2023 BMW 3 Series
About the BMW 3 Series
The BMW 3 Series has long been lauded as the benchmark luxury sports sedan, but as the buying population continue to gravitate more and more into SUVs, it’s becoming a rarer sight these days.
The 3 Series line-up recently received BMW’s usual ‘LCI’ mid-life facelift for 2023, bringing revised looks front and rear, as well as the brand’s latest iDrive 8 infotainment package with conjoined high-resolution widescreen displays.
It also meant significant price increases, with some variants up by more than $10,000. They mean the 320i and 330i are line-ball with the new-generation Mercedes-Benz C200 and C300.
Functional, high-tech interior
Balance of comfort and handling
Smooth, punchy engine
Radar cruise control optional on entry-level
Four-cylinder engine lacks the character of a BMW six
Three-year warranty isn't good enough
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BMW 3 Series review 2021
One of my favourite BMWs is the BMW E30. I kind of feel like the new BMW 3 Series fits the same brief - it's (relatively) light, rear-wheel drive and fun to drive. But, does the firm suspension let it down? Paul Maric drives the 2021 BMW 320i to see if it's any good.
BMW 3 Series Photo Gallery
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2023 BMW M340i xDrive review
2023 BMW 320i review
2023 BMW 3 Series review
2022 BMW 3 Series review
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2021 BMW 3 Series review
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BMW 3 Series Range Guide
The 2023 BMW 320i comes standard with the following features:
- 18-inch M alloy wheels
- M Sport package
- LED headlights
- High-Beam Assistant
- 14.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system (NEW)
- 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster (NEW)
- Head-up display
- DAB+ digital radio
- Satellite navigation
- HiFi loudspeaker system
- Connected Package Professional
- Wireless charging tray
- Keyless entry with push-button start
- BMW Digital Key (NEW)
- Sport seats
- Alcantara/Sensatec upholstery
- Electric seat adjustment
- Ambient interior lighting
- Galvanic embellishers
The 330i adds the following:
- 19-inch M alloy wheels
- Blue M Sport brakes
- Adaptive M suspension
- Electric tailgate (NEW)
- Leather upholstery
- M Sport seats (NEW)
- Front lumbar support (NEW)
- Sensatec instrument panel (NEW)
The 330e adds:
- Mode 2 charging cable
- Mode 3 charging cable
- Acoustic protection for pedestrians
The M340i xDrive adds:
- 19-inch alloy wheels with sport tyres
- Tyre repair kit
- Electric glass roof
- Adaptive LED headlights
- Harmon/Kardon premium surround sound system
- Heated front seats
Price & Specs
BMW 3 Series 20i M SPORT
BMW 3 Series 30i M SPORT
BMW 3 Series 30i M SPORT TOURING
BMW 3 Series 30e M SPORT PHEV
By now, the design language of the 3 Series has spread across the BMW range. That’s a good thing, because it does a great job blending form and function.
As is usually the case with BMW cars, the ergonomics of the cabin are exceptional. The driver’s seat drops right down to the floor, the steering wheel comes out nicely to meet the driver, and everything you need to poke or prod is within easy reach.
It sounds simple, but BMW consistently gets the basics right where others don’t.
BMW iDrive 7.0 is one of the best infotainment systems in the business. The central 12.3-inch screen is crystal clear, and can be controlled usingHey BMWvoice prompts, touch inputs, and a rotary controller on the transmission tunnel. Sounds confusing, but each is useful at different times.
You also get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which means you can bypass the native navigation and use Apple or Google maps, or more easily access podcasts on the move.
The digital driver’s display is less excellent. It’s visually busy, and doesn’t have the same range of layout options you get in Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit, although you still get all the information you need about speed, revs, and your trip computer.
There’s plenty of storage spaces on offer, from the wireless phone charger and cupholders under a damped lid, to the decent-sized underarm bin. There are also door bins with space for big bottles, and a spacious glovebox.
