The 2013 BMW 3-Series faces its most direct challenge this year from an unlikely rival: General Motors.
The all-new Cadillac ATS offers steering and handling, as well as overall performance, that's right on par with the 3-Series—although the base 328i is a bit more fun to drive than the base ATS.
The rest of the sedans in this class each have some pretty significant flaws.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has also gone four-cylinder, but its 201-horsepower, 1.8-liter engine in the C250 isn’t quite a substitute for a six-cylinder engine the way that the 328i’s 240-hp engine is.
The Lexus IS has one of the oldest designs among compact sport sedans; it’s not at all competitive in IS 250 guise, but the IS 350 can be quite enjoyable to drive.
The IS ride and handling aren't nearly as fine-tuned as in the 3-Series, though.
The Audi A4 has a strong, economical base powertrain in its current 2.0T form, and its handling is tuned to target the 3-Series, but it doesn’t offer nearly the tech options you can find in the BMW.
Infiniti’s G37 drives like a sports coupe and has excellent steering and handling, but it’s the harshest offering in this class and lacks luxury-car refinement.
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|2013 BMW 3-SeriesBrowse Used Listings||2013 Audi A4Browse Used Listings||2013 Cadillac ATSBrowse Used Listings||2013 Lexus IS 350Browse Used Listings||2013 Mercedes-Benz C ClassBrowse Used Listings|
|17 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy||18 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy||19 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy||15 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy|
|Turbocharged Gas I4||Turbocharged Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas V6||Turbocharged Gas I4|
|Compact Cars||Compact Cars||Compact||Sub-Compact||Compact|
|4-Door Sedan 320i RWD South Africa||4-Door Sedan CVT FrontTrak 2.0T Prestige||4-Door Sedan 2.5L RWD||350 4-Door Sedan RWD||4-Door Sedan C 250 Sport RWD|
|Rear Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive|
|Sedan||Sedan||Sedan||Sedan||4 Door Sedan|
|Automatic w/Manual Shift||Continuously Variable Ratio||Automatic||Automatic w/Manual Shift||Automatic|