Decent ride quality, excellent performance on the road and gigantic engine make it a complete all-rounder


BMW 3 Series is one of the most competent series by BMW. For more than 40 years, it has been a compact executive chief of class and in 2012, its latest model was also declared a winner. In this modern age, competition gains an important position among the people and becomes tough like the competition among Alfa Romeo Giulia, Mercedes C-Class, Jaguar XE and BMW 3 Series. But the first position in this competition was grabbed marvelously by 3 Series. This sharp 3 Series holds the title of best handling compact saloon, but Jaguar XE tries its level best to come close to it and provides lower running costs. But the ultimate winner will always be 3 Series, no matter how marginal difference between the two vehicles.


A broad range of powerful three, four and six-cylinder engines are accessible along with the 181bhp 320d 2.0-Litre diesel engine proposing a great combination of performance in opposition to running costs. The king of performance in the standard car is the 321bhp 340i’s 3.0-litre turbo petrol; it arrives 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds, and will strike155mph flat out. The 335d offers inspiring grunt too, along with bags of torque for unproblematic overtaking.

The plug-in hybrid 330e begins without a sound – unlike some hybrids, there’s no perceptible chime to let you know that the ignition is on. Simply choose drive, and you’re far away in electric mode. However, as rivals such as the VW Passat GTE will run on battery power unaccompanied for a period before the engine cuts in, the BMW relies mainly on internal combustion more frequently.

If you launch from cold, the engine will cut in almost straight away, while at speeds of more than 70mph the car involuntarily switches to engine mode, irrespective of how much charge is present in the battery. Still, the switch between the two power sources is effortless and seamless, and just at high revs are you conscious of the turbocharged 2.0-litre engine’s somewhat gruff note. Overall refinement is fine, though there’s some intrusive tyre growl, chiefly on coarse surfaces.


Although the hybrid system doesn’t run in electric mode as frequently as some, there’s no quarrelling with the 330e’s performance. Along with 249bhp it’s capable of 0-60mph in about 6.1 seconds, though it runs out of puff at high speeds. That’s just because the electric motor enhances acceleration up to 70mph, but beyond that the car depends on the 2.0-litre petrol engine alone. The M3 is, of course, the greatest car in the range all thanks to its 425bhp 3.0-litre straight-six. As of early 2016 there’s a Competition Package version too, which ups the ante to 444bhp.


The Audi A4 proposed four-wheel drive first, but the 3 Series xDrive (only obtainable on the 320d, 320i, 330d and 335d) means additional grip is now accessible in a BMW, bringing along with it extra peace of mind.

All models acquire six-speed manual gearbox and a smooth and very advanced eight-speed automatic is also available as an option.

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