The 2013 BMW 3 Series earns an above average Total Car Score for the Entry Luxury Sedans & Wagons segment.
The 3 Series has long been the symbol of the entry luxury car. Whether one is a young professional or just wanting to take the next step up with their next vehicle, the BMW 3 Series will likely be on the shopping list. Reviewers praise the ability of the 3 Series to combine a sporty drive and sharp steering with a comfortable ride and luxury interior.
BMW has updated the 3 Series wagon for 2013, bringing it in line with last year’s redesigned sedan, but the coupe and convertible body styles remain on the old platform. The reason for the two door models remaining unchanged was explained when BMW announced it will rename the redesigned 2014 coupe and convertible the 4 Series.
The redesigned four doors are slightly longer, bringing about greater interior space. Reviewers are happy with this increase and the resulting roomier backseats. Both four door models now come with standard power adjustable front seats and a greater number of interior color schemes. All models offer very reasonable cargo space, with the wagon offering 53 cubic feet, as much as some crossovers. The wagon also offers an optional power liftgate The coupe trunk is about average and the convertible shrinks even further with the top down, as would be expected.
The engine choices are split amongst redesigned and old platforms. In 328i trim, both four-door models get a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, while two-door models stay with the 3.0-liter inline-6. Step up to the 335i models and you get a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6. Move even further up the ladder to the 335is and you get an enhanced version of the 335i engine producing an extra 20 horsepower.
The 2013 BMW 3 Series is available in four body styles: sedan, wagon, coupe or convertible. The base trim for each body style is 328i. The sedan, coupe and convertible are also available in the 335i trim. The top of the line 335is is available in the coupe and convertible body styles only. The BMW ActiveHybrid 3 and high performance M3 are reviewed separately.
Powertrains for the 328i trims differ depending on body style. The next generation sedan and wagon both come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder good for 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. The non-redesigned coupe and convertible continue with the normally aspirated 3.0-liter inline-6 producing 230 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. A six speed manual transmission is standard for sedan, coupe and convertible body styles in 328i trim, with an eight-speed automatic standard in the wagon and optional in the sedan. The coupe and convertible 328i have an optional six-speed automatic.
The 335i trim is available in sedan, coupe and convertible body styles and powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 producing 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. Transmission options are the same as in the 328i trim. Opting for the 335is trim will get you an upgraded version of the 335i engine that increases horsepower to 320 and 332 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is again standard, but a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual is available as an option. Rear-wheel drive is standard on all trims, with all-wheel drive available on all except the convertible and the 335is trim.
The redesigned wagon joins the sedan this year in offering four equipment packages: Luxury, Modern, Sport and M Sport. Luxury adds 18-inch alloy wheels, a choice of wood trims and a sport leather steering wheel. The Modern package brings with it choices of brushed aluminum trim and “fineline pure” textured wood trims. Adding the Sport package will give you 18-inch double spoke alloy wheels, performance tires and additional trim options. Finally, the M Sport package adds additional trim options, drops the ride height and adds the M Sport suspension package with additional performance enhancing features.
Standard features in all models include premium leatherette upholstery, dual-zone climate control, auto headlights and auto-dimming mirrors. The sedan and wagon now come standard with power adjustable front seats. Additional options include a rear view camera and park assist, blind spot detection, heated front seats, navigation system, and Harman Kardon sound system. There is an automated trunk operation triggered by waving your foot under the rear bumper that lifts the trunk or the liftgate in the wagon.
The wagon has been redesigned for 2013 to match last year’s sedan redesign. The coupe and convertible carry over unchanged for 2013 and will be renamed the 4 Series next year.
The EPA rates the 328i sedan at 22 mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined with the eight speed automatic, 34 mpg highway in the manual. The 328i coupe will get 18/28/22 with the six-speed automatic and 19/28/22 with the manual, while the convertible gets 18/27/21 with the automatic and 17/26/20 with the manual. The 335i four door is rated at 23/33/26 with the automatic and 20/30/23 with the manual, while the 2 door models get 18/27/21 with the automatic and 19/28/22 with the manual.
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