BMW News

The 3 Series range has always offered a little something for everyone. But with the 2014 3 Series, that might be truer than ever. Though the lineup loses coupe and convertible models to the 4 Series nameplate, the 2014 BMW 3 Series still offers three body styles and multiple drivetrain combinations.

A new entry-level model, the 320i, features a detuned version of the 328i’s turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 producing 180 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque. Content is reduced for the 320i, but as we found, the driving experience is similar to the more powerful 328i. That car sports a 240-hp, 255-lb-ft turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4. Both the 320i and 328i are available with either an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission, though xDrive all-wheel-drive models only come with an automatic. The 320i is EPA-rated at 24/36 mpg city/highway with the automatic, 23/36 mpg with the manual, and 23/35 mpg in all-wheel-drive trim. The 328i achieves 23/35 mpg with the automatic, 22/34 mpg with the manual, and 22/33 mpg when all-wheel drive is selected.

The 335i sedan produces 300 hp and 300 lb-ft from BMW’s venerable turbocharged 3.0-liter I-6. That engine, which carried over from the previous generation, performs even better in the new model, as we said in a review of the 2012 BMW 335i, “Forget the last 335i. This new one actually accelerates at the same pace as the 320-horse, 332 lb-ft 335is — the one with two turbos and a fast-shifting twin-clutch transmission. Our mere automatic 2012 335i, down a turbo and supposedly 20 horsepower and 32 lb-ft, reached 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and the quarter mile in 13.3 sec at 103.9 mph. That’s right on pace with a Camaro SS, assuming it’s driven well.” The turbo I-6 isn’t bad on fuel economy either, with the eight-speed auto-equipped model rated at 22/32 mpg, and rear-drive models with the six-speed manual and xDrive all-wheel-drive models with either transmission rated at 20/30 mpg.

The above models may make up the bulk of 3 Series sales, but the variants are what keep BMW’s niche customers happy. The 2014 3 Series is also offered as a diesel, hybrid, wagon, and funky Gran Turismo hatchback. Both 3 Series wagon and 3 Series Gran Turismo models only come in all-wheel drive, and each offers its own unique cargo solution. The wagon boasts the more traditional layout, and offers 27 cubic-feet behind the rear seats, and 66 cubic-feet with the seats folded down. The Sports Wagon is offered with the turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4, rated at 22/33 mpg, or a new 2.0-liter turbodiesel I-4 producing 180 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque rated at 31/43 mpg. That diesel mill is also available in the sedan, rated at 32/45 mpg for rear-drive 328d models and 31/43 mpg for xDrive models. All 3 Series diesel models are paired exclusively to the eight-speed auto. If the wagon body style isn’t your cup of tea, the larger Gran Turismo might be a better fit for you. That model features a power liftgate that opens two ways to access the cargo area, which can be expanded by folding down the standard 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats. Those seats offer more legroom compared to the standard 3 Series, along with more headroom thanks to a taller roof. The 3 Series GT is available with either the turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 or turbocharged 3.0-liter I-6, which come rated at 22/33 mpg and 20/30 mpg, respectively. The eight-speed automatic is the only transmission offered. For those who want all the performance of the 335i, but better fuel economy, BMW offers the ActiveHybrid3. That car boasts the same turbocharged 3.0-liter I-6 as the 335i, but also gets an electric motor to boost total system output to 335 hp while also raising efficiency to 25/33 mpg. Like all 3 Series models equipped with the eight-speed automatic, the ActiveHybrid3 features a start-stop function and regenerative braking.

Most models come standard with faux-leather upholstery, with genuine leather offered as an option. Interior trim options vary depending on which of the three trim lines are selected. Those include Sport Line, Luxury Line, and M Sport. Bluetooth connectivity is standard on all models, as is a USB slot and BMW’s updated iDrive system and 6.5-inch display. A navigation system is available, along with a head-up display, heated front and rear seats, rearview camera, and parking sensors.

The 2014 BMW 3 Series sedan earned a five-star overall rating from NHTSA, and is considered at Top Safety Pick by IIHS with scores of Good for all tests except the new small overlap front crash test. Sports Wagon and Gran Turismo models have not yet been tested.