2022 BMW 3 Series Electric
The BMW 3 Series is arguably Bimmer’s most popular model, and it’s about to go electric. The all-electric 3 Series is one of the 25 electric and electrified models that BMW has in the pipeline, and while most of those models will probably end up being electric crossovers and SUVs, the 3 Series EV is arguably the most intriguing, in part because it’s shaped as a sedan and has big shoes to fill.
Recent spy shots of a heavily camouflaged 3 Series sporting “Electric Test Vehicle” stickers recently made their way into the Interwebs, providing us with all we need to know that the car under all the swirly bits is nothing else but the electric 3 Series. There’s no set timetable on when the electric 3 Series will hit the market, but with testing ongoing, it wouldn’t be surprising to see BMW debut the model this year ahead of a possible launch in 2021.
2020 Alpina B3 Touring
Alpina is one of BMW’s most loyal tuners and the latest 3 Series-based B3 models continue to boast with a unique identity and performance figures that irk any M3 owner. The G20-generation B3 Touring is the 462 horsepower stopgap in a world without an M3 Wagon in it. Our only complaint? That we can’t buy this pinstriped grocery-hauler Stateside.
Once upon a time, Alpina and AC Schnitzer were duking it out on the race tracks of the world as BMW’s favored privateers teams. Both received support from Munich and decades of on-track rivalry now see both companies - but especially Alpina - put out some of the best modified cars on the market. So good, in fact, that Alpina has been a manufacturer for over three decades - although you’ll still find BMW logos on the B3. But Alpina doesn’t plan to crash the party of the upcoming M3 Competition either. That’s fair play!
BMW Introduced the seventh-generation G20 3 Series for the 2019 model year and with it came a new design language, update engines, and some features from models like the 5 Series and X5, among others. To top all this off, it’s also just a bit larger and more aggressive than the seven-year-old F30 3 Series that it replaced. We didn’t get a chance to run the new 3 Series prototype around the track on the original pre-release test days, so we’ve been itching to see just how much better new the 3 Series is and whether or not all that new technology and new driving dynamics live up to the hype. So, we started reaching out in hopes of getting our hands on a new 3 Series tester, and BMW delivered. In fact, it delivered so well, that we got to spend a week with none other than the new 2020 BMW M340i – the best model you can get without going full-on M.
So, is the M340i really a poor man’s M3? Does it really compete against the Mercedes-AMG CLA45 or the Audi S5 Sportback? Does the M340i really deserve its time in the limelight? Well, after a week of a weird, love-hate affair with the 2020 BMW M340i, we have answers to all these questions and more. Here’s our experience….
2020 Alpina B3 Saloon
Where do you go when you want a car that looks like a BMW and still is a BMW deep inside, but sports subtle design tweaks, boosted powerplants, and new badges without looking over the top and rather elegant instead? Well, if you’re thinking Alpina, then you’re absolutely right. The firm calls itself a manufacturer because it does not offer aftermarket kits, tuning chips, of mods, but instead, it delivers BMW-based models that have been tweaked from the ground up. Alpina’s latest product, the B3 saloon, just took the stage in Tokyo, so why don’t we get to learn what’s it all about?
2019 BMW 320d xDrive - driven
Whenever BMW launches an all-new 3-Series, this is a big deal on the sporty executive sedan scene. It’s like when Mercedes launches a new S-Class, only at the other end of the size scale. The new 2019 G20 BMW 3 Series promises a lot and I got to drive the grippy, frugal and very fast 320d xDrive for a few days to see if the model has reestablished itself as the class benchmark.
It is a bit bigger and also has different proportions compared to the outgoing 3-Series, the F30, and the visual changes really make it seem new and also stand out among other BMWs. The front part is unusually long, and you especially notice this from a side profile view mainly because the windscreen pillars are positioned quite far back. But this is not a negative point as it gives the car a lot of presence.
BMW has definitely managed to freshen it up a bit compared to the old model, and the same can be said of its interior which now feels far more contemporary than that of the F30. The interior is completely new, hardly anything has been carried over, and the result is a much more modern ambiance than what you felt in the old model which was really starting to feel... old.
In terms of driving experience, the new 3-Series does drive like the slightly bigger car than it is. In fact, you feel like you’re in a bigger car with that huge hood extending in front of you from the driver’s seat, but once you show it some corners, it’s definitely a 3-Series through its high level of agility and not the larger and slightly more comfort-oriented 5-Series.
