2018 BMW 3 Series Sedan

#29
in Midsize sedans
2018 MODEL

$34,900 - $50,950

8.3

Overall Rating

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Overview

This icon has been in the market for more than four decades now but age seems to be just a number for this stalwart. Now in its sixth generation the 3 series is still BMW's bestselling model. The 2018 BMW 3 series meanwhile comes with minor changes this year and offers a wide array of powertrains and body configurations that include a wagon, sedan and Gran Turismo.

All the 3 Series trims are powered by different engine options and all are turbocharged. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine comes standard on all the trims with increasing power output respectively. Meanwhile the top trim 340i comes with a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine.

There are not many players in the market that can match the 3 series performance and refinement as it feels comfortable and sporty at the same time. Still, the car feels a bit antiquate and some rivals score more on style. Prices start just below $35,000.

See detailed review »

Pros

Comfortable seats with good thigh and back support

Sharp and precise handling

Cons

Older looking interior

Base engine is un-inspiring

What's New?

Added touchscreen display

Rearview camera is available from the base trim


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$34900

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

149 mph

drivetrain

RWD

engine type

displacement

122 cu. in.

horsepower

180 hp @ 5000 rpm

torque

200 lb.-ft. @ 1250 rpm

transmission

8-speed automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

11.8 in. ventilated disc brakes/12.3 in. ventilated disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

110.6 in.

length

182.8 in.

width

71.3 in.

height

56.3 in.

curb weight

3370 lbs.

ground clearance

5.5 in.

capacity

cargo volume

13 cu ft.

payload capacity

900 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.1 sec.

standing ¼-mile

15.4 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

24/28/35 mpg

highway range

553 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 years/50000 miles

drivetrain warranty

4 years/50000 miles

corrosion warranty

12 years/unlimited

roadside assistance

yes



Styles

 2018 BMW 3 Series Sedan in Jatoba Brown Metallic color  2018 BMW 3 Series Sedan in Glacier Silver Metallic color  2018 BMW 3 Series Sedan in Estoril Blue Metallic color  2018 BMW 3 Series Sedan in Black Sapphire Metallic color  2018 BMW 3 Series Sedan in Alpine White color
Jatoba Brown Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

8.6

Engine

8.4

Fuel Economy

8.4

Interior

7.4

Exterior

7.9

Safety

8.5

Driving

9.1

8.3

OVERALL RATING

Variant Name

MSRP


 2018 BMW 3 Series Sedan 320i

320i

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$34,900

Configurations
320i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 8A
Drivetrain: RWD MPG: (24/28/35)
Torque: 200 lbs.-ft. @ 1,250 rpm

 2018 BMW 3 Series Sedan 320i xDrive

320i xDrive

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$36,900

Configurations
320i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 8A
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (23/27/34)
Torque: 200 lbs.-ft. @ 1,250 rpm

 2018 BMW 3 Series Sedan 330i SULEV

330i SULEV

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$40,250

Configurations
330i SULEV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 8A
Drivetrain: RWD MPG: (24/27/34)
Torque: 258 lbs.-ft. @ 1,450 rpm

 2018 BMW 3 Series Sedan 328d

328d

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$41,750

Configurations
328d 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 8A)
Seating: 5 HP: 180-hp @ 4,000 rpm
Torque: 280 lbs.-ft. @ 1,750 rpm MPG(City/Combined/Highway): MPG(31/36/43)

 2018 BMW 3 Series Sedan 330i xDrive SULEV

330i xDrive SULEV

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$42,250

Configurations
330i xDrive SULEV 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 8A
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (23/27/33)
Torque: 258 lbs.-ft. @ 1,450 rpm

 2018 BMW 3 Series Sedan 328d xDrive

328d xDrive

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$43,750

Configurations
328d xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 8A)
Seating: 5 HP: 180-hp @ 4,000 rpm
Torque: 280 lbs.-ft. @ 1,750 rpm MPG(City/Combined/Highway): MPG(30/34/40)

 2018 BMW 3 Series Sedan 330e iPerformance

330e iPerformance

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$45,600

Configurations
330e iPerformance 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A)
Seating: 5 HP: 247 -hp @ 5000 rpm
Torque: 310 lbs.-ft. MPG(Combined): MPG(30)

 2018 BMW 3 Series Sedan 340i

340i

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$48,950

Configurations
340i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
Engine: I-6 Transmission: 8A
Drivetrain: RWD MPG: (21/25/32)
Torque: 330 lbs.-ft. @ 1,380 rpm

 2018 BMW 3 Series Sedan 340i xDrive

340i xDrive

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$50,950

Configurations
340i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
Engine: I-6 Transmission: 8A
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (21/25/31)
Torque: 330 lbs.-ft. @ 1,380 rpm

Expert Review


carhp editor October 3, 2018

8.3

Overall Rating


8.6/10
Features

 

8.4/10
Engine

 

8.4/10
Fuel Economy

 

7.4/10
Interior

 

7.9/10
Exterior

 

8.5/10
Safety

 
 
 

There are not many players in the market that can match the 3 series performance and refinement as it feels comfortable and sporty at the same time. Still, the car feels a bit antiquate and some rivals score more on style. Prices start just below $35,000, a complete steal, especially when you consider the equipment level and brand value the car carries.

