BMW 3-Series Review
The 2015 BMW 3-Series ranks 4 out of 14 Upscale Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the BMW 3-Series, as well as reliability and safety data.
The 2015 BMW 3-Series has a great mix of outstanding handling, powerful acceleration and top-flight comfort, according to critics.
Reviewers say that each of the 2015 BMW 3-Series' engines, ranging from the base 320i's athletic turbocharged four-cylinder to the 335i's potent turbocharged six-cylinder, is remarkable. They are impressed with the 3-Series' standard eight-speed automatic transmission for its fast gear changes; a six-speed manual is available as well. With an EPA-estimated 24/36 mpg city/highway, the base 3-Series gets good fuel economy for the class. Meanwhile, the turbodiesel BMW 328d sedan gets the best fuel economy estimates in the lineup with 32/45 mpg. The 3-Series’ smooth ride and superb handling impress critics, as does its powerful braking. Most also say the 2015 3-Series has precise steering, though some miss the responsive nature of the steering in older 3-Series models.
The 2015 BMW 3-Series' cabin is well-made with premium materials, most automotive writers say. They love its supportive front seats and report the rear seats are roomy and provide superior legroom for the class. The 3-Series' cargo area is big, reviewers say, especially in the 3-Series Sports Wagon and Gran Turismo hatchback trims. Standard features in the base 2015 BMW 3-Series include Bluetooth, a USB port and BMW’s iDrive infotainment system. Available features include leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, heated front and rear seats, adaptive cruise control, navigation, satellite radio, a moonroof, a rearview camera, side- and top-view cameras, parking sensors, a Harman Kardon audio system, blind spot monitoring, a head-up display and lane departure warning. Most critics are pleased that the iDrive system operates quickly and features sharp graphics, though a few note that rival systems require fewer clicks to change simple settings.
- "The 2015 BMW 3 Series is a well-rounded and highly desirable entry-level luxury car. Whether you're drawn to its sporty driving character or its high-end cabin, it's one of our favorites in this class." -- Edmunds
- "First introduced for the 2012 model year, the current 3-Series continues to offer one of the best balances of handling and luxury in the automotive world." -- Left Lane News
- "If you want a practical luxury sport sedan that delivers on driving involvement regardless of the model you pick, then the 2015 BMW 3 Series should be at the top of your list." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "With its exceptional acceleration, handling, braking, gas mileage and interior accommodations, the 2013 BMW 328i is the best luxury sport sedan you can buy. Period." -- Cars.com (2013)
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Other Cars to Consider
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Most critics are impressed with the Infiniti Q50’s powerful standard V6 engine and sleek interior styling. The also appreciate its supportive front seats and refreshingly easy-to-use infotainment system.
Details: 2015 BMW 3-Series
The 2015 BMW 3-Series comes in sedan, hatchback (Gran Turismo) and Sports Wagon body styles. Available trims include the 320i, 328i, 328d, 335i, ActiveHybrid 3 and M3. The base 320i sedan comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, rear-wheel drive and a choice between an eight-speed automatic transmission and a six-speed manual. All-wheel drive (xDrive) is available. The BMW 3-Series’ last full redesign was in 2012, and since it sees no major changes for 2015, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2012 to 2015 model years.
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