An insight into the BMW 3 Series

The 3 Series is the centre of the BMW brand, responsible for approximately one-fifth of the company’s global sales.

The interior control and switchgear layout of the 3 Series is driver-focused with twisting and merging surfaces arranged in a series of layers - all angled towards the driver.

The centre console is angled at seven degrees towards the driver.

The iDrive controller, used to access many of the car’s functions, and the 6.5-inch display monitor which accompanies it - both standard on all models - are arranged centrally, within equal reach and view of both front occupants.

Engines in the 3 Series Saloon feature BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. They include a four-cylinder 2.0-litre petrol unit, developing 245hp and 350Nm of torque, in the 328i. It offers a 0-62mph time of 5.9 seconds in manual form.

Both manual and automatic versions of the 328i achieve fuel economy of more than 44mpg and carbon dioxide emission below 150g/km. The new unit features high-precision direct injection, BMW’s new TwinScroll turbocharging, variable camshaft timing and variable valve opening technology.

The 328i is one of four engines available. The other petrol engine on offer is the 3.0-litre six-cylinder TwinPower Turbo unit in the 335i.

The diesel powerplants are led by the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Saloon which has longer gear ratios, reduced friction components and revised electronics which help it to an average fuel consumption figure of 68.9mpg and carbon dioxide emissions of 109g/km.

The 320d EfficientDynamics is available with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
EfficientDynamics technologies reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions and feature Auto Stop-Start - fitted to all versions manual and automatic - along with Brake Energy Regeneration, on-demand control of engine ancillary components and tyres with less rolling resistance.

Weight has been reduced while the drag coefficient is down to as low as 0.26 due to aerodynamic changes. The 3 Series Saloon features a streamlined underside, covers which create a diffuser effect at the rear and Aero Curtain air channels in the front apron which reduce the turbulence created by the revolution of the front wheels in their arches.

BMW has eight versions of the 3 Series Saloon with carbon dioxide emissions at or below 120g/km.

An eight-speed automatic gearbox is available as an alternative to the standard six-speed manual. It is also now offered with every engine.

Drive Performance Control allows the driver to swap between up to four driving modes, varying from sporty to extremely economical. The four modes are ECO PRO, Comfort, Sport, and Sport + with Sport + included only on Sport models or with selected optional equipment.

In ECO PRO a firmer push of the accelerator pedal is needed to extract the power that is delivered with a lighter touch in the other three modes.

ECO PRO also alters the manual gearshift points advised by the Optimum Shift Indicator, modifies the gearshift strategy on models with automatic transmission and adjusts the power consumption of features such as the climate control and heated mirrors and seats.