2008 BMW 3 Series Review | Edmunds.com

2008 BMW 3 Series

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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BMW 3 Series Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L Inline 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 230 hp @ 6500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 BMW 3 Series

  • Fully deserving of its popularity, the 2008 BMW 3 Series sets the standard for overall driving enjoyment, luxury and refinement in four different luxury segments. Only its high price will give you pause.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Perfectly sorted vehicle dynamics, potent and refined engines, high-quality interior materials, wide range of configurations, convertible's sleek retractable hardtop.

  • Cons

    Costs more than most competitors, not much interior storage space, navigation system brings with it exasperating iDrive, plain-Jane interior design.

  • What's New for 2008

    Having introduced two all-new body styles last year, the 3 Series undergoes few changes for 2008. Most notable is the addition of the 335xi coupe, which adds all-wheel drive to the turbocharged 3 Series two-door. Sedans and wagons equipped with the six-speed automatic and Sport Package can now be upgraded with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The convertible carries over unchanged.

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 18
  • cty
/
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



After 3 years of ownership

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW 3 Series 328i 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

I purchased this car in early 2008 and still look back every time I walk away from it. I have a white 328 coupe optioned with auto transmission, sports package, and ipod connections so it's pretty bare bones. Over the years I've received numerous comments and I think the design is classic BMW. I didn't test drive other competing cars and after renting the Benz, Lexus, and Infiniti I don't regret the purchase at all. The overall interior build quality, telepathic steering, excellent handling, and covered warranty/maintenance make this an excellent purchase. After almost three years, I've made a few visits to the dealer to fix interior trims (all covered by warranty), nothing mechanical.




Just beautiful

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW 3 Series 328i 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

I have driven my 328i coupe for over a year and I still love every moment I spend driving it. The car is beautiful from the outside - perfect in every way. The ride after more than a year is sporty, comfortable and precise. I have active steering which is a another level of driving pleasure. I took it on a road trip across the country last year and it performed very well - extremely good fuel consumption on long trips - 27mpg. The interior cabin is silent with only a gentle hum from the engine. I have the audio package - its brilliant!! From classical to hip-hop it never disappoints. Bottom line - solid car with great performance. I absolutely love it.




Just average

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW 3 Series 328i 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

I purchased a 2008 328i coupe in 7/09, and immediately had buyers remorse. The car is fun to drive, but not very practical. I used this as my daily car and felt I was always dodging potholes. The Run Flat Tires are very noisy on the highway. Also, apparently BMW has a problem with motors "ticking". I could only use the Super from my local gas station, anywhere else the car would tick when idling. The car looks great, but is not a comfortable ride. The interior space is tiny, and there is no place for storage. As you can see I was not happy with this car, so I cut my losses and traded it in after only 5 months.




Bmw 328 coupe

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW 3 Series 328i 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

Got coupe 328 with auto, prem. and sport package. Car is great but hate run flat tires. Wake up BMW and get rid of those lousy expensive tires. This car deserves better.




Great car

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW 3 Series 328i 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

I purposely waited a few months to write a review so I could experience the car a little bit. I have had the car for 2 months now and it has not disappointed. There is no question I would prefer the HP of the 335 better but this car is a great combination of performance, driving dynamics and comfort. I was coming from a G35 and this car is definitely put together better and doesn't feel as cheap (because it isn't!!). Compared it to everything else in the same class and it is a bit more expensive, but so far, it was worth it. Run flats do make the ride a bit rough. I have the 6spd and I am getting roughly 20 mpg in the city - Not bad and very important these days.




Awesome car, but no longer

by on
Vehicle: 2008 BMW 3 Series 328i 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

This is my 3rd 3-series (2002 325i, 2006 325i, now my 2008 328i Coupe) and I can say that I have been a loyal, dedicated customer of BMW. The cars are so wonderful once you buy one you can't buy or drive any other make. It feels like a part of you physically as you drive the car, from the structure to the brakes to the steering and engine the feeling is so terrific and reassuring other makes feel like appliances in comparison or clouds to drive (i.e. Lexus). BMW sure has created a car worthy of master craftsmanship that will have longevity in the marketplace for years to come if they keep up the wonderful effort in producing such a wonderful product!



