Everything You Need to Know About the BMW 3 Series

  • Posted by: BMWUX
BMW 3 Series Sixth Generation

The sixth generation of the BMW 3 Series emerged with many physical appeals. Its sophisticated and modern architecture is shaped with better aerodynamic proportions and more sporty characteristics. In May 2015, the sixth generation of the BMW 3 Series was released in the U.S. Market. The chassis was redesigned to feature the brand-new front struts, new rear damper technology, and newly engineered electric power steering.

Like its cousin the BMW 4 Series, prominent exterior improvements are made to create a more distinctive look. Its flared wheel arches, LED headlight and taillight elements, enlarged air intakes, and its elegant exterior contour contributes to the new 3 Series’ overall wider, lower, and sportier silhouettes.

The Sixth Generation of the BMW 3 Series in the U.S. Market

  • 320i Sedan (In-line 4 Cylinder, 180 HP, 200 lb-ft of max torque)
  • 320i xDrive Sedan (In-line 4 Cylinder, 180 HP, 200 lb-ft of max torque)
  • 328d Sedan (In-line 4 Cylinder, 180 HP, 280 lb-ft of max torque)
  • 328d xDrive Sedan (In-line 4 Cylinder, 180 HP, 280 lb-ft of max torque)
  • 328i Sedan (In-line 4 Cylinder, 240 HP, 258 lb-ft of max torque)
  • 335i xDrive Grand Turismo (In-line 6 Cylinder, 300 HP, 300 lb-ft of max torque)
  • 340i Sedan (In-line 6 Cylinder, 320 HP, 332 lb-ft of max torque)
  • 340i xDrive Sedan (In-line 6 Cylinder, 320 HP, 332 lb-ft of max torque)
  • 328d xDrive Sports Wagon (In-line 4 Cylinder, 180 HP, 280 lb-ft of max torque)
  • 328i xDrive Sports Wagon (In-line 4 Cylinder, 240 HP, 258 lb-ft of max torque)

See the complete guide on the BMW 3 Series history and evolution.

The BMW 3 Series Engine

The new engines furnished for the latest BMW 3 Series are developed with an in-line cylinder construction. The advantages of such structure are the lightweight yet rigid and heat optimized aluminum properties.

Moreover, like many of the other new BMW lineups, the 3 Series engines are equipped with the latest and greatest TwinPower Turbo technology. The system also features TwinScroll Turbocharging, High Precision Injection, Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing, and VALVETRONIC fully variable valve timing.

The BMW 3 Series Petroleum Engine

The BMW 3 Series’ petroleum engine is designed with an exhaust manifold integrated turbocharger. It reduces the distance the exhaust gas must travel to reach the turbocharger system. In turn, it results in the increase of throttle responses.

The BMW 3 Series Diesel Engine

The diesel engine with the TwinPower Turbo technology, on the other hand, includes VNT Turbocharging and the most up-to-date generation of common rail direct injection. Fuel consumption and emissions are significantly reduced in the 3 Series from such setup.

The BMW 3 Series Transmission

BMW 3 Series Sixth Generation Transmission

The 8-Speed Steptronic Automatic Transmission with steering wheel paddle shifter comes standard in the 3 Series model 328i, 328d, 335i, and 340i.

Improved from the prior generations, the compact design and updated system offer better efficiency, a wider gear ratio spread, and reduced torque converter slip during gear shifts. The result is a noticeably enhanced driving comfort and smoother shifting.

The Coasting Function in the BMW 3 Series

The new 8-Speed Steptronic Transmission in the BMW 3 Series also gains fuel-saving benefits from the coasting function.  The engine reduces consumption by automatically disengaging engine (idling) from the transmission when traveling at a higher speed on a downward slope.

The BMW 3 Series Suspension

Let’s talk about the redesigned suspension system in the latest 3 Series. Both the Sedan and the Sports Wagon received advanced steering set-up for optimal efficiency and dynamics.

Updates made to the steering system include the new front struts with five bolt upper anchor points, new electric power steering, rear damper technology, and the updated Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). The fine-tuned system improves both transverse and longitudinal dynamics. It promises better stability, more steering precision, and agile handling.

BMW EfficientDynamics in the BMW 3 Series

The BMW 3 Series Sedan and Sports Wagon both retain excellent fuel efficiency. With its Auto Start-Stop function, Brake Energy Regeneration, the on-demand operation of ancillary units and the ECO PRO mode option, maximum energy saving can be achieved without sacrificing the performance.

Other fuel-saving properties in the 3 Series include the Proactive Driving Assistant present in the models paired with the 8-Speed Steptronic Transmission. This system works with the navigation data to analyze the current route for energy management. Powertrain automatically adapts to the driving and routing situation, so the system can make recommendations to the drivers for the most appropriate and fuel-saving driving styles.