Rear seat space is up there with the best in class, allowing for adults to sit behind adults provided neither is freakishly tall. Headroom is also good, and the bench itself is wide enough to ride three-up for shorter trips. With a relatively conventional three-box design, you get plenty of light through the tall windows.
You get air vents in the rear, along with dual USB-C chargers to keep the kids happy. There’s a fold-down central armrest, and spacious door bins, and the door opening is wider than that of some lower-volume Korean and Italian rivals. That means you’re able to more easily load in children or bags.
Available in both sedan and wagon guise, the BMW 3 Series is inoffensive with its exterior design.
Regardless of body style, the 3 Series has a typical silhouette. There are automatic LED headlights standard across the range, with BMW LaserLight headlights standard on the M340i xDrive and optional across the rest of the range.
On non-M models there are a choice of either M Sport or Luxury Line packages that alter the exterior and interior of the 3 Series.
Plug-in hybrid (PHEV) 330e models, only available in sedan form, can only be externally distinguished because of the charging port on the front right-hand side wheel arch and its model designation badge.
M340i xDrive models, also only available in sedan form, have M-specific matte grey exterior design elements and 19-inch lightweight alloy wheels. There's also a standard body-colour rear spoiler.
BMW 3 Series Colours
The 2023 BMW 3 Series range is available in the following exterior paint colours
- Alpine White
- Black Sapphire metallic
- Melbourne Red metallic
- Mineral White metallic
- M Portimao Blue metallic
- M Brooklyn Grey metallic (NEW)
- Skyscraper Grey metallic (NEW)
- Dravit Grey BMW Individual metallic
- Tanzanite Blue BMW Individual metallic
Metallic paint costs an additional $2000, while BMW Individual metallic paints cost an additional $3850 unless they’re bought in combination with the Visibility package, making them an additional $1850.
Cost of Ownership
BMW offers a five-year/80,000km Service Inclusive Basic warranty package priced at $1800.
How it Drives
The BMW 320i is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 135kW of power and 300Nm of torque.
The 330i also uses a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, albeit with 190kW and 400Nm.
The 330e uses a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor for a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) system with a total system output of 215kW and 420Nm.
The M340i xDrive uses a 3.0-litre turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine producing 285kW and 500Nm. It’s all-wheel drive, unlike the rest of the range which are rear-wheel drive.
An eight-speed ZF torque-converter automatic transmission is standard across the range.
The 3 Series is expected to walk a tricky tightrope. Not only does it need to be well-mannered on the daily commute, it needs to handle with classic rear-wheel drive balance and poise
Although it can’t quite match the smaller, less practical Jaguar XE and Alfa Romeo Giulia for outright sporting talent, it strikes a near perfect balance between usability and handling.
There’s no real need to flick into Sport, because body control is excellent in the more relaxed drive mode. Regardless of mode the 3 Series has a keen front end and classic rear-wheel drive balance, and the more powerful engine in the 330i makes it feel a bit more lively than the 320i.
BMW has backed the balanced rear-drive chassis with a peach of an engine. It’s not a lusty inline six, but the turbo four-pot is buttery smooth and has peak torque on tap between 1550 and 4400rpm, so it pulls strongly in essentially any gear.
There’s fun to be had hanging onto gears as well, revving out happily to redline. It doesn’t really zing through the upper reaches of the rev counter, but it never runs out of puff either.
The eight-speed ZF automatic is unobtrusive at a cruise, shuffling smartly through the gears. Squeeze the accelerator hard and it kicks down quickly, thrusting the engine into its torque band, and you can take charge with the paddles if you’re in the mood.
It’s a shame BMW isn’t fitting its full suite of active driver assists as standard at the moment, though.
BMW 3 Series Safety Rating
The pre-update BMW 3 Series was crash tested by ANCAP in 2019 and received a five-star safety rating. This rating doesn’t apply to the M340i xDrive, which remains unrated by ANCAP and Euro NCAP.
