BMW 3 Series

Pros Superb, classic, vehicles offering a nice combination of style, performance, comfort and practicality. Great value for money.

Cons Not big on boot space.

BMW 3 Series

  • Overview

    The BMW 3 Series is BMWs best selling car, a premium vehicle within the compact range. The 3 Series are very well-built providing excellent power, comfort and handling in a stylish body. The 3 Series was for some time the smallest BMW car until the BMW 1 Series came along in 2004. Most 3 Series models come with a six-speed manual transmission as standard equipment, with a six-speed automatic optional. Drivers can expect class leading luxury. Also expect top notch suspension, steering and brakes. The E90 saloon was launched in 2006 with a complete makeover, and the newest coupe in 2007. The latest 3 Series offers twin-turbo 335i with 300 horsepower, or 328i and 328xi models with 230 horsepower. The 3 Series Convertible is particularly desirable.

    History - BMW 3 Series Convertible

    First Generation - 1986

    The very first Convertible based on the BMW 3 Series launched in 1986, when BMW became the first premium manufacturer to present an open four-seater in this class. Even earlier models maintain high safety demands. The soft roof folded down beneath a firm cover into the roof compartment at the
    rear, retaining the flat shoulder-line also with the roof open and indeed even extending this line to the rear section of the car, creating the classic convertible look. Production of the first model series was 143,400 units,

    Second Generation - 1993

    The launch of the second BMW 3 Series with larger wheel arches and A-pillars raked further to the back for more sporting look. The second BMW 3 Series Convertible reached the record sales of 196,500 units worldwide.

    Third Generation 2000

    Third version developed design wise with slightly more aggressive stylings, while retaining the elegant Convertible look. Also for the first time offered in diesel, high-torque six-and four-cylinder diesels. These powerful diesel engine versions have proved very popular.

    Fourth Generation - Latest 3 Series Convertible

    2007 saw the launch of the fourth generation of the BMW 3 Series Convertible, the first BMW 3 Series Convertible featuring unique retractable hardtop. The three-piece roof in lightweight steel plate structure closes fully automatically within just 23 seconds, opening in precisely 22 seconds and disappearing completely into the rear end of BMWs open two-door. BMW looks set to be an even smoother drive with better noise protection and improved handling and build strength. Very nice car indeed, providing extra protection against the elements while also maintaining the classic style. The new 3 Series Convertible also features, for the first time, new six-and four- cylinder power engines with direct gasoline injection.

    BMW 335i Convertible - Twin Turbo straight-six power unit developing maximum output of 225 kW/306 hp.

    BMW 330d Convertible - New open four-seater featuring a 3.0-litre straight-six diesel engine with an all-aluminium crankcase and the latest generation of common-rail fuel injection.

    The 3 Series At A Glance

    The 3 Series combines a vast range of premium vehicles. The main vehicles types are defined by the E range.

    • BMW E21 - (1975–1983) 3 Series

    • BMW E30 - (1984–1994) 3 Series

    • BMW E36 - (1992–1998) 3 Series

    • BMW E46 - (1999–2005) 3 Series

    • BMW E90 - (2006–) 3 Series Saloon

    • BMW E91 - (2006-) 3 Series Executive

    • BMW E92 - (2007-) 3 Series Coupé

    • BMW E93 - (2008-) 3 Series Convertible


    1975-The 3 series was first introduced in 1975 as a successor as, as it still is today, an entry level compact executive luxury motor vehicle. The very first model 3 series was a two door E21 car made from 1975 to 1983.

    1984-The 320i was a sporty two-door car with a Bosch K-Jetronic engine. The 3-Series saw a big redesign in 1984, moving from the original E21 platform to the new E30. BMW gave the car a smoother, more sporty look. New models like the 318i, 325e, and 325es were introduced.

    1987-The 325i, launched in 1987, was very popular. 0 to 60 in 7 seconds, very powerful, but still affordable. The motorsport-inspired M3 added to the 3 Series reputation for performance.

    1992A major revamp included the introduction of the larger E36 platform for the luxury market. The 325i was rebranded as the 328i, while a sport coupe and convertible 323i models were also produced, which still included the 318i and the powerful M3.

    1999-The series was expanded further with the introduction of the E46. In addition to more room and a more comfortable ride engines and performance improved.

    Recommended BMW 3 SERIES

    • BMW 3 SERIES 318i Sedan

    • Engine Capacity – 1995cc

    • Max Speed -208km/h

    • Acceleration - 0-100mkh, 10s

    • Combined Fuel Consumption – 7.3l/100km

    • BMW 3 SERIES 335i Convertible

    • Engine Capacity – 2979cc

    • Max Speed – 250km/h

    • Acceleration – 0-100mkh, 5.8s

    • Combined Fuel Consumption – 9.9l/100km

    • BMW 3 SERIES 330i Coupe

    • Engine Capacity - 2996

    • Max Speed - 250

    • Acceleration – 6.1

    • Combined Fuel Consumption – 8.8

    • BMW 3 SERIES 325i Touring

    • Engine Capacity - 2497

    • Max Speed - 240

    • Acceleration – 7.7s

    • Combined Fuel Consumption – 9.4i