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Full 2008 BMW 3 Series Review

What's New for 2008

Having introduced two all-new body styles last year, the 3 Series undergoes few changes for 2008. Most notable is the addition of the 335xi coupe, which adds all-wheel drive to the turbocharged 3 Series two-door. Sedans and wagons equipped with the six-speed automatic and Sport Package can now be upgraded with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The convertible carries over unchanged.

Introduction

In the past decade, the BMW 3 Series has been the benchmark against which all other entry-level luxury cars have arguably been designed to compete with and/or beat. To date, a scant few have been able to accomplish the latter. And even when that happens, this Bavarian classic has consistently retaken its crown. Last year saw the addition of a very potent twin-turbo engine and the arrival of fully up-to-date coupe and convertible models. The 2008 BMW 3 Series carries over mostly unchanged and despite fierce competition, retains its benchmark status.

If you're in the market for an entry-level luxury car, chances are there's a 3 Series to consider. There are four body styles, two engines, two transmissions and a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. Also, a variety of luxury and performance-oriented options allow you to equip the 3 as luxuriously and/or as sporty as you see fit. Regardless of configuration, this BMW lives up to its "ultimate driving machine" tag line with an unparalleled mix of driving ease and proficiency. Even the convertible model manages to retain much of the 3's handling pedigree, despite its added weight and loss of structural rigidity.

In several comparison tests Edmunds.com conducted over the past year, the 3 Series proved over and over again that it's the top dog in the pound -- especially the 335 and its spectacular turbocharged inline-6. We placed the Infiniti G35 Sport above the 335i sedan in one test, but that was due to the substantial price premium commanded by the Bimmer. In fact, the 3 Series' price is its only significant detriment -- a fully loaded 335i sedan can reach $50,000, while the convertible touches 60 large. "Entry level" it ain't.

If price or getting the latest electronic goodies is more important to you, competitors like the Infiniti G35/G37, Cadillac CTS, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4 and Volvo C70 are very attractive competitors. Even when discussing driving enjoyment, most deliver at a level that many consumers will find extremely rewarding and downright fun. Still, the 2008 BMW 3 Series remains the benchmark. As always, it provides a tremendous mix of handling, ride quality, performance, luxury and styling. Heck, it's even pretty fuel efficient. For an entry-level luxury car, this is our top choice.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

A compact entry-level luxury car, the 2008 BMW 3 Series is available in sedan, coupe, hardtop convertible and wagon body styles. All come in a rear-wheel-drive 328i trim level, while the coupe, sedan and wagon also come in all-wheel-drive 328xi trim. In addition, the convertible, coupe and sedan are available as the rear-drive 335i, and the sedan and coupe are available as the all-wheel-drive 335xi.

Standard equipment on the 328 models includes 16-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, a sunroof, leatherette upholstery, real walnut wood trim, automatic climate control and a 10-speaker CD stereo with an auxiliary audio jack. Coupe and convertible versions of the 328 come with slightly more equipment. The coupe also has a sport-tuned suspension while the convertible has a power-retractable hardtop. In addition to its more powerful engine, the 335 model has power front seats and a premium Harman Kardon Logic 7 sound system.

Most 3 Series cars you encounter on dealer lots will be equipped with the Premium Package, and many will have both the Premium and Sport Packages. The Premium Package provides leather upholstery (heat-reflective in the convertible), a full set of auto-dimming mirrors, Bluetooth, BMW Assist telematics, and on 328 models, power seats. The Sport Package specifies a firmer suspension on convertibles, sedans and wagons, along with larger wheels, performance tires, sport seats and a higher top-speed limiter.