Standard safety features across the 3 Series range includes:
- Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection
- Lane-departure warning
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Driver attention monitoring
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Adaptive cruise control
- Driving Assistant
- Semi-autonomous parking assist
- Reversing camera
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Eight airbags
The 330i and above get Parking Assistant Plus which includes a park view, panorama view and Remote 3D view functions.
Driving Assistant Professional, which includes Front cross-traffic alert and lane centring assist, is reserved exclusively for the M340i xDrive.
BMW 3 Series Lifecycle
The current generation BMW 3 Series was launched in March 2019 and is currently 65 percent through its lifecycle. The last update was a technology change that was launched in November 2022 with the next model expected in 2026.
BMW 3 Series Options
The Visibility package ($4800 on non-M sedan models and $5400 on the 330i Touring) adds the following:
- Metallic paint
- Panoramic sunroof (330i Touring only)
- Adaptive LED headlights
The Comfort package ($3100 on 330i and 330e models, and $4000 on 320i) adds:
- Electric tailgate (320i only)
- Driver lumbar support (320i only)
- Heated front seats
- Heated steering wheel
- Harman/Kardon surround sound system
The Executive package ($2400 for 320i, $1500 for 330i, $1000 for 330e, and $2000 for M340i xDrive) adds:
- Remote engine start (not available on 330e)
- Heated steering wheel (M340i xDrive only)
- Tyre pressure monitoring
- Acoustic glazing
- Drive Recorder
- Parking Assistant Plus (320i only)
The M Sport Pro package ($4000 for 320i; $2800 for 330i, 330e, and M340i xDrive; and $2400 for 330i Touring) adds:
- M Sport brakes, blue or red (320i only)
- M Lights Shadowline
- M seat belts
- Black M rear spoiler
- M high-gloss Shadowline with extended contents
The M Technology package ($800 for M340i xDrive) adds:
- Upgraded powertrain cooling system
- 18-inch brake rotors
The following are some standalone optional extras:
- M high-gloss Shadowline with extended contents: $500
- Carbon Fibre M interior trim finishers: $1200
There are also a range of upholstery, interior trim and alloy wheels that can be optioned too.
BMW 3 Series Warranty
The 2023 BMW 3 Series range is covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty with three years of roadside assist.
BMW 3 Series Stock Availability
For the most part, stock of the BMW 3 Series seems to be okay according to BMW's stock locator.
BMW has been temporarily removing a number of different features from the 3 Series so it can produce and ship the cars quicker.
"We are working closely with our dealer partners to provide alternative solutions for our customers to minimise wait time," said a BMW Australia spokesperson.
"This process is supported by the high degree of customisation of our vehicles."
BMW 3 Series Infotainment
Inside is a standard BMW Curved Display, comprising a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 14.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system in a single housing, running the latest BMW Operating System 8 software with a greater suit of voice commands.
BMW has also fitted a new-look gear selector, and all grades bar the base 320i get a seat upgrade.
BMW 3 Series Boot Space
With the rear seats up, total luggage capacity in the pre-update 3 Series is 480L in all 3 Series sedan models except the 330e, which has a boot capacity of 375L.
With the seats up on the pre-update 330i wagon there’s a total luggage capacity of 500L, expanding to 1510L with the second row folded.
BMW 3 Series Fuel Economy
The BMW 320i uses 6.3L/100km on the combined cycle, while the 330i sedan and wagon use 6.4L/100km and 7.0L/100km, respectively.
The BMW 330e uses 2.1L/100km and offers a 57km range claim, while the M340i xDrive uses 7.7L/100km.
The whole BMW 3 Series range requires 95 RON unleaded fuel, apart from the M340i xDrive which requires 98 RON.
Depending on the variant, view the 2023 BMW 3 fuel usage below.
