- Spectacular engines
- Ride/handling balance
- Quality interior
- Great tech
- Thrill-ride M3
- Mega-versions get mega-pricey
- No manual, except in M3
- Acquired-taste nostrils
- Rear seat could be better
features & specs
The 2022 BMW 3-Series nails the sport-sedan triathlon with eye-flattening acceleration, hair-bending grip, and a lavish tech-laden cabin.
What kind of car is the 2022 BMW 3-Series? What does it compare to?
The 3-Series is BMW’s birthright sport sedan, the alpha and the omega of rear-drive four-doors with enthusiast followings. Square it up against a Mercedes-Benz C-Class or an Audi A4.
Is the 2022 BMW 3-Series a good car?
With much of its handling luster restored, it earns a TCC Rating of 7.8 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
What's new for the 2022 BMW 3-Series?
The 3-Series family now ranges from the 330i to the M3 Competition sedan; for a two-door or hatchback that’s nearly identical, look up the 4-Series. BMW has dropped touch inputs on its infotainment display, as well as ambient lighting and wireless smartphone charging, as it struggles with low chip supplies.
BMW’s latest 3-Series doesn’t break much exterior styling ground, and doesn’t need to. It’s a classic interpretation of the sport sedan, with a low-slung profile and stubby trunk pushing forward into a long nose. Where it’s most flawed is in the M3’s gaping nostrils, but thankfully they’re subdued in other versions. The cabin’s angular theme looks grand in basic black—and fantastic in colorful leather and aluminum trim sold on pricey versions.
With power ranging from a 255-hp turbo-4, to a 288-hp plug-in hybrid, all the way to a 503-hp turbo-6, the 3-Series’ breathtaking performance lifts it out of the mid-size sedan doldrums. It’s at least good for 5.6-second 0-60 mph times, or in as little as 3.4 seconds with the M3. Base versions grip the road with confidence; though it doesn’t always translate into the brilliant steering feedback of years past, the 3-Series’ handling and overall tuning still sets a benchmark that many big-name brands have failed to challenge.
BMW fits a swell pair of power-adjustable buckets in each 3-Series; in the M3, carbon-fiber buckets bear-hug the driver reassuringly. In between the 3er wears semi-aniline leather on its heated and cooled front seats. In the back, it could use less sculpting; it’s outfitted to give two 6-footers decent space, but a third won’t fit well.
Every 3-Series has automatic emergency braking and excellent crash-test scores. We wish BMW didn’t wall off its best driver-assist features in high-priced packages.
How much does the 2022 BMW 3-Series cost?
It’s $42,445 for a 330i with power front seats, synthetic leather upholstery, and an 8.8-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Well equipped it costs more like $50,000, which is within reach of the blazing $55,695 M340i. An M3 Competition can soar beyond $100,000.
Where is the 2022 BMW 3-Series made?
In Mexico and Germany.
2022 BMW 3-Series
The 3-Series dresses with a sporty flair.
Is the BMW 3-Series a good-looking car?
It is, but the tall twin nostrils on its nose in M3 spec have caused some controversy. We think it’s a 7, with a point extra each for its exterior and interior.
The front end of the latest 3-Series is distinctive, for sure; it gets downright divisive in the M3. Behind that face, the 3-Series is the picture of the classic sport sedan, with its long nose and abbreviated tail. It’s subdued in its details, and drives a lot of its visual impact with a rising shoulder line. There’s more emphasis on the speedy, glitzy pieces on the M340i and M3: they get chunky body kits, showy wheels, carbon-fiber trim, and even more exaggerated air intakes and diffusers.
Inside, the dash of the 3-Series sits low, and it’s capped by digital displays that sit in front of the driver and top the stack of controls at the center of the dash. A slim splint of real wood trim or aluminum dresses the base 3er interior and gives it the impression of greater width. We’re no fans of the trapezoidal bent of the digital gauges, but similar shapes unite all the central controls and give the 3-Series cabin a focus and an appeal that’s low-key upscale—and that’s before you select the sizzling orange or blue leather and carbon fiber of the showiest versions.