Stand-alone extras include an iDrive-based navigation system with real-time traffic updates, active steering, adaptive cruise control, keyless startup (known as Comfort Access), heated front seats and satellite radio. Paddle shifters can be added to models equipped with the automatic transmission and the Sport Package. You can also replace the standard walnut interior accents with either light poplar or aluminum trim at no additional cost.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2008 BMW 328i and 328xi are powered by a 3.0-liter inline-6 rated at 230 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. The 335i and 335xi are powered by a heavily modified, twin-turbocharged version of the same 3.0-liter engine that produces an impressive 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is the standard gearbox and a six-speed automatic is optional. In performance testing, the turbocharged 3 Series sedan and coupe raced up to 60 mph in fewer than 5 seconds -- about the same as the last M3. The heavier 335xi and convertible 335i are a tad slower. Expect the 328i to be in the mid-6-second range, which is hardly pokey.

Despite its potent power plants, the 3 Series remains fuel efficient. The 328 gets about 17-18 mpg in the city and 25-28 mpg on the highway, depending on the body style, transmission and drivetrain. A rear-drive 335i has a 17/26 mpg rating regardless of transmission.

Safety

Standard safety equipment on the 2008 BMW 3 Series includes antilock disc brakes, dynamic brake control, stability control, run-flat tires, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. The convertible lacks the side curtains, but the regular front side airbags extend up to head level and there are also pop-up rollover hoops. The stability control system integrates several features designed to improve braking performance, such as periodically wiping the brake rotors when the windshield wipers are in use (wet brakes don't stop so well) and snugging the pads to the rotors when the driver abruptly lifts off the throttle, which quickens brake responsiveness.

In government crash tests, the sedan and wagon received four out of five stars for frontal collision protection and five stars for side protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety frontal-offset crash testing, both the sedan and convertible received the highest rating of "Good." In the IIHS side crash test, the sedan received a "Good," while the convertible received a third-best "Marginal" rating.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 3 Series interiors provide a restrained show of luxury. Though a tad plain, the emphasis, through items such as supportive seats and clean analog gauges, is on driver comfort and involvement. Materials are high in quality and build quality is exceptional; indeed, even the standard leatherette (vinyl) upholstery looks and feels better than one would expect. The convertible's available industry-first heat-reflective leather does a wonderful job of keeping occupants' posteriors cool. We'd steer clear of the optional navigation system, though, as its accompanying iDrive interface is very unintuitive.

The front seats have enough firm support to ward off fatigue during a day's worth of driving, while the rear seats are adequately roomy for adults on shorter trips and plenty accommodating for children. Trunk space is average in sedans and coupes, while the wagon offers a maximum cargo capacity of 61 cubic feet. The convertible offers a reasonable cargo hold when the hardtop is up, but it shrinks considerably when the top is lowered.

Driving Impressions

There's no going wrong with either of the engines available in the 2008 BMW 3 Series. The standard, normally aspirated engine is a little light on low-end torque, but it moves the car around smartly and provides slightly better mileage. Meanwhile, the twin-turbo engine provides the kind of acceleration formerly associated with the high-performance M3.

No matter which model you choose, the 3 Series' world-class suspension, steering and brakes will provide hours of entertainment on twisty two-lane highways. Beyond simply feeling rock-solid when hustled around turns, this car communicates with the driver in a manner that inspires confidence no matter what kind of driving you're doing. At the same time, the 3 Series is an ideal long-distance cruiser, delivering both a comfortably controlled ride and a quiet cabin environment.

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Talk About The 2008 3 Series

2008 BMW 3 Series Discussions See all Started By

zack66
zack66
03-09-2007
The new hardtop convertible is now arriving in the US as a 2007 model (originally some were saying that this was going to be introduced as 2008, but that didn't happen)....


birdrules
birdrules
08-02-2008
Interesting article in NYTimes with quote from BMW spokeman that using regular grade does no harm to the engine....


berenzweig
berenzweig
12-17-2007
I just got my new 2008 328i sedan last week. Needless to say, I love the car. I was wondering about the headlamps. I am interested in driving with only the two front "ring" lights on. I?...



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