Over the years, used BMW 3 Series models have evolved quite a bit, developing ever-greater power and plusher creature comforts. Here’s a look at what you can expect as you shop the used market for these luxury sedans.
Seventh Generation: 2019-Current Model Year
What’s to like about the seventh-generation used BMW 3 Series? These used 3 Series models are the definition of luxury, with their upscale cabins, premium power, and that high-end balance of smoothness and quickness. This latest generation offers increasing cargo space, more power, and an updated all-wheel-drive iDrive system.
The latest 3 Series is all about performance, updating the turbocharged four-cylinder engine to produce more horsepower and deliver more low-end torque. The wider, stiffer chassis and the retuned suspension make for a sporty ride. Updates to the steering give drivers a better sense of the road beneath them.
And, naturally, the used BMW 3 Series delivers the same smooth-riding comfort that luxury shoppers have come to expect. Inside, you’ll find sport seats that keep you snug and settled. Cabins also boast high-end maple, oak, and aluminum trim. The touchscreen display and infotainment technology combine crisp modern graphics with impressive response times.
What you need to know: For the 2020 model year, BMW updated the M340i model with a six-cylinder engine that makes 382 horses and 369 pound-feet of torque.
Sixth Generation: 2012-2018
What’s to like about the sixth-generation used BMW 3 Series? If you’re in the mood for luxury, then there’s a lot to like about this generation of 3 Series models. Among these BWM sedans and wagons, you’ll find premium Harman Kardon audio systems, sunroofs, and impressive infotainment technology.
This generation was generally available in sedan or wagon form. It includes the 320i, 328d, 330e, 330i, and 340i models. The 320i sedan and the 330i sedan and wagon feature the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine. It’s rated for 180 horses in the 320i and 248 horses in the 330i. You’ll find two 3 Series models with an emphasis on fuel economy. The 329d (sedan and wagon) offered diesel performance and the 330e sedan is a plug-in hybrid that earns up to 30 mpg.
What you need to know: When this 3 Series first hit the streets, it was available in sedan, coupe, and convertible form. However, the 2012 coupe and convertible were based on the previous-generation 3 Series. For 2013, all-wheel drive became available. During the 2014 model year, shoppers had even more options, including a wagon body style and a diesel engine.
Fifth Generation: 2006-2011
What’s to like about the fifth-generation used BMW 3 Series? You’ll find this luxury car in both sedan and wagon form, with the latter supplying a little extra space for families on the run. Compared to previous models, these 3 Series iterations offered more in modern electronics and roomier cabins.
What you need to know: This generation saw some powertrain alterations over the years. Notably, BMW’s all-wheel-drive xDrive moniker debuted for the 2009 model year, replacing the 328xi and 335xi models. For 2011, the high-performance 335is made its debut.