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2022 BMW 3-Series

Starting at $42,445

9.5/10 C/D RATING
Specs
2021 bmw 330e front
BMW
9.5/10 C/D RATING

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  • Highs Delightfully strong and smooth powertrains, athletic handling and serene ride, useful back-seat and trunk space.
  • Lows Steering ought to be more feelsome, some rivals offer better value, manual transmission is M.I.A.
  • Verdict With equal parts luxuriousness and sportiness, the 3-series surpasses all other sports sedans.
By Eric Stafford

Overview

No matter which one of its silky powertrains is on duty, the 2022 BMW 3-series is supremely satisfying to drive. While its remarkable refinement is offset by not-quite-great steering feel, its body is composed on any kind of road, its brakes are strong, and its ride is comfortable for daily chores. Plus, its interior is rich and roomy and it has a sizable trunk. Rivals such as the Genesis G70 offer better value, and the Alfa Romeo Giulia is a sexier alternative, but no other sports sedan possesses the bandwidth of the Bimmer. Along with a sublime eight-speed automatic and rear- or all-wheel drive, the 3-series is available with a terrific turbocharged four-cylinder (330i), a plug-in-hybrid setup (330e) with up to 23 miles of all-electric range, or a ferocious 382-hp turbo straight-six (M340i) that's as eager and effortless as engines come. Thankfully, the sedan's excellence doesn't begin and end with driving excitement. That's because the 2022 3-series is sporty any time but luxurious and practical all the time, a reason we put it on our Editors' Choice list.

What's New for 2022?

The 2022 BMW 3-series lineup doesn't see any major changes. The list of modest updates mainly pertains to reshuffled option packages, new standard features for specific models, and an updated roster of individual options.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

    We'd choose the four-cylinder 330i for its surprisingly sufficient power and inherently athletic behavior. Those who want all-wheel drive can add it for $2000. We would equip our example with the M Sport package that brings additional features, unique styling bits, and a specially tuned suspension. With it we'd choose the Premium package that includes blind-spot monitoring, hands-free passive entry, a head-up display, a heated steering wheel, larger touchscreen, and more. We'd also spring for the Dynamic Handling package that optimizes the sedan's driving dynamics via adaptive dampers and upgraded brakes.

    Engine, Transmission, and Performance

    The 3-series offers two smooth and potent gas-powered engines. The 330i features a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The M340i pairs with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six and a 48-volt hybrid system; total output is 382 ponies and 369 pound-feet. The 330e plug-in hybrid combines a turbo 2.0-liter engine with an electric motor that together generate 288 horses and 310 pound-feet. Our first impression of the 330e revealed a harmonious relationship between the gas and electric elements, and we like the plug-in's new Xtraboost function that provides a burst of power that feels like a shot of nitrous. Each powertrain pairs with an exceptional eight-speed automatic transmission and standard rear-wheel drive. You can power all four wheels for a price. Unfortunately, a manual gearbox is no longer available. (Purists should hold out for the all-new BMW M3 if they need the stick.) Buyers can choose between two suspension setups on the 3: the base arrangement or the upgrade with adaptive dampers. Our first drive of this G20-gen 3-series was encouraging. The car's newfound steering feel provides more road-surface information and variable effort than its predecessor did, but it's still lacking compared with that of the 3's iconic early generations. The four-cylinder Bimmer proved its worth by winning a comparison test against other sports sedans. We applauded its ability to transition from relaxed and refined to sharp and playful. The 330i also secured its spot at the top of its class by thwarting the gorgeous Alfa Romeo Giulia in a two-car comparo. Our long-term M340i further proves the nameplate's return to form, with its superb six-cylinder and remarkable body control.

    2021 bmw 330e rearView Photos
    BMW

    Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

    The EPA estimates the four-cylinder 330i will earn up to 26 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. The more powerful six-cylinder M340i has ratings that top out at 23 mpg city and 32 highway. The rear-drive, plug-in-hybrid variant has a combined estimate of 28 mpg and an all-electric range of 23 miles. Both figures drop by 3 for the all-wheel-drive PHEV. We tested a rear-drive 330i on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, and saw an impressive 42 mpg. Likewise, we conducted the same test with an all-wheel-drive M340i, which earned 33 mpg. For more information about the 3-series's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.

    Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

    Inside, the 3 has a modernized design complete with excellent materials and impressive build quality. Nothing feels cheap inside the 3-series, and its controls are well placed. BMW also improved outward visibility, and the standard sport seats are well-bolstered and supportive, and they offer extensive adjustment so it's easy to get comfortable. The car's extra-cost content includes a detailed head-up display, customizable ambient interior lighting, heated front and rear seats, remote start, and wireless charging. The BMW's digital instrument cluster is a bit cluttered but still attractive. Some may find the counterclockwise sweep of the tachometer needle odd at first, but you get acclimated to it quickly. The 3-series has a big trunk with an available power-operated lid. With 17 cubic feet of cargo space, the gas-powered sedan can fit six carry-on suitcases back there and 17 total with the rear row folded. For comparison, the Mercedes-Benz C300 sedan held one fewer suitcase in both tests and the Alfa Romeo Giulia could fit five and 15, respectively. The 330e has less trunk space (13 cubes) because of its battery pack, and we haven't tested its carry-on capacity.

    Infotainment and Connectivity

    The standard infotainment system runs through an 8.8-inch touchscreen, but the interface can also be controlled with a large knob and buttons on the console or with voice commands. The Live Cockpit Plus suite of features, which includes navigation, is standard. For the really good stuff, you'll need to spring for the similarly named Live Cockpit Pro package, which increases the size of the touchscreen to 10.3 inches and gives you the latest and most capable iteration of BMW's iDrive system. A subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot is optional, but the sedan does come with two USB ports. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. One interesting option is BMW's Gesture Control, which allows the driver or passenger to input certain commands with hand gestures. It's more novel than helpful, but it'll wow your friends for a few minutes.

    Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

    Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)

    View Crash Test Results

    BMW is skimpy when it comes to standard driver-assistance technology, providing only forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking. Other features are available, though. For example, the Parking Assistance package will practically park the car for you. For more information about the 3-series's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

    • Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
    • Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
    • Available adaptive cruise control

    Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

    BMW's limited and powertrain warranties align with those of rivals such as Audi and Mercedes-AMG. It provides longer complimentary maintenance than those alternatives, but Jaguar beats it there.

    • Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
    • Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
    • Complimentary maintenance is covered for three years or 36,000 miles

    Specifications

    Specifications

    2019 BMW 330i xDrive

    VEHICLE TYPE
    front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

    PRICE AS TESTED
    $58,770 (base price: $43,245)

    ENGINE TYPE
    turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head

    Displacement
    122 cu in, 1998 cc
    Power
    255 hp @ 6500 rpm
    Torque
    295 lb-ft @ 1550 rpm

    TRANSMISSION
    8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode

    CHASSIS
    Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
    Brakes (F/R): 13.0-in vented disc/13.0-in vented disc
    Tires: Bridgestone Turanza T005 RFT, F: 225/40R-19 93Y R: 255/35R-19 96Y

    DIMENSIONS
    Wheelbase: 112.2 in
    Length: 185.7 in
    Width: 71.9 in
    Height: 57.0 in
    Passenger volume: 95 cu ft
    Trunk volume: 17 cu ft
    Curb weight: 3709 lb

    C/D
    TEST RESULTS
    Zero to 60 mph: 5.2 sec
    Zero to 100 mph: 13.9 sec
    Zero to 130 mph: 28.5 sec
    Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 6.4 sec
    Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.2 sec
    Top gear, 50–70 mph: 3.9 sec
    Standing ¼-mile: 13.9 sec @ 100 mph
    Top speed (governor limited): 156 mph
    Braking, 70–0 mph: 165 ft
    Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.89 g

    C/D
    FUEL ECONOMY
    Observed: 23 mpg

    EPA FUEL ECONOMY
    Combined/city/highway: 28/25/34 mpg

    DOWNLOAD TEST SHEET

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