The BMW 3 Series is a compact sedan, coupe, wagon, and convertible. It has been on sale since 1975. Today's 3 Series is in its fifth-generation, last redesigned for the 2006 model year. The 2011 model year welcomes slight styling changes to the coupe and convertible and a new turbocharged engine. Next year, the 3 Series sedan will be replaced with an all-new model as the automaker begins the rollout of the sixth-generation 3 Series.
BMW's 3 Series is sold in dozens of configurations, including the aforementioned sedan, coupe, wagon, and convertible body styles. All models are well equipped, with standard air conditioning, full power accessories, alloy wheels, and more. Vinyl upholstery is standard on the entry-level models, with leather optional. Other option packages include the Sport package, Premium package, and navigation.
The BMW 3 Series is offered with a range of engines, both gasoline and diesel. Entry-level "328i" models are fitted with a 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine rated at 230 horsepower. Upgraded "335i" models receive a turbocharged 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine rated at 300 horsepower, while the sportiest "335is" models are fitted with a 320 horsepower variant of that engine.
The "335d" models are offered with a turbocharged 3.0-liter, six-cylinder diesel engine rated at 265 horsepower. A six-speed manual is standard on most models - with the exception of the diesel - with a six-speed automatic optional. Sport models may also be ordered with a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic. Rear-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional on some body styles. The EPA rates the fuel economy of the 2011 BMW 3 Series between 17 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, depending on engine and transmission.
The 2011 BMW 328i Sedan starts with a base price of about $35,000 and tops out with the 335is Convertible, which starts around $60,000.