What Changed for 2009:
- Refreshed model for 2009
- New front fascia, headlamps and tail lamps
- Improved interior ergonomics
- Next-generation iDrive
- New diesel powerplant
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. For 2009, the entire 3 Series lineup receives a minor refresh. The exterior changes include a new front fascia, new headlamps and updated tail lamps. The interior benefits from the next-generation iDrive with an improved user interface that shares many of its capabilities with the new BMW 7 Series
, and small detail improvements. The big news for the 3 Series is the arrival of the new turbocharged diesel powerplant.
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.Model Lineup
The 13 BMW 3 Series models for 2009 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, 335xi coupe, and 335d sedan. 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 three engine choices (all 328 models offer a normally aspirated 3.0-liter powerplant, the 335i models offer a twin-turbo 3.0-liter engine, and the 335d model features a twin-turbo diesel engine).
All 2009 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 a 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 all Sport Wagon models.Powertrain
BMW offers a choice of three different engines on the 2009 3 Series. Interestingly, all are 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engines. The first version, found in all 328 models, is normally aspirated and rated at 230 hp with 200 lb.-ft. of torque (EPA fuel-economy ratings of 18 mpg city/28 mpg highway). The second version, found in the 335 models, is a slightly different design that has been equipped with twin turbochargers to increase output to 300 hp and 300 lb.-ft. of torque (EPA fuel economy ratings of 17 mpg city/26 mpg highway). All-new for 2009, BMW introduces a powerful twin-turbo diesel engine on the "335d" models. It is rated at 265 hp with 425 lb.-ft. of torque. The diesel 335d models will accelerate to 62 mph in just 6.2 seconds, according to BMW (EPA fuel-economy ratings of 23 mpg city/33 mpg highway). The gasoline engines are available with either a standard 6-speed manual transmission or BMW's 6-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. The torque-strong diesel is only available with the automatic transmission.
The 2009 BMW 3 Series sedan, coupe, sport wagon and convertible come standard with 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). Depending on model, standard wheels are either 16- 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 a fully independent suspension with disc brakes front and rear.Safety
All 2009 BMW 3 Series models feature dual front air bags 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). 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.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA
), the 2009 BMW 3 Series with side air bags receives 4 stars in frontal crash testing for both driver and front passenger, as well as 5-star (the agency's highest rating) side-impact scores for both front- and rear-seat occupants. The 3 Series also receives 4 stars for rollover resistance. The 2006-2008 BMW 3 Series has also been crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS
). The Institute rated the 3 Series "Good" (the Institute's highest rating) in both frontal offset and side-impact testing.Technology
BMW employs two technologies to improve their fuel-economy ratings in the 2009 3 Series. First, two of the engines are turbocharged with twin exhaust-driven turbines that compress the intake air and force it into the engine under pressure. Power output is greatly increased in this manner-but traditionally with an increase in fuel consumption. BMW solved the efficiency 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 of 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.