeping the 3 Series in its lane.
  • Blind spot monitoring. A feature that watches for unseen traffic along either side of the sedan.

What is the 2019 BMW 3 Series Like to Drive?

The 2019 BMW 3 Series feels more engaging than the older model. The steering, especially, has been improved, and the 330i with M Sport trim is certainly interesting to drive. Its stiffer suspension settings and larger wheels improve its grip and handling. It can be further upgraded with a limited-slip differential and larger brakes as part of the Track Handling package.

When so equipped, the BMW 3 Series is adept at cornering and can turn in competent lap times at a race track. Still, it’s not a hardcore sport sedan. The Cadillac ATS, the Genesis G70, and the Alfa Romeo Giulia are more focused on performance. The lack of a manual transmission also makes the 3 Series less appealing to enthusiasts.

Instead, the BMW 3 Series is a sharper addition to the comfort-oriented side of the spectrum. Alongside the Audi A4 and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, it offers excellent acceleration, good reflexes, and above all, a comfortable ride. Can the 330i entertain on a back road from time to time? Yes, but it shouldn't be counted on to stimulate much adrenaline.

The BMW’s available all-wheel drive system offers great traction in slippery conditions without numbing front end feel through the steering wheel.

Should I Buy a Current 2019 BMW 3 Series?

The 2019 BMW 3 Series is worth a look for those seeking a balance between size, luxury, and performance in a sedan. Be careful about options prices, however, as they can easily inflate the window sticker.

Should I buy a Used BMW 3 Series?

The previous generation BMW 3 Series (2012-‘18) was criticized for being boring to drive compared to models that came before it. It also may cost more than comparable luxury cars from Japan or America in terms of maintenance. We don't recommend it as a used vehicle.

How Much Does the 2019 BMW 3 Series Cost?

The BMW 3 Series is priced at $41,245 for a base 330i Sport Line. The upper trim all-wheel drive M Sport model costs $48,245.

Pros and Cons of the 2020 BMW 3 Series


  • Fun to drive
  • Comfortable ride
  • Long list of available safety equipment
  • Spacious interior


  • No manual transmission available
  • Option packages add up quickly
  • Not as driver focused as other luxury sport sedans
  • Some interior materials feel cheap
Model History

The History of the BMW 3 Series: 37 Years of 3 Series

The BMW 3 Series has long been the German brand's most important vehicle. The first generation, which sold from 1984-‘92, was lauded for its handling and sporty character. The next version of the 3 Series added more luxury, and by the time the E46 generation arrived in 2000 it had achieved an excellent balance between the two poles. Subsequent models have moved more toward high horsepower and softer rides.

Specs & Key Features of the 2020 BMW 3 Series


Body Style
2.0L DOHC 16-Valve 4-Cylinder Turbocharged
255 hp
Sport Automatic
Passenger Doors
Passenger Seating
Rear Wheel Drive
City MPG

Key Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Audio
  • Back Up Camera
  • Bluetooth
  • CD Player
  • Cruise Control
  • LCD Monitor
  • LED Lights
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Leather Steering Wheel
  • Monitors
  • Remote Keyless Entry
  • Tinted Glass