2020 BMW M340i xDrive
Just before its official unveiling at the L.A. Auto Show, BMW released the first specifications about the best G20 3 Series revealed so far - the M340i xDrive. It is not an M3, but it is really, really close to being one. Actually, the M340i is the most powerful 3 Series ever revealed. Save for previous two generations of the M3.
Taking the G20 3 Series architecture to a level unachieved by any BMW 340i of before, the 2020 BMW M340i xDrive comes with a standard, electronically controlled, mechanical limited slip differential, a 382 horsepower engine, and specially tuned eight-speed transmission with Launch Control.
Update 12/3/2018: We’ve updated this review with new images taken at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Check them out in the gallery below!
BMW’s 3-Series Gran Turismo is the other practical variant in the 3-Series lineup for those who don’t want to buy the wagon. It actually has more carrying capacity than the load lugger, and unmatched passenger room, as well as a hatchback design, so you can load big items into the back fairly easily.
It’s really the amount of interior space that impresses in the 3 GT, a car that is nowhere near as popular as it should be because, from my experience with it, there’s actually a lot to like, and it has a bit of a lovable character. Comfort levels are very high, especially if you avoid the harder suspension of the M sport pack (which apparently ruins the ride quality), and opt for the standard setup with adaptive dampers - it is the most comfortable 3-Series you can buy by quite some margin.
Design and styling may not be to everybody’s taste, certainly, but the fact that it has a bit of extra ground clearance over a regular 3-Series and the fact that it’s slightly taller overall, doesn’t negatively affect the way it looks. I think that for a halfway model whose aim is to convince you not to buy an actual crossover or SUV, it looks more than adequate and for some reason better in person than the 6-Series Gran Turismo - its larger and more expensive 5-Series-based brother.
In the 330i xDrive Luxury spec I tested, it was motivated by a turbocharged four-cylinder which is easily powerful enough for lively acceleration and not terrible on fuel. I wouldn’t call it explicitly sporty, but it is miles better to throw around a twisty road than, say, the BMW X3, which just feels tall and cumbersome by comparison.
BMW is probably not going to make a follow-up model for this 3 GT, due to its low appeal in these crossover crazed times. That means a few years down the line it will be even less of a common sight so as time progresses people may start looking for these as a rare, slightly oddball model, but one with excellent daily driver credentials.
2020 BMW 3 Series Touring
If you want a bit more practicality than the new 2020 BMW 3-Series sedan can offer, then the logical step is the even newer 2020 3-Series Touring. As with previous incarnations of the model, it promises the same sporty drive as the three-box sedan, but with a bit more family friendly practicality and a bigger trunk to fit more stuff into.
The all-new G21 3-Series Touring looks noticeably more imposing than the car it replaces. This is a byproduct of its even longer nose and A-pillars that have been pushed further back. Its front and rear fascias are considerably more modern than those of the F31 which in turn weren’t hugely different to the E90 model before that; in other words, the visual difference between the F31 and the new G21 is far bigger than the one noted from E91 to F31.
The same can be said of the new G21’s interior compared to that of the F31 (whose interior had really started to look dated over the past few years). It is not only more modern and packed with fresh features, but perceived quality has been improved too - overall, it’s a much nicer place to sit and since this is a review of the wagon variant of the new 3-Series, you’ll be happy to note that practicality has been enhanced too.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 BMW 3 Series Touring.
2019 BMW 3 Series
Unveiled at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, the G20 is the seventh generation of the iconic BMW 3 Series. It replaces the seven-year-old F30 model and introduces a new design language, state-of-the-art technology, and updated engines.
Borrowing features seen on recently introduced models like the 5 Series sedan and the X5 SUV, the 3 Series looks sportier than ever and it’s finally on par with its competitors in the technology department. It continues to feature four- and six-cylinder engines, but for the time being there aren’t any diesels to pick from. However, BMW confirmed that both oil burners and hybrids are underway. The Germans claim that "no single model has embodied the concept of the Ultimate Driving Machine better than the latest BMW 3 Series." Let’s find out if it’s true or not in the review below.
2016 BMW 340i M Performance
The annual SEMA show is where all the big names in the automotive aftermarket congregate to show off their latest wares, with plenty of up-and-coming tuners and shops added to the mix to help get the word out. Joining the third party folks is several of the big automakers, which use the event as a springboard to introduce the latest accessories, parts, and concepts. BMW is joining the fun this year, arriving in Vegas to showcase its latest round of extras to carry the M brand badging. Highlights include an M2 Safety Car, an M3, an X5, and this – a sparkling white 340i bearing plenty of the performance division’s embellishments.
