2021 BMW 3-Series Review, Pricing, and Specs. The 3 Series is a perfect car. Its middling standing is much more indicative of the course’s strength than of any significant weakness with this sporty little car.
This BMW 3-Series sets the standard for performance in the luxury small car class, with nimble handling complementing each of the three capable powertrain choices. Spacious, comfortable seating and among the largest trunks from the course further boost the 3 Series’ allure.
Its few drawbacks include a cottage quality that does not really match some competitions’ extravagance and an infotainment system that’s usually user-friendly but features a few fussy optional controls.
LOWS Steering feels could be expensive, with no more manual transmission. VERDICT The 3-series is the section’s most refined sedan due to its cohesive and engaging demeanor.
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2021 BMW 3-Series Review
The 2021 BMW 3-series epitomizes the new sports sedan with its detailed functionality and inherent sophistication.
The German manufacturer provides two phenomenal engines for this version –a 255-hp four-cylinder plus a 385-hp straight-six–both of which are as fast as they’re refined.
There is also a plug-in hybrid for the green audience. While we are saddened by BMW 3-Series decision to get rid of the 3’s manual transmission, the perceptive eight-speed automatic is a worthy replacement.
What is more, the 3’s fantastic chassis can seamlessly shift from calm to frisky at a minute’s notice.
Regrettably, it’s steering, although improved over the last generations, still lacks the tactility that fans once idolized.
The 2021 3-series meets its mission as an entry premium sedan with ample cabin and rear space in addition to copious amounts of technology and luxury.
What’s New BMW 3-Series Review for 2021?
Although BMW has not divulged the entire list of upgrades to the 3-series, it has announced the 330e plug-in-hybrid version return.
Compared with the last-gen PHEV, the most recent version boasts several enhancements, like a higher top speed in electric mode (87 mph versus 75), a bigger battery (12.0 kilowatt-hours versus 7.6), and a more EPA-rated all-electric range (up to 22 miles versus 14).
2021 BMW 3-Series Pricing Review
- 330i – $42,245
- 330e – $45,545
- M340i – $55,695
We favor the gas-powered versions of the plug-in hybrid. There is no question that the M340i packs the maximum functionality, but its asking price is too high for us.
Instead, we’d select the 330i because of its amazingly sufficient power and genuinely athletic behavior.
People who need an all-wheel-drive may add it for $2000. We would equip our case with the M Sport package that brings added features, unique styling pieces, and a specially tuned suspension.
Most colors cost extra, and not all are compatible with the M Sport option, so we’d select the fairly Portimao Blue.
For the cottage, we’d choose among the Vernasca leathers to enhance the interior.
We would also add the Premium bundle for its blind-spot observation, hands-free passive entrance, head-up screen, heated steering wheel, more giant touchscreen, and much more.
The Track Handling bundle optimizes the sedan’s driving dynamics through adaptive dampers and upgraded brakes.
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2021 BMW 3-Series Engine, Transmission, and Performance Review
The 3-series provides two smooth and powerful gas-powered engines. The 330i includes a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which makes 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
The M340i pairs using a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six that generates 385 ponies and 369 pound-feet.
The 330e plug-in hybrid joins a turbo 2.0-liter engine with an electric motor that collectively creates 288 horses and 310 pound-feet.
Our first impression of this 330e showed a harmonious relationship between the gas and electrical elements.
We enjoy the plug in’s new Xtraboost function, which offers a burst of power that feels like a shot of nitrous.
You can power all four wheels for a cost. Regrettably, a manual gearbox is no longer accessible. (Purists should hold out for the all-new BMW M3 should they want the stick.) Buyers can choose between two suspension setups on the 3: the foundation arrangement or the update with adaptive dampers.
Our first drive of the G20-gen 3-series was reassuring. The car’s newfound steering sense provides more road-surface info and variable effort than its predecessor did, but it still lacks compared with that of those 3’s iconic ancient generations.
We applauded its capability to transition from relaxed and elegant to sharp and lively. The 330i also secured its place on top of its class by thwarting the stunning Alfa Romeo Giulia at a two-car compare.
