2018 M3 New Car Test Drive
The BMW 3 Series is aging. Rivals such as the Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class are newer. The only thing new for 2018 for the 3 Series are some changed packages and new colors.
The performance in many configurations still stands out, with three bodies, six engines, two transmissions, and rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive creating no less than 15 models, counting the almighty high-performance M3 (which rates its own review) to the 330e iPerformance plug-in hybrid sedan.
Engines include the high-mileage 328d diesel, 2.0-liter turbo four in the 330 making 248 horsepower, and scorching 3.0-liter turbo six in the 340i making 320 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. All the engines need premium (or diesel) fuel, even the lowly 180-horsepower engine in the 320i.
When you mix in the different trims, the definition of the 3 Series blurs. For example there's Sport Line for the 328i, 328d, and 340i. There's also an M Sport package, and a Track Handling package with big blue brake calipers.
The all-wheel-drive Gran Turismo is a five-door hatchback that's nearly eight inches longer than the sedan, on a wheelbase that's four inches longer and three inches taller. Creatively, it leads the way in styling, as part crossover, part fastback, and part wagon.
BMW 3 Series models include 320i, 320i xDrive all-wheel drive, 328d, 328d xDrive, 330i, 330i xDrive, 340i, 340i xDrive sedan; also the 330e iPerformance plug-in hybrid sedan, 330i xDrive Gran Turismo, 340i xDrive Gran Turismo, 330i and 328d xDrive wagon, and the M3.
The entry-level 320i gets manual front seats in leatherette upholstery, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, 6.5-inch display, and iDrive. Options include wheels, infotainment, heated seats, carbon-fiber rear spoiler, wireless Apple CarPlay, and rearview camera.