2022 BMW 3-Series
BMW builds thrilling performance into every 3-Series.
For its brilliant ride and handling and for its swift acceleration, we give the 3-Series an 8 here, based on the most popular all-wheel-drive 330i. In M340i and M3 form, it would earn a 9 and a 10, respectively.
Is the BMW 3-Series 4WD?
BMW’s known for rear-drive dynamics, but most 3-Series now are sold with all-wheel drive.
How fast is the BMW 3-Series?
It’s quick, even in base 330i spec, which spools up a 255-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4 and connects it to the rear or to all four wheels through a sublime 8-speed automatic. In this combination, 0-60 mph runs of 5.6 seconds put the 330i in the range of what M3s offered just a couple of generations ago.
The 330i succeeds as sport-sedan standard thanks to steering and suspension tuning that offer crisp feedback, particularly in rear-drive M Sport form with grippy 19-inch wheels and tires and a stiffer sport suspension. As it’s grown larger the BMW has lost the tossable feel that gave the brand its luster, but the 330i has regained some of that zest for high-speed cornering and it’s become even surer in its highway-speed stability.
The 330e pairs the same 2.0-liter turbo-4 with a 111-hp electric motor for a net 288 hp. With plug-in capacity it can deliver up to 23 miles of electric driving, then rely on its gas-hybrid output to deliver up to 28 mpg.
It’s a step in the right direction of progress, but the 330e feels misguided at times. It can accelerate as quickly as the 330i, but doesn’t feel like it since its hybrid system has seamlessly integrated at low speeds for smooth driving. At full throttle, it loses that sure-headed feel, and thinks too long before it sorts out the right gear and the right amount of electric motor input.
Still, we’ve been able to drive one for nearly 27 miles on electric power alone and have enjoyed its well-composed feel despite light steering—and despite a 4,039-lb curb weight that feels even heavier.
Back to non-hybrid 3ers, the M340i slips a 3.0-liter turbo-6 under the hood. It’s the gem in the BMW lineup, an inline-6 that’s boosted to 382 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque, which it ushers to the rear or all four wheels through the same 8-speed automatic. The M340i’s a master class in low-end grunt, good for 0-60 mph times in just over four seconds with all-wheel drive.
It’s also a master class in composure, thanks to a double-jointed set of front struts and a five-link rear suspension. With the optional M Sport tuning and adaptive dampers, it rides low, with less wheel travel and a much firmer ride quality—which gets better when BMW’s standard run-flat tires are swapped out at no cost for conventional treads. Those tires, even with the firmer spring rates and resolutely taut damping in Sport mode, generate less body lean without turning the car into a flinty, intolerable road menace.
That’s pretty much the job of the M3, especially in Competition spec, where its 473-hp turbo-6 gets pressed to 503 hp. The former drops power through a 6-speed manual, while the latter makes an 8-speed automatic mandatory.
With the manual and rear-wheel drive it’s slower by two-tenths, at 4.1 seconds to 60 mph; with the automatic and all-wheel drive it’s good for a rocket ride to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds. A top speed of 155 mph can be lifted to 180 mph with an M Driver’s Package, which also includes a day at a BMW Performance Center driving school.
In any spec, the M3 seems to cruise naturally at 85 mph and higher, but the steering clarity of past cars isn’t quite there, due as much to all-wheel drive as to the car’s long wheelbase. The M3 Competition leans a bit into a corner, takes a line of attack, then zippers its way through the deepest of bends with almost no sense of normal limits thanks to staggered Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. It hauls down from speed just as quickly as it hauls, thanks to big 6-piston front brakes, too.
2022 BMW 3-Series
Comfort & Quality
The 3-Series coddles two in front, and condones two in back.