SEMA is actually a fantastic venue for a showcase like this. As it turns out, the U.S. is the largest consumer of M Performance Parts, touting 20-percent higher revenue than Germany, the next largest consumer.
In case you were unaware, M Performance Parts help to bridge the gap between more pedestrian trim levels of a model lineup (like the 340i) and the definitively sporty models in Bimmer’s stable (the M3, for example).
This particular example comes draped in an Alpine White paint job, a classic hue for the Bavarian automaker. Complementing the new look is carbon aero and enormous multi-spoke wheels. But the most interesting addition seems to be the M Performance Power & Sound Kit, which adds a few tweaks under the hood for extra (you guessed it) power and sound.
Interested? Read on for more.
Continue reading to learn more about the BMW 340i M Performance.
2017 BMW 330e iPerformance
BMW is adding yet another model to its 3 Series lineup, this time in the form of a plug-in hybrid that will be known as the 330e iPerformance. The car takes a four-cylinder gasoline engine with TwinPower Turbo technology and mates it with eDrive technology derived from models like the BMW i3 and BMW i8 to deliver upward of 250 horsepower and more than 200 pound-feet of torque. As is the case with most plug-in hybrid models, the 330e iPerformance can be driven on battery power alone for a limited distance.
The 3 Series has arguably set the bar for things like performance and fuel economy in the past, so it’s no surprise that BMW looks to raise the bar again with this plug-in hybrid. The entire electric system has been strategically integrated into the 3 Series to ensure optimal weight distribution and energy savings and, as you would expect, the 330e iPerformance can be charged on the go through ChargeNow – BMW’s i mobility service that offers more than 30,000 charging points in 22 countries.
The 330e goes on sale this summer and will be considered the range-topping model price-wise in the U.S. with a starting invoice higher than that of the $43,000 3 Series Gran Turismo. Before get to further into detail on that, let’s take a closer look at the 330e iPerformance and all it offers.
Update 06/24/2016: Bimmer has announced pricing for the 2017 BMW 330e iPerformance sedan. Check out the prices section below for all the details.
Continue reading to learn more about the BMW 330e iPerformance.
2017 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo
The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is the latest variation of the company’s iconic 3 Series sedan and was introduced in 2013, two years after the standard, sixth-generation four-door made its public debut. Developed with customers looking for a smaller, sportier version of the 5 Series GT in mind, the 3 Series GT has a longer wheelbase, taller body, and hatchback-like rear end compared to the standard 3 Series. Engine options are virtually the same, except for the M version, which has yet to be offered on the GT model as of 2016.
After three years on the market, the 3 Series GT has received its first mid-cycle revision. Not surprisingly, changes are in line with the facelifted sedan and wagon version of the compact model. Specifically, styling revisions are rather mild on the outside, while the interior gains only a handful of updates. The most important additions are in the drivetrain department, where BMW introduced three new turbocharged gasoline engines.
The facelifted 3 Series Gran Turismo goes on sale in summer 2016 and will likely stay in showrooms until at least 2018, when the next-generation sedan is rumored to break cover. Until that happens, let’s have a closer look at the new features available on the current 3 Series GT.
Continue reading to learn more about the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo.
2016 BMW 320d Celebration Edition "Style Edge"
BMW has picked the BMW 320d to create the third installment of its 100th-anniversary celebration. This time around, there will be 200 examples of the 320d and 200 examples of the 320 Touring built with a few exclusive exterior features and special interior appointments. Best of all, the two models will be equipped with BMW’s next-gen B47, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, clean diesel engine and a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. The model is set to go on sale on May 28th in Japan and is expected to be sold in a short period of time.
With a Japan launch, obviously those of us in Europe or the U.S. will probably never get to lay eyes on one, but it’s at least worth knowing about. As expected, the 320d Style Edge 3 models get some M Sport love and a little bit of attention from BMW Individual too. Pricing for both models tips in between $50,000 and $55,000, which will be about $10,000 more than their standard-model counterparts.
So, coming in at a $10,000 premium, the Style Edge models must be pretty special, right? Well, let’s take a look at what BMW did with them to make them worth being part of its 100th anniversary.
Continue reading to learn more about the BMW 320d Celebration Edition "Style Edge"