Features

8.6/10

There is a wide range of choice to make for if you are planning to buy the 2018 BMW 3 series. There are four trims available and each of them comes with a unique powertrain. Each sedan gets rear wheel drive while the all-wheel drive is available for $2,000. The Wagon and the Gran Turismo meanwhile come standard with all-wheel drive.

Trim BMW 320i BMW 330i BMW 328d BMW 330e iperformance BMW 340i
Starting MSRP $34,900 $40,250 $41,750 $45,600 $48,950
Standard Features
  • 6-way manually adjustable front seats; including 2-way manual headrests
  • 9-speaker HiFi Sound System
  • Dynamic Cruise Control
  • LED Fog lights
  • LED Headlights
  • 10-way power front sports seats; including 2-way power side bolsters, 2-way manual headrests and thigh support
  • Key fob with Sport-Line motif
  • Universal garage-door opener
  • Power-folding, heated side mirrors
  • Same as 330i
  • Same as 330i
  • 14-way power front sports seats; including 4-way power lumbar support, 2-way power side bolsters
  • Shadowline exterior trim
  • 16-speaker Harman Kardon Premium Audio System
  • 2-way power glass moonroof with “one-touch” operation and sliding interior sunshade

We Recommend

The base 320i is a complete value for money option. You can add other features like Apple CarPlay for $300 and heated front seats for $500. Throw in $3,550 more and go for the Sports Plus design package which offers better suspension, 18-inch alloys with performance tires and sports seats.

Engine

8.4/10

"The 2018 BMW 3 Series mostly lives up to its reputation of ultimate driving pleasure. Its handling is crisp and responsive in every iteration, though spirited drivers will want to avoid the base engine. Luckily, five additional engine options (all stout) and a handful of performance upgrades are available." -Cars.usnews.com

 Engine and Transmission

All the trims in the BMW 3 Series are separated by powertrains and all are turbocharged. The base 320i sedan gets a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that churns out 180 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque that is mated to a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.  Power increases as you move up the trim as the 330i comes equipped with a more powerful 2.0-liter engine (248 hp, 258 lb-feet of torque).

The 328d and the 330e sedan gets a similarly powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. An eight-speed automatic transmission comes standard for both these trims. The 328d meanwhile uses a diesel fuel that gives out 180 horsepower and 280 lb-feet of torque. The 330e hybrid and mates the turbo 4 with a 7.6 kWh battery and 87 hp electric motor for a combined output of 246 horsepower. Last but not the least is the 340i that gets a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine (320 hp and 330 lb feet).

 Models BMW 3-Series Mercedes-Benz C Class Jaguar XE Audi A4
Starting MSRP $34,900 $40,250 $35,725 $36,000
Engine Type 2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4
Power (hp) 180 241 247 190
Torque (lb-ft) 200 273 269 236

The competition is closely matched with the BMW, offering identical configurations. The base Audi A4 is the closest match in terms of horsepower, and even that offer 10 more than the baby BMW. The sporty Jaguar XE offers the best output figure, followed closely by C-class Mercedes.

Acceleration

Though the BMW 3-Series sedan used to wear the crown in its segment, it has now been surpassed by its rivals. The BMW takes 7.1 seconds to go from 0-60 mph

 Models BMW 3-Series Mercedes-Benz C Class Jaguar XE Audi A4
0-60 MPH 7.1 seconds 6.2 seconds 6.0 seconds 6.8 seconds
Quarter Mile 15.7 seconds 14.7 seconds 14.7 seconds 15.2 seconds
Engine Displacement 2.0L 2.0L 2.0L 2.0L

Competitors like the 2018 Mercedes Benz C Class and the 2018 Jaguar XE take 6.2 seconds and 6 seconds respectively to reach 60 mph. The 3-Series is also bested by all others in the quarter mile dash.

Ride and Handling

The 2018 BMW 3-series is able to provide the power-filled performance you’d expect from a BMW car. The steering is responsive. The car comes with an option to add an adaptive suspension system for smoother driving experience on bumpy roads.