The 3-Series sedan gets a 7 here, with points for its excellent front seats even in the base 330i, and for its usefully sized and shaped trunk.
No longer a compact car, the 3-Series is 185.7 inches long—SUV-sized, in other words. Much of that length goes to its engine and hood, though.
The 3er’s front seats offer a magnificent driving position thanks to power adjustment of its synthetic leather seats. They’re bolstered well and can give taller or shorter drivers the head room they need. It could use more space in the footwells, though.
The second row demonstrates some concessions to style and to side-impact crash tests. BMW tailors its seat cushion with deeply pocketed spaces for two passengers well inside of the door panels, which leaves just a slim space for a third passenger. Head room suffices for 6-footers and so does leg room, and the seat back folds down to expand trunk space from its already sizable 17 cubic feet.
The 3-Series cabin can be austere with its basic-black garb, but dressed in lighter tones, with real leather, quality rises to meet its high sticker prices.
2022 BMW 3-Series
The 3-Series offers robust crash protection.
How safe is the BMW 3-Series?
It’s a perfect 10 here, thanks to excellent crash-test scores, great outward vision, and advanced driver-assist features including automatic emergency braking.
The IIHS calls the 3-Series a Top Safety Pick, but that designation extends to 3-Series sedans with adaptive LED headlights. Base unit headlights are considered “Marginal.”
The NHTSA gives the 3er five stars overall.
BMW offers active lane control and adaptive cruise control which permits limited hands-free driving under ideal conditions, but it’s walled off in an option package that can cost thousands of dollars.
2022 BMW 3-Series
The 3-Series serves drivers well with excellent infotainment and a stellar warranty.
The 3-Series spans a wide range of performance, and prices follow suit—but every 3er comes with excellent standard features, great choice among options, swell infotainment, and a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty with 3 years/36,000 miles of free scheduled maintenance. We give it a 9 here.
Which BMW 3-Series should I buy?
The $42,445 330i makes sense for many BMW buyers. It comes with synthetic leather upholstery, 10-speaker audio, an 8.8-inch infotainment display that’s run by a knob controller (last year’s touchscreen has been downgraded, due to the global chip shortage), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, power fronts seats, and a power sunroof. Keyless start, heated front seats, and additional lumbar support cost extra. So does the Driving Assistance Professional Package, which gains adaptive cruise control and active lane control, but can press the price to nearly $50,000. All-wheel drive adds another $2,000.
The $43,945 330e comes similarly equipped.
The $55,695 M340i doesn’t seem much more expensive in base price, but it climbs quickly once it’s fitted with performance options such as the M Sport trim package or the adaptive suspension.
How much is a fully loaded BMW 3-Series?
The M3 costs at least $71,095, and it’s another $3,000 for the buttoned-down suspension and 30 hp extra found in the Competition. If you want a 6-speed manual, you’ll have to stick with the M3 as the Competition only comes with an automatic. With upgrades like carbon-fiber seats and matte paint the M3 Competition can vault past $100,000.
2022 BMW 3-Series
The 3-Series has very good fuel economy.
Is the BMW 3-Series good on gas?
All but the monstrous M3 are eco-friendly sedan choices, especially this year’s new 330e. Based on EPA ratings for the entry-level 330i—26 mpg city, 36 highway, 30 combined—the 2022 3-Series earns a 6 here. With all-wheel drive it’s pegged at 25/34/28 mpg.
Upgrade to the M340i and the EPA frowns, to the tune of 23/32/26 mpg with rear- or all-wheel drive; it’s downright irritable with the M3, which posts ratings of 16/23/19 mpg.
The picture brightens back up with the plug-in 330e, which garners a 75 MPGe rating and can travel about 23 miles on battery power before it reverts to gas-hybrid mode, where it earns 28 mpg combined. In EV-only mode, we’ve seen more than 26 miles of range, and largely met the EPA’s combined rating after that.