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The biggest news is the 2015 BMW M3, a 425-horsepower high-performance model that forgoes some luxury coddling in the name of going fast. The rest of the BMW 3 Series lineup gets a few minor tweaks, with standard Bluetooth audio streaming being the most noteworthy.
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.
While near the end of its product cycle, the 3 Series received a number of visual and functional updates in 2011. To that end, the existing models benefit from little more than fine-tuning. Notably, as of 2012 the M3 4-door is no more; this is a 3 Series variant those wanting to travel at 150 mph (with their kids) will certainly miss. Going forward, the new sedan makes its debut first, after which BMW will fill in the coupe, convertible and wagon gaps.
The BMW 3 Series has set the standard for entry-level luxury sport sedans for more than 30 years. Atop the heap it has remained, despite the efforts of age-old rivals like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4, and new challenges from the Lexus IS and Cadillac ATS. Part of the magic is the wide variety of configurations available. Last year, BMW unveiled the 320i model, which brings the 3 Series prestige to a more value oriented shopper. On the other end, this year hails the introduction of the 2015 BMW M3, the 5th-generation of the highest-performance 3 Series you can buy. Need more utility? There's the 3 Series Sports Wagon and Gran Turismo hatchback. If fuel economy is your thing, there are also hybrid and diesel models available.
By JeffM on Tuesday, August 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Engine/Gearbox combination, handling, interior"
Cons: "None so far"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"After 15 years with no BMW I went back and tried a 2015 M3. This is the best compromise for a fast everyday driving car I have ever owned. My car has the DCT transmission, 19" wheels, Executive package, and surround sound. We have done two weekend road trips on 2 lane roads to get the 1200 mile break-in period done as quickly as possible. Our two different day trips or 200 miles each, of reasonably spirited driving on the back roads, have yielded an average of 26.2 MPG and a week of driving back and forth to work in town has given me a 20.2 MPG average in suburban traffic where speed rarely exceeds 45 mph. The seating is superb, I particularly like the adjustable side bolster width feature as it allows you to set the width to be comfortable for a wide range of body shapes. All of the system functions are well laid out and fairly easy to learn. The craftsmanship is very nice, everything fits just as it should. I know some people will complain about the DCT gearbox but obviously they are just Luddites living in the horse and buggy days. This transmission is so much faster and smarter than you and I there really is no reason to be messing around with rowing your own. In comfort mode is works really well in stop and go traffic, and on the back roads putting it in Sport mode it seems to always be in just the right gear. I have not tried the Sport Plus mode yet. The engine is sublime, no, it doesn't sound like the old V8. So what, it's better in all other ways. The torque comes in very early and smoothly and just presses you back in the seat. need to pass a car on a short section of road, just a gentle squeeze on the throttle finds you at 75 mph in a second or two. In summary this makes an excellent drivers car suitable as a daily driver as well as autocross and track days. You'll note I rated comfort and convenience as a 10, that's because although it has a stiff suspension it's much more compliant than I expected. And although the tires can be pretty loud on certain road surfaces that is part of the package if you want one of the best handling cars available. The sound is always there, but it is not unexpected for 275/35-19 profile Pilot Super Sport tires."