2013 BMW 3-Series vs. Its Competition

2013 BMW 3-Series 4-door Sedan 335i RWD Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

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.

2013 BMW 3-Series 4-door Sedan 335i RWD Angular Front Exterior View2013 BMW 3-SeriesBrowse Used Listings2013 Audi A42013 Audi A4Browse Used Listings2013 Cadillac ATS2013 Cadillac ATSBrowse Used Listings2013 Lexus IS 3502013 Lexus IS 350Browse Used Listings2013 Mercedes-Benz C Class 4-door Sedan C250 Sport RWD Angular Front Exterior View2013 Mercedes-Benz C ClassBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
8.6
The 2013 BMW 3-Series is safe, fuel-efficient, and well-connected, yet it delivers the class-leading performance and handling that enthusiasts have come to expect.
8.2
Magnificent design and technology sets the Audi A4 apart, but it's not quite as sporty as its BMW and Cadillac competition.
8.8
With unerring focus on handling, Cadillac finally has the 3-Series' number with the 2013 ATS.
7.4
The 2013 Lexus IS 250 and IS 350 look like exciting sport sedans--especially in F Sport guise--though they're not as fun to drive or even as fuel-efficient as other small sport sedans.
8.2
For those who are image-conscious yet value-conscious, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C Class sedans and coupes make a lot of sense.
MSRP From    
$32,550$32,500$33,095$40,320$35,350
Gas Mileage    
17 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy
Engine    
Turbocharged Gas I4Turbocharged Gas I4Gas I4Gas V6Turbocharged Gas I4
EPA Class    
Compact CarsCompact CarsCompactSub-CompactCompact
Style Name    
4-Door Sedan 320i RWD South Africa4-Door Sedan CVT FrontTrak 2.0T Prestige4-Door Sedan 2.5L RWD350 4-Door Sedan RWD4-Door Sedan C250 Sport RWD
Drivetrain    
Rear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
55555
Passenger Doors    
N/AN/A4N/AN/A
Body Style    
SedanSedanSedanSedan4 Door Sedan
Transmission    
Automatic w/Manual ShiftContinuously Variable RatioAutomaticAutomatic w/Manual ShiftAutomatic