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2009 BMW 3 Series

Overview
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2009 BMW 3 Series Review

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Now in its fifth generation, BMW's 3 Series carries on as one of the world's premier driving machines. Both Sedan and Sports Wagon variants are offered in two trims: the 328 and 335, with the later powered by a twin-turbocharged engine. Even the more affordable members of the family – rear-wheel-drive 328i Sedan and Sports Wagon and all-wheel-drive 328xi Sedan and Sports Wagon – offer an impressive roster of comfort and convenience touches in addition to their crisply-tuned suspension packages, standard Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), powerful anti-lock brakes (ABS) and handling characteristics that continue to win rave reviews from driving fans everywhere. New for 2009 is the addition of a diesel-powered 3 Series, the 335d Sedan.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're a genuine driving enthusiast who still believes that there's just something special about German automotive engineering, virtually any selection from the 328i and 328xi menu could be just what you're looking for. Even at its entry level, the 3 Series package provides an engaging mix of character, quality and performance.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you prefer a suspension tuned more towards ride comfort than control, want a rear seat with lots of legroom or need a spacious trunk, the 3 Series may be less attractive than some of its European or Japanese competitors – although the Sports Wagon does offer impressive cargo room even with the rear seat up.

What's New for 2009

The 3-Series Sedan and Wagon receive a slight exterior and interior freshening, with a new front end, revised rear end and a more dynamic profile. Also new are an improved iDrive controller and the addition of a turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel engine.

Driving the 3 Series

Driving Impressions True to tradition, even the entry-level 3 Series offers a full measure of BMW's legendary driving DNA. Fortified with abundant power and torque, both rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive variants, in either...

body style and with either transmission, are plenty fast from zero to 60 mph and easily capable of coping with any kind of traffic situation. There's a precise feel to the steering and the well-sorted suspension provides exceptional confidence through even the most challenging corners. While some may find the ride a tad too taut – particularly when fitted with the optional Sport Package – we think the handling advantages more than offset any minor comfort tradeoff. BMW's excellent xDrive all-wheel-drive system also makes dealing with inclement weather considerably less stressful.

Start-off Assistant
Order a 3 Series with a manual transmission and you'll enjoy the benefits of this subtle but effective helper that automatically applies the brakes for a few seconds whenever you're stopped on a hill to help prevent the car from rolling backwards while you engage first gear.

Optional Active Steering
This high-tech adjunct to the standard power steering varies the effective turning ratio to correspond with vehicle velocity, making it easier to maneuver at low speeds while enhancing stability under freeway cruising conditions.

2009 BMW 3 Series Details
2009 BMW 3 Series photo Interior

Although slightly roomier than any of its predecessors, the 2009 BMW 3 Series remains a compact sedan that provides better accommodations in its firm but comfortably supportive front bucket seats than in the rear bench – where six-footers are apt to feel a bit confined. The clean, elegant look is highlighted by standard leatherette upholstery set off by Burl Walnut, Poplar Natural Wood or aluminum trim. Legible white-on-black instruments and a multifunction steering wheel on a tilt and telescoping column reinforce its driver-centric character, while models fitted with the optional navigation package get an alternative "double-wave" dash to accommodate the central video display. The new iDrive controller now features preset keys to call up menus for the navigation, radio, CD and telecommunications.

Exterior
2009 BMW 3 Series photo

A relatively long wheelbase coupled with short front and rear overhangs, plus a slight wedge shape, gives the compact 3 Series a dynamic flair that reflects common styling cues with the larger 5 Series and 7 Series, elements that are further reinforced by the signature twin-kidney grilles. New headlamp and taillight treatments for 2009 signal the direction of future BMW sedan styling, adding more curvaceous features and softer lines. The 17- and 18-inch wheels that are part of the optional Sport Package impart an even more aggressive stance than the standard 16-inch alloy rims. All 3 Series models are fitted with extended-mobility run-flat tires, so no spare is included.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In keeping with its performance heritage, the 2009 BMW 3 Series emphasizes precise handling by augmenting its well-tuned suspension with the comprehensive Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system. DSC interfaces with the car's powerful anti-lock brakes (ABS) as well as with Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) on rear-wheel-drive models or Hill Descent Control (HDC) on all-wheel-drive vehicles. In addition to the expected power assists, the 3 Series offers numerous comfort and convenience touches, including cruise control, 10-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system and a single (Sedans) or dual (Sports Wagons) power moonroof. All models feature run-flat tires, dual front and front-side airbags plus BMW's front Active head restraints.