The 3-series has a good and balanced body control and feels nimble around corners. If comfort in driving is what you’re looking for then the softened suspension won’t disappoint you.

Braking

The 2018 BMW 3-Series is equipped with front and rear disc brakes which brings the car at halt from 60 mph in a decent 123 ft. While the figures certainly aren't impressive, they are quite fine for a car with this price tag. 

 Models BMW 3-Series Mercedes-Benz C Class Jaguar XE Audi A4
Front Brake Dia (in) 12.3 13 13.8 12.4
Rear Brake Dia (in) 11.8 11.8 12.8 11.8
60-0 MPH (feet) 123 131 123 105

The only car in this segment with a better braking is the 2018 Audi A4 which takes 105 ft before coming to a stop from 60mph, extremely good figures regardless of price or segment. Mercedes disappoints with below average performance.

Fuel Economy

8.4/10

The 2018 BMW 3-Series has a fuel-efficient engine. The base trim will give you a more than decent mileage of 24mpg (city), 34mpg (highway) and a combined mileage of 27mpg. If you go for the all-wheel drive, you need not worry about the fuel economy as the car loses only 1 mpg.

  2018 BMW 3-Series 2018 Mercedes-Benz C Class 2018 Jaguar XE 2018 Audi A4
City (MPG) 24 24 25 27
Highway (MPG) 34 33 34 37
Combined (MPG) 27 27 28 31

The 3-Series is less efficient than Jaguar XE, which has a mileage of 25mpg in the city, and 34mpg on the highway, averaging at 28mpg combined efficiency. Audi surprises here, with best efficiency figures from the most powerful engine here.

Interior

7.4/10

"The interior design of the 2018 BMW 3 Series is that of understated European elegance. Materials range from standard synthetic leather seats to trimmings in burl walnut, aluminum, and high-grade leather. The seats are spacious, and cargo space is plentiful." -Cars.usnews.com

Seating and Comfort

The instrument panel and the interiors feel outdated and there’s too much unnecessary use of plastic which makes the interiors look pretty average for a BMW. The car has comfortable leather upholstered seats with properly contoured support for the back which makes it easier for the driver on long drives. The car has a seating capacity of 5 people with ample room for head, legs and knee room.

The base trim offers 6-way manually adjustable front seats with 2-manual headrests while the top trim offers a highly customizable seating option. The 340i has a 14-way power front sports seats, 4-way lumbar support and 2-way power side bolsters ensuring that you experience a satisfying and comfy ride.

 Models 2018 BMW 3-Series 2018 Mercedes-Benz C Class 2018 Jaguar XE 2018 Audi A4
Passenger Capacity 5 5 5 5
Front Head Room (in) 40.3 40.9 37.0 38.9
Front Leg Room (in) 42 41.7 41.5 41.3
Front Shoulder Room (in) 55.1 55.3 56.8 55.9
Second Head Room (in) 37.7 37.1 37.0 37.4
Second Leg Room (in) 35.1 35.2 35.0 35.7
Second Shoulder Room (in) 55.1 55 54.7 54.5

Mercedes C-class gives the 3-series a run for its money in this category. Both cars are closely matched, and occupants of both will appreciate the space inside. Jaguar and Audi aren't far behind though, and front seats offer plenty of space in both.

Infotainment System

The most noticeable upgrade is the availability of the iDrive 6.0 in all trims of the car.

  • 4G LTE
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Aux Input
  • Bluetooth audio
  • Hands-free Bluetooth phone
  • Mobile Wi-Fi
  • Navigation with real-time traffic
  • Real-time weather
  • Voice input

The infotainment system on the BMW 3-Series is highly responsive and has a simple and easy-to-use interface.

Cargo Capacity

The 3-Series has a boot volume of 13 cubic ft, which is decent for a small luxury car. It can easily swallow two large bags, and weekend getaways should be fun. There are also cubby holes everywhere in the cabin, providing additional space to hold little nick-nacks.

 Models 2018 BMW 3-Series 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 2018 Jaguar XE 2018 Audi A4
Trunk Volume (ft3) 13 12.6 14.7 13

Jaguar offers better trunk space, and by a significant margin. The Audi and Merc offer the same trunk space as the BMW, which isn't too bad.

Exterior

7.9/10

"The sedan’s lines are still attractive, helped by its classic profile and rear-wheel-drive tendencies. Its shapely hood and kidney-shaped grille are BMW hallmarks, and help future-proof it against a new generation of the 3-Series that’s surely coming soon." -The Car Connection

Dimensions and Weight

The 2018 BMW 3 series looks classy with the company’s signature double grille while the overall lean appearance appeal more to the devoted fans of the traditional designs of BMW.

