Best Family Luxury Sedans: BMW 3-Series Page 2

October 31, 2010

The rear-drive 335d sedan has a 265-horsepower 3.0-liter advanced turbodiesel in-line six-cylinder engine that is emissions-legal in all 50 states. A six-speed automatic transmission is the only one available. Fuel economy is excellent in the turbodiesel, with an EPA-estimated 23 mpg city/36 mpg highway. According to the BMW site, the turbodiesel emits 20 percent less CO2 emissions than comparable gasoline vehicles. In layman’s terms, the BMW 335d has the power of a V-8 with the efficiency of a four-cylinder.


Among the technology features standard or available on 2011 BMW 3-Series is HD radio, iPod/iPhone USB integrated system, Sirius Satellite Radio, 13-speaker Logic7 audio system, and active cruise control. BMW 3-Series models with the optional navigation system feature BMW iDrive that uses a console knob to control communication, navigation, entertainment, and other functions.

There’s actually a lot more that’s could be included in the technology section, but they’re amply covered in performance and fuel economy and safety sections. Suffice to say, the BMW 3-Series is loaded with technology – as befits a family luxury sedan.


Safety and security features abound in the 2011 BMW 3-Series and include four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with anti-lock braking system (ABS), standard electronic stability control, six airbags, and run-flat tires. BMW 3-Series also feature a unique system that wipes the brake rotors dry whenever the windshield wipers are in use. This improves stopping power on wet road surfaces. There’s also a brake assist system that automatically primes the brakes and pulls the pads closer to the wheels whenever the driver releases the accelerator.

Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has tested the 2011 BMW 3-Series. But the IIHS gave the 2010 BMW 3-Series a top “Good” rating in frontal offset and side impact tests. In NHTSA testing, the BMW 3-Series sedan achieved top 5-star scores in side-impact testing, but only 4-star rating for driver and front-seat passenger frontal impacts and in rollover testing.

Optional safety features (some available also as part of packages) include anti-theft alarm system, BMW Assist with Bluetooth system, automatic high beams, Xenon headlights, and park distance control (front and rear). Xenon adaptive headlights are standard on 335d.

As for the BMW 3-Series warranty, all models are covered by a 4-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. Maintenance is also covered at no charge for the same 4-year/50,000-mile warranty period. This coverage is called the BMW Ultimate Service.

Summing Up

Consumers in search of a well-built, high-quality family luxury sedan that seats five and can be configured in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, plus the fuel-efficient RWD turbodiesel model have many excellent reasons to consider a 2011 BMW 3-Series sedan. Inside or outside, the 3-Series commands attention – and invites driving. Impressive crash test scores, better than average long-term cost of ownership, and the unparalleled balance and handling the 3-Series is known for are other compelling reasons to check out this family luxury sedan.

[EPA, IIHS, NHTSA, The Car Connection]

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