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2013 BMW 3-Series Photo
7.0
/ 10
On Green
BASE INVOICE
$29,945
BASE MSRP
$32,550
On Green
Great fuel economy, even in six-cylinder form, makes the 3-Series an unheralded green option for sport-sedan buyers, and a hybrid version is on the way.
7.0 out of 10
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GREEN | 7 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

23 mpg city, 34 highway (328i, manual); 23/33 (328i, auto) 20 mpg city, 30 highway (335i, manual); 23/33 (335i, auto) 19/28 (335i Coupe, manual); 18/28 (335i Coupe, auto) 19/27 (335i Coupe xDrive, manual); 18/27 (335i Coupe xDrive, auto)
U.S. EPA

There’s also an Eco Pro setting that waters down the throttle response to something closer to that of a Toyota Corolla.
Car and Driver

The turbo four, called N20 internally, displayed no lag to speak of, but it did at times sound much like a diesel.
AutoWeek

the new Eco Pro setting, which optimizes all systems for maximum efficiency, reducing power sent to heated seats and mirrors, lowering A/C output, etc., and remapping the throttle and shift maps to discourage jack-rabbit driving
Motor Trend


Last year, BMW introduced a new eight-speed automatic transmission plus a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the base 328i Sedan models, which gave BMW 3-Series a big boost in fuel efficiency. Those efficient powertrains continue into 2013, but this year there's also a new ActiveHybrid3 model.

Unfortunately, with a turbo six instead of a four-cylinder engine under the hood, the ActiveHybrid3 likely won't much more fuel-efficient than the 328i and 335i models--both earning up to 23 mpg city and 33 or 34 mpg highway. But with a supplemental electric-motor system and 675Wh of lithium-ion cells in the trunk, it boasts an all-electric range of 2.5 miles--a feature that could boast real-world mileage in stop-and-go driving significantly, if you can show some restraint. The system can also shut off the gasoline engine when coasting at high speeds (up to 100 mph).

All 2013 3-Series sedans also get Auto Start-Stop, which shuts off the engine at stoplights, as long as automatic versions are in Drive or manual versions are in a gear (with the clutch and brake depressed). All models also get the Brake Energy Regeneration system that BMW has already installed in some of its other models; it saves the most aggressive operation of the alternator for when you brake, to help aid fuel efficiency the rest of the time. The air conditioning also includes a new ‘smart’ compressor; the coolant pump operated ‘on demand,’ and there’s an ECO PRO mode that includes driving-style coaching and operates ancillaries in their leanest modes.

The Auto Start-Stop system can be pretty rough with the six-cylinder—delivering more of a shudder/kick than we’ve felt from other systems—but it’s smoother with the four.

Going turbocharged has a very positive effect on fuel economy. BMW 328i models with the automatic earn 34 mpg on the highway, which is on par with some four-cylinder mid-size sedans that aren't nearly as exciting to drive.

Conclusion

Great fuel economy, even in six-cylinder form, makes the 3-Series an unheralded green option for sport-sedan buyers, and a hybrid version is on the way.

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