The 3-series has a wheelbase of a smidge over 110 inch, which is technically the shortest among its rivals. It also is the lightest standing at a base curb weight of almost 3,300 pounds. Still, the Beemer manages to be quite easy to muscle around the town.

 Models 2018 BMW 3-Series 2018 Mercedes-Benz C Class 2018 Jaguar XE 2018 Audi A4
Length (in) 182.5 184.5 183.9 186.1
Width (in) 71.3 71.3 72.8 72.5
Height (in) 56.3 56.8 55.8 56.2
Wheelbase (in) 110.6 111.8 111.6 111
Base Curb Weight (lbs) 3295 3594 3395 3450
Track Width, Front (in) 60.3 61.5 62.8 61.9
Track Width, Rear (in) 61.9 60.9 62.4 61.2

The Mercedes-Benz C Class has the longest wheelbase, 1.2 inches longer than the 3-series. In terms of looks, the Jaguar has no equal. Its flowing lines and swooping headlights capture the onlookers heart faster than the other cars here.

Exterior Features:

On the outside of the car are a few useful features, such as:

  • LED headlights
  • LED fog lights
  • Power folding, heated side mirrors
  • 18-inch bicolor wheels (Shadow Sport special edition)

Safety

8.5/10

The 2018 3-Series has a plethora of safety features like blind spot monitor, brake assist, electronic stability control, and lane departure warning. Further, the car has adaptive cruise control to ease up the driving experience.

  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Front and rear Head Protection System (HPS)
  • Seat-mounted front side-impact airbags
  • Knee airbags for driver and front passenger
  • LATCH attachments for child-restraint safety installation
  • Automatic-locking retractors (ALR) on all passenger safety belts for installation of child-restraint seat
  • Front-passenger-seat-occupation recognition with Passenger’s Airbag Off indicator
  • Driver’s and passenger’s front airbag supplemental restraint system (SRS)

NHSTA Rating

Overall Rating 5 star
Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating 4 star
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Driver 4 star
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Passenger 5 star
Overall Side Crash Rating 5 star
Side Barrier Rating 5 star
Side Barrier Rating Driver 5 star
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat 5 star
Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat 5 star
Combined Side Rating Front Seat 5 star
Combined Side Rating Rear Seat 5 star
Rollover Rating 5 star

IIHS Safety Ratings

Crashworthiness
Small overlap front driver side Good
Small overlap front Passenger side Not rated
Moderate overlap front Good
Side Good
Roof strength Good
Head restraints & seats Good
Crash Avoidance and Mitigation
Front Crash prevention Advanced
Headlights Acceptable
Child Seat Anchors(LATCH) Ease of use Marginal

Competition

BMW 3-Series VS Mercedes-Benz C Class

One thing that can be said when comparing the 3-Series with its rivals is that the aesthetics are subjective. If you prefer a classic design which reminds you of the old BMW then you’ll find the body of 3-Series more pleasing but if trendy and stylish is your thing the body of the Mercedes will appeal to you more.

The Mercedes accommodates people more comfortably and has a more powerful engine than the 3-Series. The C Class is quite expensive, costing $5350 more for its base trim than the 3-Series. It depends upon whether you want to spend an extra 5 grand to get a better engine or have a tight budget and can do with an engine which isn’t as good but performs well.

BMW 3-Series VS Jaguar XE

The Jaguar XE has a superior performing 247hp 2.0 L engine when compared to the 3-Series (180hp). The Jaguar has the best in class acceleration taking just 6.0 seconds to reach 60mph. The XE is also equipped with a slightly more economical engine 25/34/28 mpg, the Jaguar XE is the car to go for.

BMW 3-Series VS Audi A4

Audi surpasses the 3-Series in terms of ride and handling. We personally think that Audi A4 has the best looking exterior in this segment. Audi A4, again, has a slightly better fuel economy and engine performance of 190hp. Further, the brakes of the Audi A4 are more powerful. All this makes Audi the preferable choice.

Final Verdict

Choose the 3-Series for its class, comfort, luxury and a powerful and fuel-efficient engine. Also, don’t forget about the diverse customizations and the engine variants that BMW offers.  With that being said, the competition offers trendy looks and better performing powertrain and drivetrain. Further, since the 2018 BMW 3-Series hasn’t been through any major changes since last year, upgrading seems like an unnecessary choice. Our advice is to wait for the highly anticipated 2019 model which is going to feature major upgrades.

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