All Highway, City, and Combined figures below are litres per 100km
|20i M SPORT||G20 LCI||4D SEDAN||PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL||-||-||6.5||-|
|30i M SPORT||G20 LCI||4D SEDAN||PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL||-||-||6.5||-|
|30i M SPORT TOURING||G21 LCI||4D WAGON||PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL||-||-||6.8||-|
|30e M SPORT PHEV||G20 LCI||4D SEDAN||PREMIUM UNLEADED/ELECTRIC||-||-||2.5||-|
|M340i xDRIVE||G20 LCI||4D SEDAN||PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL||-||-||8.0||-|
BMW 3 Series Dimensions
BMW hasn’t detailed exterior and interior dimensions for the updated 3 Series as of yet, but it’s naturally expected to be about the same as the pre-update model.
The pre-update BMW 320i, 330i sedan, and 330e measure 4709mm long, 1827mm wide and 1435mm tall.
The pre-update 330i wagon is slightly taller at 1440mm, whereas the M340i xDrive is longer at 4713mm long and taller at 1440mm. The range has a 2851mm wheelbase.
Depending on the variant, the 2023 BMW 3 measures as below.
|Variant||Series||Style||Length (mm)||Width (mm)||Height (mm)||Wheelbase (mm)|
|20i M SPORT||G20 LCI||4D SEDAN||4713||1827||1440||2851|
|30i M SPORT||G20 LCI||4D SEDAN||4713||1827||1440||2851|
|30i M SPORT TOURING||G21 LCI||4D WAGON||4713||1827||1440||2851|
|30e M SPORT PHEV||G20 LCI||4D SEDAN||4713||1827||1444||2851|
|M340i xDRIVE||G20 LCI||4D SEDAN||4713||1827||1440||2851|
The 2023 BMW 3 has a braked towing capacity from 1500kg to 1800kg depending on the variant and an unbraked towing capacity of 750kg.
BMW 3 Series Market Fit
The BMW 3 Series competes in the medium luxury car segment and goes head-to-head with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4, Alfa Romeo Giulia, and Genesis G70.
It also competes with highly-specced Mazda 6 and Hyundai Sonata models.
BMW 3 Series Sales Data
In 2021, BMW sold a total of 3982 3 Series models.
As the top-selling model in its medium luxury car segment, it outsold the likes of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (2832 sales), Audi A4 (781 sales), and the Alfa Romeo Giulia (323 sales).
Should you buy the BMW 3 Series
BMW might not be defined by the 3 Series anymore, but it’s arguably the best car the brand makes in 2022.
Not only is the 3 Series still right up there as a class-leader, the 330i is the sweet spot in the range. It offers a brilliant blend of practicality, performance, and everyday comfort, wrapped in a design that hits all the right notes.
It’s not perfect, though. The chip crunch has hit BMW hard, and the fact the 330i doesn’t currently come with adaptive cruise control as standard (and that some owners have missed out on touchscreens) undermines its credentials as a premium sedan.
We’d recommend searching (or waiting) for a car with a full equipment list. Not only will it make the car better day-to-day, it should pay off come trade-in time.
The BMW 3 Series has a number of competitors because the 3er spans from a turbocharged four-cylinder, a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain and a turbocharged inline-six engine with all-wheel drive.
The most obvious choice is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class which offers similarly specced vehicles.
The new-generation C-Class recently launched in Australia and looks like a shrunken S-Class. They both offer high-end, premium-looking interiors though with elements of soft-touch materials and metal accents.
Option lists on both the 3er and C-Class are quite extensive and can get expensive your get trigger happy.
The 3 Series also gets cross-shopped with the Audi A4 and Genesis G70, as well as highly-specced Mazda 6 and Hyundai Sonata models.
High-performance M340i xDrive models compete against the Mercedes-Benz C43 and the Audi S4.
BMW 3 Series Interesting Facts
The G20-generation BMW 3 Series has a new interpretation of the Hoffmeister Kink, which is a design cue that features a small cutout in the window near the C-pillar. It has historically signified BMW's rear-wheel drive models.