The BMW 3-series hits the road with the rear-wheel-drive 330i and M340i, plus their all-wheel-drive counterparts, the 330i xDrive and M340i xDrive. The M340i and M340i xDrive also benefit from M Performance chassis tuning and an M Sport rear differential, which only heightens their capabilities.
Power in the 330i models comes from a revised twin-turbocharged 2.0L inline-four that makes 255 hp at 5,000 rpm and 295 lb-ft of torque from as low down in the rev range as 1,550 rpm. This is an extra 7 horses and 37 lb-ft over its predecessor thanks to some fine-tuning of BMW's TwinPower system--the turbos, the direct injection fuel system and the nifty camshaft and valve timing systems Double-VANOS and VALVETRONIC. BMW claims 5.6 seconds in the sprint from 0 to 60 mph with the 2-wheel-drive variant, while the xDrive shaves three-tenths from that figure. The M340i models, meanwhile, come with a twin-turbocharged 3.0L inline-six that produces 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. According to BMW, it will hit 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds. Both engines are mated exclusively to an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and manual mode; no manual transmission available.
The new RWD M3 is powered by a 3L twin turbo 6-cylinder that produces 473 horsepower with the 6-speed manual transmission and 503 horsepower with the 8-speed automatic. The 330 e hybrid draws its power from a 2L turbocharged 4-cylinder mated to an electric motor that delivers 288 horsepower and increases the range to 290 miles.
The 3-series is offered in Sport Line, Luxury, and M Sport trims, which differ largely through subtle exterior design differences. Standard features include 18-inch wheels (19 for M Sports), auto start-stop, dynamic stability control, 14-way power front seats with SensaTec upholstery, fine-wood inlays, a 10-speaker premium sound system, iDrive with an 8.8-inch central screen, dynamic cruise control, a rearview camera, a multifunction steering wheel with Bluetooth hands-free connectivity with audio streaming, plus an automatic three-zone climate control system, ambient lighting and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
Options include remote start, heated seats and steering wheel, wireless charging and WiFi hotspot, a Harman/Kardon surround sound system, and active cruise control. A convenience package brings blind-spot detection and lane departure warning, LED headlights with cornering lights. The premium package includes a head-up display with BMW navigation and more, plus heated seats and steering wheel. A track handling package adds enhanced steering, suspension and tires, plus an M Sport differential to improve control and large M Sport brakes.
A Variety Of Options
Athletic Driving Feel
Long List Of Appearance Packages And Trims
Compact Size And Maneuverability
Practicality And Comfort
The BMW 3-series carries over with minimal changes for 2021 although a new 330 e hybrid was introduced. A 3M model was also added to the lineup.
The BMW 3-series is now in its seventh generation, though the high performance M3 carries over from the sixth generation. The entire range still stands out for being athletic, responsive and fun to drive, as well as relatively fuel-efficient. The 3-series represents the quintessential sports sedan, with far better handling and peppier performance than the equivalent front-wheel drive mid-sized car. Sticking with tradition, the BMW 3-series continues to be rear-wheel drive based, which does wonders for the car's weight distribution and handling, allowing the car to drive like a far more athletic vehicle despite its somewhat humble (but still stylish) 4-door shape.