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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

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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2009 BMW 3 Series Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 1012 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
    9.3/10

Ragtop rocket

By on Thursday, September 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Driving experience"

Cons: "Not inexpensive to maintain after the warranty"

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

"Thrill to drive. Very fast with outstanding handling. Nav is a bit lame, but otherwise a huge winner."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Excellent mechanical condition

By on Thursday, September 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Excellent mechanical condition, great performance!"

Cons: "Minor dings, tire wear"

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

"Perfect blend of style and performance, this car has it all! It handles like a sports car yet is as comfortable as a the luxury car it is. Mechanically car is literally as good as new, amazing ride with lower than average mileage. There are some minor dings and tire wear. The sports package, premium package, and heated seats add to the pleasure of this very well appointed coupe, this ultimate driving machine is the best I've ever owned!"

19 people out of 37 found this review helpful

The ultimate drivers car

By on Friday, September 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Powerful, controlled and driver friendly"

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

"Once you drive a BMW 3 series for few days whether it's on a highway or a county road you will be with it forever. The way it accelerates, the way it is planted to the road it's an experience. The best part is the way it delivers the power. It is close to perfection, buying my BMW is the best thing I ever did in my life."

2 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Excellent car, a blast to drive

By on Saturday, August 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"This car is in great condition both mechanically and in terms of appearance. It was my wife's car and, unfortunately, she passed away not long ago. It is a twin-turbo mover but with surprisingly good gas mileage (26 MPH on recent trip). Perhaps equally important, it has 2+ years and 20,000+ miles remaining on an extended warrantee that can be conveyed to the new owner."

5 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Lived up to my dreams

By on Thursday, August 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 142,000

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: "great to drive, good on gas, solid in bad weather"

Cons: "cup holder location. As if that's a Big deal."

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

"Finally able to get a BMW when I handed the Nissan to my daughter when she turned 16. This car has been great to drive for the past 8 years and 140k+ miles. The 325xi AWD is the most sure-footed car, better in the snow than the Volvo XC90, better than FWD Nissan or Hyundai. It is responsive on the accelerator, brake, and especially the steering. Good on gas on the highways, getting over 30mph when averaging over the posted. Downside? The cupholders are not in a good place. And the back seat is not good for an adult traveling more than 2 hours. Next car is another BMW, but I plan to take delivery in Germany for that one."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Off the Showroom 2009 328i Sedan Still smells new.

By on Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,750

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Tight drive and quiet."

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

"Only 21750 miles garage kept like the day it was bought. Great first car for a younger college student. Clean inside and out. You won't find a BMW or otherwise in this great condition. All service up to date. Records available."

6 people out of 8 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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