More Features

  • Engine: 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve 4-Cylinder Turbocharged
  • Transmission: Sport Automatic
  • Engine Auto Stop-Start Feature
  • Transmission w/Driver Selectable Mode and STEPTRONIC Sequential Shift Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
  • Rear-Wheel Drive
  • 2.81 Axle Ratio
  • Battery w/Run Down Protection
  • Regenerative Alternator
  • Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
  • Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
  • Electric Power-Assist Speed-Sensing Steering
  • 15.6 Gal. Fuel Tank
  • Quasi-Dual Stainless Steel Exhaust w/Chrome Tailpipe Finisher
  • Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
  • Multi-Link Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front And Rear Vented Discs, Brake Assist, Hill Hold Control and Electric Parking Brake
  • Wheels: 18" x 7.5" V-Spoke Bi-Color Orbit Grey -inc: (Style 780)
  • Tires: 225/45R18 All-Season Run-Flat
  • Clearcoat Paint
  • Express Open/Close Sliding And Tilting Glass 1st Row Sunroof w/Sunshade
  • Body-Colored Front Bumper
  • Body-Colored Rear Bumper
  • Metal-Look Side Windows Trim and Black Front Windshield Trim
  • Body-Colored Door Handles
  • Body-Colored Power Heated Auto Dimming Side Mirrors w/Power Folding and Turn Signal Indicator
  • Fixed Rear Window w/Defroster
  • Light Tinted Glass
  • Speed Sensitive Rain Detecting Variable Intermittent Wipers w/Heated Jets
  • Galvanized Steel/Aluminum Panels
  • Black Grille w/Chrome Surround
  • Trunk Rear Cargo Access
  • Tailgate/Rear Door Lock Included w/Power Door Locks
  • Fully Automatic Projector Beam Led Low/High Beam Auto-Leveling Daytime Running Lights Preference Setting Headlamps w/Delay-Off
  • Perimeter/Approach Lights
  • LED Brakelights
  • Radio: AM/FM Audio System
  • Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Speed Compensated Volume Control, Aux Audio Input Jack, Steering Wheel Controls and Radio Data System
  • 205w Regular Amplifier
  • Audio Theft Deterrent
  • Streaming Audio
  • Window Grid Diversity Antenna
  • HD Radio
  • CD Player Prep
  • Satellite Radio Preparation
  • Radio Control US
  • Hi-Fi Sound System
  • 2 LCD Monitors In The Front
  • Sport Seats
  • Power Front Seats
  • 2-Way Power Driver Seat -inc: Power Seatback Side Bolster Support and Manual Cushion Extension
  • 2-Way Power Passenger Seat -inc: Power Seatback Side Bolster Support and Manual Cushion Extension
  • 40-20-40 Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Rear Seat
  • Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
  • Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Engine Coolant Temp, Tachometer, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
  • Power Rear Windows
  • ConnectedDrive Services Selective Service Internet Access
  • Sport Leather Steering Wheel
  • Front Cupholder
  • Rear Cupholder
  • Proximity Key For Push Button Start Only
  • Interior Lock Disable
  • Valet Function
  • Power Fuel Flap Locking Type
  • Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter, 4 Door Curb/Courtesy, Illuminated Entry and Panic Button
  • Remote Releases -Inc: Power Cargo Access
  • Garage Door Transmitter
  • Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
  • Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning
  • Rear HVAC w/Separate Controls
  • HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts, Residual Heat Recirculation and Console Ducts
  • Illuminated Locking Glove Box
  • Driver Foot Rest
  • Interior Trim -inc: Metal-Look Door Panel Insert and Metal-Look Interior Accents
  • Full Cloth Headliner
  • Leatherette Door Trim Insert
  • Leather/Metal-Look Gear Shift Knob
  • SensaTec Upholstery
  • Day-Night Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror
  • Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination
  • Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage and 3 12V DC Power Outlets
  • Front And Rear Map Lights
  • Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
  • Full Carpet Floor Covering -inc: Carpet Front And Rear Floor Mats
  • Carpet Floor Trim and Carpet Trunk Lid/Rear Cargo Door Trim
  • Cargo Area Concealed Storage
  • Cargo Space Lights
  • Memory Settings -inc: Driver Seat and Door Mirrors
  • FOB Controls -inc: Trunk/Hatch/Tailgate, Windows and Sunroof/Convertible Roof
  • Tracker System
  • DVD Area Coding (North America)
  • Navigation
  • BMW Assist eCall
  • Apple CarPlay Compatibility -inc: 1 year trial
  • Hands-Free Bluetooth & USB Audio Connection
  • Instrument Panel Covered Bin, Driver / Passenger And Rear Door Bins
  • Power 1st Row Windows w/Front And Rear 1-Touch Up/Down
  • Delayed Accessory Power
  • Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
  • Systems Monitor
  • Trip Computer
  • Outside Temp Gauge
  • BMW TeleServices
  • Manual w/Tilt Front Head Restraints and Manual Foldable Rear Head Restraints
  • Sliding Front Center Armrest and Rear Center Armrest
  • 2 Seatback Storage Pockets
  • Perimeter Alarm
  • Engine Immobilizer
  • 3 12V DC Power Outlets
  • Air Filtration
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Frontal Collision Warning w/City Collision Mitigation
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Tire Specific Low Tire Pressure Warning
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
  • Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
  • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
  • Rear Child Safety Locks
  • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point and Pretensioners
  • Back-Up Camera

Warranty Options for the 2020 BMW 3 Series (5)










Roadside Assistance






Available Trims for the 2020 BMW 3 Series (7)

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Safety Ratings for the 2020 BMW 3 Series

US NHTSA Crash Test Results

Results shown are for the 2020 BMW 3 Series Sedan:

Overall Rating
Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
Overall Side Crash Rating
Side Barrier Rating
Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Rear Seat
Rollover Rating