The BMW 3 Series Track Handling Package

BMW 3 Series Sixth Generation Track Handling Package

For all the speed lovers, the Track Handling Package (a $2,300 Add-On Package) is the perfect performance add-on. Available on models powered by gasoline, the package has the following amenities:

  • Variable Sport Steering
  • Adaptive M Suspension
  • M Sports Brakes with blue calipers and high-temperature Euro Brake Pads
  • Standard 18” Light Alloy Wheels in Orbit Grey (optional 19-inch wheels are available for the BMW 340i models).

The BMW 3 Series xDrive All-wheel Drive Option

The BMW 3 Series models available with the xDrive option are the 320i, 328i, 328d, 335i, and the 340i models.

The xDrive provides maximum traction and optimal power transfer to the road. The biggest advantage of the BMW xDrive is the prevention of understeering and oversteering, especially during sharp turns. The setup allows improved driving experience and safety.

Aerodynamic Features on the BMW 3 Series

The sixth generation of the BMW 3 Series has many similarities with the new BMW 4 Series. The signature BMW sporty look shows through from the long front hood to the short overhang. Pronounced wheel arches and sharp outline give off the impression of a powerful and agile posture.

Aerodynamically designed details such as the Air Curtains and Air Breathers spells out efficiency. Upgrade options are available on the BMW 328i, 328d, 335i and 340i models to interchange the Halogen light to the even more efficient Full Adaptive LED Headlight.

New Full-LED Taillights on the BMW 3 Series

The taillights in the BMW 3 Series, on the other hand, received a complete redesign. The modern full-LED taillights in flat “L” shapes stretch across the rear profile further widened the stance. Integrated LED brake lights with faster responses provide an even and consistent brilliance. Both visibility and safety are improved with the new illumination.

Customization Packages and Options in the BMW 3 Series

There are 12 Fresh exterior color choices available for the sixth generation of the BMW 3 Series. New additions include the Mediterranean Blue Metallic, Platinum Silver Metallic, and Jatoba Brown Metallic. The Estoril Blue Metallic shade continues to be offered as an exclusive paint for models equipped with the M Sports package. Like all the other BMW models, a variety of BMW upgrades are available to the model lineup to fulfill individual preferences.

BMW 3 Series Exterior Highlights

BMW 3 Series Sixth Generation Exterior

The former Sports add-on option within the 3 Series is now standard equipment in the new 3 Series model lineup (328i, 328d, 335i, and 340i, including xDrive models). On the exterior, the default Sports Line selection features luxury high-gloss exterior components such as black kidney grills and black B-Pillars. In addition, black high-gloss elements are featured on the rear bumper while the tailpipe trim in black chrome synthesizes with the high-gloss black finish around the air-intakes.

BMW 3 Series Interior Highlights

BMW 3 Series Sixth Generation Interior

Inside the cockpit, the sports instrument display comes with chrono-scaling. It gives the entire front dashboard the look of a performance-focused ride. Adding the touch of beautiful Dakota Leather in bold color choices, the entire cabin has been upgraded to the look and feel of modern luxury.

Premium Package ($2,450) Available for the BMW 328i and 328d Models

  • Lumbar Support
  • Satellite Radio with 1-year Subscription
  • Comfort Access Keyless Entry
  • Moonroof (also available as a $1,050 stand-alone Convenience Option)

Luxury Package ($0)

    • Premium Package (also available as a $2,450 stand-alone package)
    • Choice of Interior Leather Upholstery:
      • Saddle Brown Dakota Leather with Dark Brown Highlight and Brown Lower Dashboard (an additional $1,450)
      • Oyster Dakota Leather (an additional $1,450)
      • Black Dakota Leather with Dark Oyster Highlight (an additional $1,450)
      • Venetian Beige Dakota Leather with Dark Oyster Highlight (an additional $1,450)
    • Choice of Wheels and Tires:
      • 17″ Light Alloy Wheels Double-Spoke Style 392 with All-Season Tires
      • 18″ Light Alloy V-Spoke Style 398 Orbit Grey with Mixed Perf. Non-Run-Flat Tires
      • 18″ Light Alloy Wheel Double-Spoke Style-397 with A/S Tires (an additional $600)
      • 18″ Light Alloy Wheel Double-Spoke Style397 with Mixed Performance Tires (an additional $600)
    • Choice of Interior Trim:
      • Fineline Anthracite Wood Trim with PearlGloss Chrome Highlight
      • Brushed Aluminum Trim with Black High-Gloss Accent
      • Burl Walnut Wood Trim with Pearl Gloss Chrome Highlight
      • Ash Grain Wood Trim with Metal Inlay and PearlGloss Chrome Highlight

M Sports Package ($3,000)