Optional Equipment

Key single extras include a six-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission, eight-way power front seats with driver memory, corner-following Xenon Adaptive Headlights, Comfort Access keyless entry and start, distance-maintaining Active Cruise Control, Active Power Steering that varies effort and ratio with vehicle speed, a navigation system with real-time traffic information and iDrive integrated multifunction controller, Dakota Leather upholstery, Logic7 Sound System, HD radio and SIRIUS Satellite Radio. The Cold Weather Package includes headlamp washers and heated front seats, while a Premium Package brings leather plus a subscription to BMW Assist that includes real-time help and concierge service at the push of a button. The Sport Package nets tauter suspension, sport seats and 17-inch wheels and tires.

Under the Hood

Although the 328i and 335i share the same 3.0-liter engine displacement, how BMW tweaks each engine makes all the difference in the world. In the 328 models, an ultra-smooth 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder engine makes a respectable 230 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. In the 335, twin turbochargers up the output to 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. Another welcome touch is BMW's sophisticated Double VANOS variable valve-timing system that bolsters low- and mid-range responsiveness while helping make the engine even more efficient. The turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel features BMW AdBlue urea injection, which allows it to remain emission compliant in all 50 states. Generating a massive 425 pound-feet of torque, the 335d can sprint to 60 miles per hour in six seconds and is reported to achieve around 36 miles per gallon during highway driving.

3.0-liter in-line 6
230 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
200 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28 (Sedan), 17/27 (Sports Wagon, manual), 18/27 (Sports Wagon, automatic), 17/25 (AWD)

3.0-liter in-line 6 Twin-turbocharged
300 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
300 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1400-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26, 16/25 (manual, 4WD), 17/25 (automatic, 4WD)}

3.0-liter in-line 6 Twin-turbocharged Diesel
265 horsepower @ 4200 rpm
425 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/36

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2009 BMW 3 Series Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 1037 Ratings for the 2006 - 2011 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Best Car BMW Makes

By on Wednesday, April 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Torque, ride, handling, mileage"

Cons: "Run Flat Tires"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car is absolutely amazing. It drives great, sporty but with a decent ride. The 425 lb ft of torque combined with terrific handling make it a blast to drive. And, to top it off, it gets between 35-40 mpg going about 80 mph. Out of 7 previous BMWs, this is unquestioningly the best I have owned. My only quibble is BMW's practice of using run-flat tires. They are horrible. I changed them out the first week I bought the car, drastically improving ride quality, handling, and tire noise."

highly recommended for a sporty family car

By on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Consumer reports said unreliable but not for me!"

Cons: "Too fast for teens!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Relative expensive new but it proved to be worth the price I will buy a new one again. Once the turbo cutting out was fixed under warranty the car proved to be very reliable! The power of this car is spectacular but driven normally I average 27 mpg and better! My car is 2 wheel drive but with good snow tires I never feared getting stuck in ne pa. I now have 88'ooo and the car is still tite and runs like new."

Solid car great handling and economical

By on Friday, March 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is my third BMW three series and I'm not disappointed. This is a solid car,great handling and economical."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Amazing car, smooth, fast pick up.. gorgeous lines

By on Saturday, February 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 99,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, low profile tires, looks fantastic"

Cons: "No back up cam, limited interior storage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Love, love this car... such a pleasure to look at and drive; every time I get in I have fun, and the heated seats just add to that! I've never owned a car that hugged the turns so well, or allowed me to enter traffic and keep up a brisk pace with such ease and confidence. The only drawback is the bucket seat, in that it is a little hard to get in and out of if you're not used to a low profile car. Not good for someone who needs tons of cushioning or who has bad hips let's say. It's a sports car, and that's what makes it awesome! This driving machine is to love and use if that's what you're looking for! Only reason I'm selling it is that we are getting ready to move out west to mountain area, and I need to look at 4WD... sad to let her go, but this is truly a driver's car with good looks and a spectacular engine!!"

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

I love this car...!!

By on Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 91,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "German Engineering"

Cons: "German Engineering is expensive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car drives like a dream, it zips around town hugging the edges, is sexy. This is the "ultimate" driving experience. I have driven loaner cars while I have had my regular maintenance and I do not like the new models as well. The road handling and power is the best for the price."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Great performance

By on Friday, February 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great stying, perfomance and comfort"

Cons: "run flat tires expensive and no spare if others"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car handles better than any car i've owned and is a blast to drive. It is comfortable around town and on a road trip and has been reliable."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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