What Changed for 2008:
- xDrive available on coupe models
- Paddle Shifter option on Steptronic vehicles
- New wheels on 328i/328xi models
- HD radio now available
The best-selling model in BMW
's lineup, the 3 Series is available in sedan, coupe, convertible and sport wagon versions-with available all-wheel drive (AWD) in most of those models. The big news for 2008 is the availability of BMW's xDrive AWD system in the 328xi coupe and 335xi coupe (in previous years, xDrive was only available on sedan or Sport Wagon models). Other changes for 2008 include optional transmission paddle shifters for those vehicles equipped with BMW's 6-speed Steptronic automatic transmission, new 16-inch light alloy wheels on the 328i and 328xi sedans, and HD radio now offered as an option.Model Lineup
The 12 BMW 3 Series models for 2008 include: 328i Sedan, 328xi Sedan, 335i Sedan, 335xi Sedan, 328i Sports Wagon, 328xi Sports Wagon, 328i Convertible, 335i Convertible, 328i coupe, 335i coupe, 328xi coupe, and 335xi coupe. Deciphering the models is simplified with the three body styles (sedan, coupe and convertible), two driveline choices (rear-wheel drive, and AWD designated with an "x" in the nomenclature), and two engine choices (all 328 models offer a normally aspirated 3.0-liter powerplant, while the 335 models offer a twin-turbo 3.0-liter engine).
All 2008 3 Series models are equipped with standard power windows, power locks, automatic headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, and automatic climate control. BMW has grouped many of the popular options into packages. The Sport package adds sport suspension, sport steering wheel, sport seats, larger wheels and tires, and more. The Premium package adds such options as leather upholstery, auto-dimming mirrors, lumbar support, and dual power seats. The Cold Weather package adds heated seats and a ski bag. Stand-alone options include adaptive Xenon headlamps; adaptive cruise control; on-board DVD-based navigation; Logic 7 premium sound; satellite radio; and an iPod adapter.
The 3 Series convertible models feature a power-operated, 3-piece, fully retractable hardtop with steel roof panels. Optional interior leather upholstery features sun-reflective technology to help keep the seats cool on a hot day. The 3 Series Sport Wagons offer a high-lift tailgate with a separate opening rear window. Roof rails and a Panorama moonroof are standard on the Sport Wagon.Powertrain
BMW offers a choice of two 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engines on the 2008 3 Series. The first version, found in all 328 models, is normally aspirated and rated at 230 hp with 200 lb.-ft. of torque. The second version, found in the 335 models, is a slightly different engine that has been equipped with twin turbochargers to increase output to 300 hp and 300 lb.-ft. of torque. Both engine choices are mated to a standard 6-speed manual transmission. BMW's 6-speed Steptronic automatic transmission is optional.
The 2008 BMW 3 Series sedan, coupe, sport wagon and convertible come with standard rear-wheel drive. BMW xDrive is available on all models except for the convertibles. xDrive is a full-time system that utilizes electronic controls to vary front/rear torque split and traction control to offer optimal traction and control under varied road conditions, says BMW. Depending on model, standard wheels are either 16-inch or 17-inch aluminum alloy, with 18-inch aluminum wheels optional. Run-flat tires and a tire-pressure-monitoring system are standard features on all 3 Series vehicles.
All 3 Series models feature fully independent suspension with disc brakes front and rear. EPA fuel economy estimates for 2008 range around 17 mpg city/28 mpg highway depending on engine choice and powertrain. BMW provides a 4-year/50,000-mile new-vehicle limited warranty and a 4-year/unlimited mileage membership in the BMW Assist Safety Plan. The BMW Maintenance Program includes all factory-recommended maintenance items for the first 4 years/50,000 miles of ownership.Safety
All 2008 BMW 3 Series models include a dual front-impact air bag supplementary restraint system (SRS) with dual-threshold deployment and 2-stage smart air bags protecting the driver and front passenger. Side air bags, and a front- and rear-seat head protection system (curtain air bag) offer additional protection to occupants. Front and outboard rear seat belts feature automatic pre-tensioners. Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) attachments for infant and child seats are standard at outboard rear seating positions.
The extensive list of standard electronic safety aids includes anti-lock brakes (ABS) and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). The DSC includes BMW's versions of electronic brake proportioning, cornering brake stability enhancement, Dynamic Brake Control, Brake Fade Compensation, Brake Standby, Dynamic Traction Control, and Start-off Assistant. The AWD models include Hill Descent Control. Also, BMW Assist, BMW's in-car telematics offering, is available optionally in the Premium package.
The BMW 3 Series was crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA
) in 2007. The sedan received 4-star frontal ratings for driver and passenger, and 5-star side ratings for driver and passenger. The wagon received 4-star frontal ratings for driver and passenger. It was not rated for side impacts. Both sedan and wagon versions received 4-star rollover ratings from the agency.Technology
BMW employs two technologies to achieve its fuel economy rating. First, the engine is turbocharged with two small exhaust-driven turbines that compress the intake air and force it into the engine under pressure. Power output is greatly increased with turbocharging-but traditionally with an increase in fuel consumption. BMW solved this consumption issue with a technology called direct injection. Unlike traditional fuel injection, where fuel is sprayed into the intake tract, direct injection uses special direct piezo injectors designed to release a precise amount fuel into the combustion chamber. The fuel is carefully metered, and only supplied when it is needed. The result, BMW claims, is better engine response and improved fuel economy.