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2013 BMW 3 Series

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2013 BMW 3 Series Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.4

The iconic BMW 3 may be the industry's most benchmarked vehicle. Virtually all competing automakers – most notably Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Lexus – have tried to match (or surpass) its beautifully balanced dynamics, upscale image and enthusiast appeal with luxosport compacts of their own, and some have come close. But none so far has quite bulls-eyed that elusive target. Making that challenge even more difficult is the 2013 addition of available xDrive all-wheel drive (AWD), a still-quick but more fuel-efficient ActiveHybrid 3 model and (soon) a sports wagon. To make the nameplate more accessible to the masses, BMW offers a new entry-level 320i model that delivers 3-Series prestige at a buyer-friendly price. The previous-generation coupe, convertible and performance-based M3 variants are carried over as 2013s for now, but all-new versions on the new platform are not far away.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you are a true driving enthusiast (or want to be seen as one) and can afford a true enthusiasts' compact sports sedan, equipped as you want it and wearing that pricey propeller badge, you will enjoy the BMW 3's image, driving dynamics and (down the road) strong resale value.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you can see beyond the vaunted BMW badge and would like an equally satisfying luxury-sports compact for similar or significantly less money, there are a lot of excellent alternatives beginning with the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Infiniti G37, Lexus IS and the new Cadillac's ATS.

What's New for 2013

At nearly $3,300 less than the previously entry-level 328i, the new 320i gives BMW a lower entry point for the 3-Series without compromising its luxury pretentions. Other noteworthy additions for 2013 include available xDrive AWD and a new ActiveHybrid model, which teams a 55-hp electric motor with the TwinPower turbo-6 for a combined 335 horsepower and a modest boost in fuel efficiency.

Driving the 3 Series
Driving Impressions

A major element of the 3 Series' appeal is its grin-inducing driving dynamics. We've tested the sedans and coupes on slow, fast, twisty and hilly roads and on challenging race...

... courses, and they go, steer, corner and brake as well as, or better than, anything in their segment. Especially impressive is the balance of cornering prowess with comfortable ride. The fuel-saving stop-start feature shutters when it kills the engine at rest, and again when it restarts as the brake is released, but it can be switched off. The delightfully torquey turbo-6 is good for 5.4-second 0-60 bursts, but the surprising turbo-4 is only about a half-second slower, with the down-powered 320i version turning in a time of roughly 7.1 seconds. As a bonus, the twin-scroll turbo used on both powerplants are virtually free of turbo lag. But if the standard variety fails to arouse your senses, the 414-horsepower M3 is sure to plaster a smile on the face of even the most discerning enthusiast.

BMW PARKING ASSISTANT
This feature helps you to maneuver into parallel parking spaces by first measuring a potential space's size to be sure the car will comfortably fit, then automatically steering into it. The driver just has to operate the accelerator and brake and keep an eye on the area around the car.

SURROUND VIEW SYSTEM
Cameras in the outside mirrors provide a bird's-eye top view of the area around the car to aid maneuvering in tight spaces, while the selectable Side View function uses cameras in the sides of the front bumper to monitor traffic crossing in front of the car.

2013 BMW 3 Series Details
Interior

BMW calls its 2013 3 Series interior "straight out of the BMW design handbook," meaning an uncomplicated look with tight fits, simple shapes and upscale materials. The cockpit, angled toward the driver by seven degrees, presents important controls within easy reach, and the rear cabin is a bit roomier than before. The four circular dials are speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge and oil temperature – but there's no coolant-temperature or oil-pressure gauge. The console-mounted iDrive controller is handy to both driver and front passenger, and its freestanding central screen boasts a flat-TV-like trans-reflective, high-resolution display.

Exterior

When BMW's 1977 3 Series replaced the respected but ungainly 2002, its styling was a pleasant surprise. Thirty-six years later, its evolving design has never again surprised, and that's a good thing. Line up all six generations, and the evolution is apparent. Each new 3 Series logically follows the one before it, remaining conservative but contemporary for its time. Even to the casual observer, there is never a doubt what it is. Today's slightly longer and taller model differentiates itself mostly by adding more character lines and creases and visually connecting its headlamps to its signature twin-kidney grille. Similarly, the equally-iconic M3 maintains its long-standing tradition of elevating the 3 Series' athletic looks to the next level by way of distinctive front and rear fascias, quad exhaust outlets, and a wider, more aggressive stance.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

As expected, 2013 BMW 3 Series sedans come well equipped with Leatherette upholstery, automatic climate control, cruise control, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, halogen head- and fog lamps with automatic headlight control, rain-sensing wipers, adaptive brake lights, run-flat all-season tires on 17-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 9-speaker audio system with HD Radio and a USB port. Still, a power driver seat and a fold-down rear seat are extra-cost options. Standard Driving Dynamics Control offers ECO-PRO, Comfort and Sport settings, while standard safety features include stability and traction controls, anti-lock braking, active head restraints and eight airbags.