  • Aerodynamic Kit
  • M Steering Wheel
  • M Sport Suspension
  • Adaptive M Suspension (an additional $700)
  • Shadowline Exterior Trim
  • Choice of Interior Trim:
    • Aluminum Hexagon Trim with Estoril Blue Matte Highlight
    • Brushed Aluminum Trim with Black High-Gloss Accent
    • Burl Walnut Wood Trim with Pearl Gloss Chrome Highlight
    • Fineline Anthracite Wood Trim with PearlGloss Chrome Highlight
    • Aluminum Hexagon Trim with Black High-Gloss Highlight
    • Ash Grain Wood Trim with Metal Inlay and Pearl Gloss Chrome Highlight
  • Choice of Interior Upholstery:
    • Black SensaTec
    • Venetian Beige SensaTec
    • Oyster Dakota Leather (an additional $1,450)
    • Black Dakota Leather with Dark Oyster Highlight (an additional $1,450)
    • Coral Red Dakota Leather with Black Highlight (an additional $1,450)
    • Saddle Brown Dakota Leather with Dark Brown Highlight (an additional $1,450)
    • Venetian Beige Dakota Leather with Dark Oyster Highlight (an additional $1,450)
  • Choice of Wheels and Tires: (Bold)
    • 18″ Star-Spoke 400M Wheels with Mixed Summer Tires
    • 18″ Light Alloy V-Spoke Style 398 Orbit Grey with Mixed Perf. Non-Run-Flat Tires
    • 18″ Star-Spoke 400M Wheels with All-Season Tires
  • Choice of Exterior Paint: (Bold)
    • Alpine White
    • Black Sapphire Metallic (an additional $550)
    • Glacier Silver Metallic (an additional $550)
    • Melbourne Red Metallic (an additional $550)
    • Mineral Grey Metallic (an additional $550)
    • Estoril Blue Metallic (an additional $550)

Also see our complete guide on the BMW M3.

The Modern and Classic BMW 3 Series Cockpit

BMW 3 Series Sixth Generation Cockpit Interior

BMW has done well when it comes to creating a comfortable, ergonomic, and accessible driver’s space. The interior of the BMW 3 Series is arranged with a sleek and tasteful look. Chrome highlights and high-gloss surfaces bring about a modern impression.

Additional chrome accents throughout the cockpit artistically accentuate the interior instruments. The ergonomic 10-way, power adjustable sports seats with the 2-way, power adjustable headrest and thigh support can be upholstered in a wide variety of fabric choices. New ambient lighting highlights the interior space further and creates an aesthetically pleasing and emotionally relaxing atmosphere.

Business Navigation in the BMW 3 Series

The Business Navigation has become part of the standard equipment in the BMW 3 Series Sedan and Sports Wagon. The updated system has faster data processing and more realistic 3D visualization.

The navigation is also adaptive. The intuitive learning system automatically remembers and recalls driver preferred routes in alternative to the system suggested routes. Automatic map updates are being provided complimentary to the U.S. market. The updates are being carried out wirelessly over the air through the vehicle’s integrated SIM card.

See our complete guide on how to use the BMW Navigation.

BMW ConnectedDrive Services in the 3 Series

The BMW Assist eCall and Concierge Service are part of the BMW ConnectedDrive. The Built-in SIM card bridges communication seamlessly from the car to the driver without utilizing a smartphone. BMW Concierge Services can search destinations such as nearby gas stations or restaurants, and it even can make reservations upon request.

The BMW Assist eCall in the 3 Series

In case the vehicle is involved in an accident, the BMW Assist eCall (Enhanced Automatic Collision Notification) can measure the severity of the accident by the vehicle conditions and can send information collected back to the BMW Assist Response Center to generate the best emergency response.

Mobile LTE in the BMW 3 Series

The new BMW 3 Series is also the first car in its segment to support mobile LTE. Optimal coverage and reception can be realized with LTE when selected with the Professional Navigation System and the optional Extended Smartphone Connectivity.

Head-Up Display (Part of the $2,750 Technology Package) in the BMW 3 Series

The new and improved full-color, high-resolution Head-Up Display is available as an option within the Technology Package for the BMW 3 Series. It is a useful information display projected onto the front windshield within the driver’s sight. Data projected from the display includes the current speed, navigation instructions, vehicle status, media and smartphone info and various warning messages.

Parking Assistant in the BMW 3 Series

Admit it, we all need a little help sometimes with challenging parking spaces. Thankfully, with the Parking Assistant function, perfect parallel parking can happen, and the car literally parks itself.

When using the Park Assistant (a $500 Convenience Option) function, the driver needs to control the acceleration, gear shift, brakes, and the system can complete the parking procedure with amazing accuracy. In addition, Park Distance Control (PDC) function works in sync to automatically detect and avoid obstacles while parking into the desired space. Safety and convenience are greatly heightened with this powerful technology.

Author: BMWUX
BMWUX empowers you with useful information, the right tools, and better solutions so that you can get the most out of your BMW user experience
BMWUX.com uses cookies to ensure the best user experience. By continuing access to this website, you are giving us consent to cookies being used. For more Information, please visit BMWUX.com’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.