BMW's 3-Series has become a legend in its own time because of its sporting dynamics, trim proportions and reasonably affordable price.
BMW has modestly upgraded its E90 3-Series which is BMW speak for the fifth generation of a lineup that dates back to the late1970s
You'll have to look closely to spot the exterior changes over earlier versions, as they're limited to a new kidney grille, front bumper and headlamps, as well as L-shaped tail lamps with a larger trunk lid out back. Inside, only a revised iDrive and a new starter button mark the facelift from its predecessor of the BMW 3 Series, which debuted in 2006.
Three inline six-cylinder, 3.0-liter engine options are available for the U.S. market, starting at the bottom end with the 328i's 230-horsepower motor before climbing to the turbocharged 300-horsepower unit in the 335i and ending, at the top of the lineup, with the 335d's 265-horsepower turbodiesel. Despite their on-paper similarities, each engine is vastly different.
The base BMW 328i's engine puts out 200 lb-ft. of torque from 2,750 rpm and it mates to a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
Available with rear- or BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive, the 328i sedan is also offered in coupe, wagon and convertible (RWD-only) variants.
The BMW 335i 's Turbo-Six was first introduced in 2007, the BMW 335i's turbo-six produces an impressive 300 lb-ft. of torque from just 1,400 rpm. The BMW 335 is also offered with either an automatic or manual transmissions and all-wheel-drive, but unlike the BMW 328i, the turbocharged model isn't offered in wagon form in the U.S.
The BMW 328i xDrive and BMW 335i xDrive features a rear-wheel-bias designed to preserve the unique feel of a rear-wheel-drive car, but allowing for extra traction in slippery conditions.
The new BMW 3-Series diesel-powered model is known as the BMW 335d Sedan, and is the first diesel engine offered in a BMW sedan in the U.S. since the ill-fated BMW 524td of the mid-1980s. With a mountain of torque -- 425 lb-ft. on tap from just 1,750 rpm -- BMW didn't have a standard manual transmission that would hold up, so the BMW German automaker offers only a six-speed automatic. The BMW 335d also features 265 horsepower, and accelerates from zero-to-60 in
just six seconds.
BMW's controversial iDrive system makes its appearance in the BWM 3-Series, though only with the optional navigation system. Thoroughly revised from earlier systems, it takes advantage of a faster processor and higher-resolution screen, as well as a simplified menu system.
The BMW 335i and 335d add to the BMW 328i fully-power front seats with memory, an upgraded audio system and Xenon headlamps.
Major options on all models include the Premium Package, which adds leather upholstery, Bluetooth and BMW Assist emergency and concierge service, among other items and the Sport Package, which features adjustable sports seats, a revised steering wheel and, on non-xDrive models only, a lowered and stiffened sport suspension.
Other available options for the BMW include paddle shifters with the automatic transmission, adaptive cruise control, HD radio and Active Steering, which adjusts to road speeds for lighter effort at city speeds.