The BMW 3 Series is the German brand’s best-selling model with around 30-percent of the company’s sales being derived from it alone if you exclude motorcycles. It’s been in constant production since 1975 and served as a successor to the BMW 02 Series of way back when. Over the years, the 3 Series has gone through a total of six generational shifts with the seventh-generation model being introduced in 2018.
If you know anything about the history of the 3 Series, then you know that it has been offered in a number of different forms. It started life as a two-door sedan as BMW called it (it was really just a coupe) and that held true until the second-generation E30 model made its debut. By 1983, the four-door sedan came to life with the 3 Series convertible following suit in 1985 and the 3 Series Wagon debuting in 1987.
BMW has a funny way of justifying new models, and back in 2013, it decided it would differentiate its sedans from its coupes and convertibles. As such, the 3 Series is no longer offered as a coupe or convertible as those models are reserved for the 4 Series name. In its current form, the 3 Series is sportier than ever, but with this generation being introduced in 2018, the model line is far from complete yet. For now, the only models you can get your hands on are the entry-level 330i and the M340i, both of which can be had with xDrive AWD, and the latter of which borrows some M DNA but is far from a budget M3.
The 330i is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that’s good for 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The M340i has a larger, 3.0-liter inline-six that’s good for 382 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Pricing for the 330i starts out at $40,750 while the M340i commands $54,000. Add $2,000 to the base price of either for xDrive AWD and expect the full-fledged BMW M3 to run somewhere in the area of $63,000 when it launches sometime in early-to-mid 2020.