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Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
BMW and the EPA have released fuel-economy quotes for just the 2021 330e plug-in models up to now, but we do not expect the figures for the gas-powered models to change from the previous model year.
The former has an estimated all-electric driving range of 22 miles, whereas the latter could move just 20 miles.
The government says the rear-drive 2020 330i earns 26 mpg in the city and 36 on the highway; including all-wheel drive drops those evaluations by 2 and 1 mpg, respectively.
The 2020 M340i has quotes of 22 mpg city and 30 highway no matter its drivetrain configuration.
We analyzed a rear-drive 330i on our 200-mile highway route to appraise its real-life mileage, and it returned an impressive 42 mpg. Likewise, we ran the same test with an all-wheel-drive M340i, which earned 33 mpg.
2021 BMW 3-Series Interior, Comfort, and Cargo Review
Inside, the 3 has an updated design finish with excellent materials and impressive build quality.
Nothing feels cheap within the 3-series, and its controls are well placed. BMW also improved outward visibility, and the typical sport seats are well-bolstered and inviting, and they give extensive adjustment, so it’s easy to get comfortable.
The car’s extra-cost content contains a detailed head-up screen, customizable ambient interior lighting, heated front, rear seats, remote start, and wireless charging.
BMW’s digital instrument cluster is somewhat cluttered but still appealing. Some may get the counterclockwise sweep of the tachometer needle odd at first, but you get acclimated to it immediately.
The 3-series has a massive trunk with an available power-operated lid. With 17 cubic feet of cargo space, the gas-powered sedan can match six carry-on suitcases back there and 17 complete with the back row folded.
The 330e has less trunk space (13 cubes) because of its battery pack, and we have not analyzed its carry-on capacity.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The standard infotainment system runs via an 8.8-inch touchscreen, but the port may also be controlled using a large knob and buttons on the console or voice controls.
The Live Cockpit Plus package of features, including navigation, is standard. For the really great stuff, you will have to spring for the similarly named Live Cockpit Pro bundle, which increases the touchscreen’s size to 10.3 inches and provides you the most current and most competent iteration of BMW’s iDrive system.
A subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot is optional, but the sedan does include two USB ports. Apple CarPlay integration is standard; however, Android Auto isn’t available.
One attractive alternative is BMW’s Gesture Control, which allows the driver or passenger to enter specific commands with hand gestures. It is more novel than useful, but it will wow your friends for a couple of minutes.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
However, the 2020 model earned a Top Safety Pick+ in the IIHS. BMW is skimpy when it comes to standard driver-assistance technology, supplying only forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking.
Other features can be found, though. By way of instance, the Parking Assistance bundle will practically park the vehicle for you.
Accessible blind-spot tracking and rear cross-traffic alert
Accessible lane-departure warning and lane-keeping help
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
BMW’s limited and powertrain warranties align with those from rivals like Audi and Mercedes-AMG. It provides longer free maintenance than those choices, but Jaguar defeats it there.
Complimentary care is covered for 3 years or 36,000 miles.
Specifications 2020 BMW M340i
front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
PRICE AS TESTED
$66,820 (base price: $54,995)
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve inline-6, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
183 cu in, 2998 cc
382 hp @ 6500 rpm
369 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 13.7-in vented disc/13.6-in vented disc
Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, F: 225/40R-19 93Y ★ R: 255/35R-19 96Y ★
Wheelbase: 112.2 in
Length: 185.7 in
Width: 71.9 in
Height: 56.4 in
Passenger volume: 95 cu ft
Trunk volume: 17 cu ft
Curb weight: 3827 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS: NEW
Rollout, 1 ft: 0.3 sec
60 mph: 3.8 sec
100 mph: 9.2 sec
150 mph: 24.2 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 4.7 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 2.1 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 2.6 sec
¼-mile: 12.3 sec @ 115 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 156 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 155 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.96 g
Observed: 24 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 25/22/30 mpg
4 years/50,000 miles bumper to bumper;
12 years/unlimited miles corrosion protection;
4 years/unlimited miles roadside assistance;
3 years/36,000 miles scheduled maintenance