Optional Equipment

The 3 Series option list boggles the mind. Among the more interesting are a Parking Assistant and the Surround View camera (see Favorite Features), navigation with real-time traffic, Active Blind Spot Detection, lane-departure warning, collision warning and automatic collision notification. Available Comfort Access pops the trunk lid when you wave your foot under the bumper, Variable Sports Steering offers different steering ratios for varying conditions, and a head-up display projects key information in the driver's line of sight. An M Sport package adds adaptive sport suspension, aero aids and M wheels, while three packages called "Lines" (Luxury, Modern and Sport) let buyers customize their car's appearance.

Under the Hood

Three gasoline engines are offered in 2013 3 Series lineup: A 2.0-liter turbo-4 in 320i and 328i models (detuned in the 320i), the 3.0-liter inline turbo-6 (now available in nearly all BMWs) in 335i models, and a potent 414-horsepower naturally-aspirated V8 reserved for the range-topping M3. Each boasts the unique combination of BMW "Valvetronic" fully variable intake-valve lift, "Double Vanos" dual-cam phasing, and direct gas injection. Both turbocharged mills offer a choice of 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission driving the rear or (with newly-available xDrive) all four wheels. A 6-speed manual gearbox or a quick-witted dual-clutch 7-speed automatic is available on M3 models. Unlike its high-performance challenger, the Audi S4, the M3 is not available in all-wheel-drive configuration. The new ActiveHybrid 3 marries a 55-hp electric motor (packaged inside the 8-speed automatic housing and driven by a lithium-ion battery) to the turbo-6 for a combined 335 hp (not the sum of both peak outputs, since both engine and motor can't operate at max power simultaneously).

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
180 horsepower @ 5,000-6,250 rpm
200 lb-ft of torque @ 1,250-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/36 mpg (manual), 24/36 mpg (automatic), 23/35 mpg (AWD)

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
240 horsepower @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
255 lb-ft of torque @ 1,250-4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/34 mpg (manual), 23/33 mpg (automatic)

3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6
300 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
300 lb-ft of torque @ 1,200-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/30 mpg (manual), 23/33 mpg (automatic), 23/28 mpg (AWD)

3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 (hybrid)
335 horsepower @ 5,800-6,000 rpm
330 lb-ft of torque @ 1,200-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/33 mpg

4.0-liter V8
414 horsepower @ 8,300 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 3,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 mpg, 13/20 mpg (convertible, manual)

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2013 BMW 3 Series Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 90 Ratings for the 2012 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.9/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Great 3 series

By on Friday, July 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great handling, reliable, very much fun to drive"

Cons: "Backup camera wasn't installed"

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

"Mine is 2014 328i with Sport package and black 20" BMW wheels with RFT Pirelli tires. The handling is exceptional with the sport package. I only wish the RFTs weren't so stiff and in my case low profile (30 in back and 35 up front). Excluding that minor annoyance (easy fix) the car is a blast to drive in any conditions. It's way quicker than the 240HP rating suggests. It tracks true and doesn't require any corrections to maintain a true line of travel. Electronic steering is not as good as hydraulic but that's expected. It will be years before they get it just right. The car feels solid and there are no squeaks or rattles of any kind. I like the sport seats as well, they keep you in place just right (adjustable). If you've never driven a 3 series at least test drive one and you'll understand. Bonus: with black exterior, interior and wheels, it looks awesome too."

Beatiful. Clean. Classy. Versatile.

By on Thursday, July 7, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,100

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, efficient, sporty, classy, techy"

Cons: "Price."

