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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 83 Ratings for the 2012 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.8/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Great car for the driving experience

By on Monday, January 04, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Driving experience , performance, handling"

Cons: "Cheap leather, overall cost,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This is a great car for the overall driving experience. The 2 liter twin turbo has plenty of power coupled with the 8 speed automatic the car can be as much fun to drive as you want. Personally I think the interior is a little inferior to simliar cars I have owned (Jaguar) however the performance makes up for it. Can be a little pricey by the time you load it with the right options but I would not get a base model."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Fun, expensive

By on Sunday, December 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,095

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "HUD - will never get another car without; I-Drive"

Cons: "Maintenance costs; attracts rocks & curbs"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"My 5th BMW, which have included two 5s and one convertible. This is a sedan with Heads Up Display and most bells and whistles. It's also my last BMW. I've had it with $1K visits to BMW service. The cars are great; price isn't even bad for what's included. Reliability is only OK, and Service is way out in left field for today's competition. Not worth it. Prolonged love affair over."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Brand new 2015 White BMW 320i X Drive for sale

By on Monday, December 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000

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: "Brand new like car"

Cons: "N/A"

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

Front View of my car

"1st servicing done in November. Tire/Alloy insurance for years/36000 miles. Single hand driven 6000 miles. No scratch. No accidental history."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Front View of my car

A great car made even better

By on Saturday, November 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,200

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive, handling, practicality, size, MPG"

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

"In comparison to the 335, the 340 does not seem much of an improvement. Having had an F30 335 for quite some time and having loved it more than any car I've owned, I can confidently say the 340 bests it. It feels a lot more confident on the road than the 335, the engine is as smooth as silk, extremely responsive, insane amount of torque and very fast acceleration. The handling is divine for a sedan at this price, and tops any japanese sedan by a long shot. Overall the 340 is a continuing line of amazing value sedans engineered by BMW. It is an absolute joy to own and drive."

12 people out of 29 found this review helpful

I love this car so far

By on Saturday, August 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive, beautiful, and pretty fast"

Cons: "a/c a bit noisy, nav/ent not so user friendly"

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

"Owned it almost a year, though no so many miles. Time will tell on reliability, but otherwise this car is nearly perfect. I love how it drives: acceleration, handling, mileage on highway, smoothness and comfort, all terrific. I also love how it looks. The value for money is good too, for me (I don't understand people bashing cars with stuff like 'they charge too much for leather seats', you know that when you decide to buy). The only minor negative items so far are that the air conditioner is somewhat noisy, and the nav/entertainment system is not that easy to figure out, so I haven't fully. Also we get ~1 mpg less than EPA city rating around town, though 2-3 more than EPA highway rating on long trips."

15 people out of 22 found this review helpful

Wonderful Performance but overrated in other ways

By on Friday, July 24, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Didn't love it

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Great performance, good snob appeal."

Cons: "Uncomfortable, noisy ride. bad visibility."

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

"I bought my 328i sedan new because i always wanted the "BMW Experience." The performance and handling of the car exceeded my expectations however, it started developing rattles and engine noise almost immediately. Something was loose in the right rear passenger space that rattled every time I went over a bump and i was never able to track it down. The car has a beautiful exterior but the interior is completely unremarkable, in fact, a bit poorly assembled and somewhat uncomfortable. The engine made a constant clacking noise that sounded like valve noise from the first day I owned it. The service people at BMW said it was normal fuel injector noise. Also, the most annoying thing about this car is it's automatic shutoff at stops. When the engine comes back on, the whole car quakes. The ride is noisy compared to middle of the line sedans like Honda or Toyota. For 40+ grand I guess I expected a bit more."

19 people out of 36 found this review helpful

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