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

"I have the 2015 328I X-drive in silver and it is fantastic in all aspects. I have an affinity for well engineered machines, which is why I have gravitated towards BMW. They blend aesthetics with practicality, luxury, power and efficiency, and the end result is a car that capture the essence of who I am. The exterior of the vehicle is beautiful, clean, and classy. It is a pleasure to look at. The interior is well designed with elements that incorporate luxury with technology to envelope you in smart, classy, ergonomic, sporty and state of the art features. I was hesitant to go with a 4 cylinder engine...until I drove it. Again, even in this aspect BMW absolutely exceeds expectations. Most people expect a 4 cylinder engine to be sluggish and to under perform. BMW, however, changes that. They have optimized the performance of their 4 cylinder engine and added a "twin power" turbo. Everyone looks at horsepower, which appears a little low on these 328's, but what really throws you back into the seat isn't the horse power, it's the torque. This twin power turbo creates 255 lb-ft of ab strengthening torque. When you select sport mode, and step on the gas, it feels like you are getting launched off of an air craft carrier, pushing you from zero to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. To give you some perspective, a dodge viper is a dedicated, 2 seat sports car with an 8 liter, V-10 645 horse power engine. A 2015 Dodge Viper GTC does zero to 60 in 3.4 seconds. The 328 is no dodge viper, but it really gets up and moves. But, if you select Eco Pro, your 328 suddenly becomes so gas friendly oil companies start laying off workers. Most of the time you will probably be in comfort mode, which is a very satisfying combination of performance and fuel efficiency. If you have an affinity for design excellence, class, performance, efficiency, and luxury like I do, this is absolutely the car for you."

Great Milage and Fun to Drive

By on Tuesday, June 14, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great looks, handles great"

Cons: "Could integrate better with iOS. Rear leg room"

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

BMW European Delivery

"328d has great highway milage. IF I'm doing the highway speed limit 47-50mpg is easy. M Sport package makes the car look great, love the M front seats. I'm 6'5" and fit in the diver seat comfortably. Harmon-Lardon sound system sounds great. 8-speed transmission is smooth. For a diesel, the car has some decent get up and go, though there is a brief turbo delay when you hit the accelerator. Once it kicks in, acceleration is strong enough for me."

BMW European Delivery

Exceeds my expectations

By on Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "BMW handling and ride, gas mileage, looks"

Cons: "Rearview camera is not standard, mediocre seats"

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

"This is my family’s fifth BMW. I had a 2010 328i sedan and loved the performance. I have also driven the 2016 328i as a service loaner and was very impressed. When I first considered the 2016 320i it was with a lot of skepticism about the reduced horsepower compared to the 328. I am so glad I took it for a test drive. The acceleration is better than I expected, especially in Sport mode. I have an X3 with the 2.0 L Turbo and I would say the 320 in Sport mode is about as fast as the X3. Highway driving is great. I was cruising at over 80 mph and it seemed effortless. The handling and ride is excellent. It is everything you would expect in a BMW. The steering is precise, it can turn and stop on a dime. For those who are used to other luxury brands like Lexus or Mercedes, it may not be what you are used to. BMW owners will feel right at home. The car has fantastic leg room in the back seat (better than Audi A3 or A4 in my experience) and a huge trunk. It is a great combination of practicality with sportiness. Gas mileage is better than what I am getting on my X3. My only complaint is that the seats seem a little flat, but they are good enough. The sport package seats are better. I saved around $5,000 versus the 328 and it is money well-saved. The 328 is noticeably better in acceleration, but the 320 is a better value in my opinion. Both are excellent cars."

24 people out of 43 found this review helpful

I used love it before having too many issues

By on Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, good looking car"

Cons: "Issues, CPO is not worth it to buy, Not good warr"

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

"I bought a 2015 used CPO with 8000 miles on it. It was a huge mistake to buy a CPO because it was just a name. After getting the car I had to take it back for service the day after for fixing the "Horn", "Bumper Scratches(never fixed via seller dealer" and also a week after for steering wheel vibrating shakes which has never been fixed after taking it to 2 different dealerships for more than 6 times. I though okay I have to deal with these issues and there is no other way. after using the car for 7000 miles and a few rain in California both of the side mirrors have a lot of spots like hard water and I tried to clean them up but they don't go away. I took it to the dealership and they declined to replace the mirror even I told them about the visibility issues driving overnight and they ignored me and told me all the BMW cars have the same issue when they get old. I opened a lemon case with my layer to return the car back and every week I have to take it to the service to get things fixed and there is something everyday wrong with this car. I also took it to other dealer ships to trade it in and they gave me 10k to 15k less than loan amount I have open for the car. I used to love BMW and it was my dream to drive a BMW but now I wish I never bought a BMW and I tell everybody not to buy. I hope someone from the company reads my message and help me to understand why they sold me a CPO car and low millage with too many issues and they don't even want to fix it.I wish I could return or sell this car without loosing any money and get another brand. I will never buy a BMW again. I hope USA BMW helps to get out of this bad situation and bad experience."

18 people out of 28 found this review helpful

Excellent handsome luxury sedan

By on Thursday, February 25, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

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
9/10

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

"style inside and out is great. handling is wonderful. road and engine noise are kept to a minimum. ride is smooth but road bumps are felt a touch more than i would like. Overall, an outstanding car."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

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