2010 BMW 3 Series Review | Edmunds.com

2010 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.
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 2010 BMW 3 Series

  • Even entering its fifth year of production, the 2010 BMW 3 Series remains the best entry-level luxury sedan you can buy.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Unmatched ride/handling balance, smooth and powerful engines, upscale cabin, four body styles, 335d's amazing torque and fuel economy.

  • Cons

    Limited interior storage space, compromised rear headroom, options can inflate price quickly.

  • What's New for 2010

    The 2010 BMW 328i loses its standard sunroof but gains standard HD radio. An automatic high-beam function is newly optional across the lineup.

Full 2010 BMW 3 Series Review

What's New for 2010

The 2010 BMW 328i loses its standard sunroof but gains standard HD radio. An automatic high-beam function is newly optional across the lineup.


After four full years on the market, you'd think someone would have come up with an entry-level luxury car to rival the current BMW 3 Series. Perhaps by now an automaker would have bribed a BMW engineer to fork over the blueprints, or maybe had its CEO take a 3 Series, hand it to his engineers and say, "Here, copy this." Indeed, the 3 Series is often imitated, but somehow it's never been duplicated. For unparalleled driving excellence, the 2010 BMW 3 Series is still where it's at.

As is typically the case, BMW has relentlessly improved this 3 Series since its debut in 2006. For '07, the 335i's twin-turbocharged inline-6 debuted, an engine that has been showered with critical praise ever since, and a sleek coupe and retractable-hardtop convertible also joined the lineup. For '09, the sedan and wagon's controversial taillight design was rectified, and a gloriously torquey and fuel-efficient turbodiesel inline-6 became available for the sedan. Heck, BMW even managed to fix iDrive last year, thanks to a proliferation of physical buttons and a much-improved menu structure. All of that partly explains why the 3 Series is still the most desirable car in its class, even at the ripe old age of five.

The other part is the inherent goodness of its chassis. Quite simply, no other entry-level luxury model can match the 3 Series' exquisite combination of athletic handling and premium ride comfort. Even the base suspension setup is more capable than most, but the Sport package really brings the 3 into focus, giving it sports-car-grade cornering capabilities without the slightest hint of impact harshness. The performance numbers are impressive in themselves, but this car transcends them -- it feels even more confident and composed than those numbers suggest.

The 2010 BMW 3 Series has long been America's best-selling luxury car, and we see no reason why it won't retain its crown. Automotive journalists and consumers agree that the 3 is the segment leader, which highlights its irresistible appeal to enthusiasts and casual drivers alike. There are worthy rivals, of course, including the powerful Infiniti G37, the striking Cadillac CTS and the Euro-chic Audi A4. But even as the twilight of this model's production run approaches, the 3 Series continues to reign supreme.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 BMW 3 Series is available in sedan, wagon, coupe and hardtop-convertible body styles. The base model for all styles is the rear-wheel-drive 328i, while the coupe, sedan and wagon also come in all-wheel-drive 328i xDrive guise. All but the wagon are available as the rear-drive 335i, while the sedan and coupe can be had in 335i xDrive form. The range-topping sedan model is the diesel-powered 335d.

Standard equipment on the 328i models includes 16-inch wheels, heated side mirrors, premium leatherette vinyl upholstery, automatic climate control and a 10-speaker CD stereo with HD radio and an auxiliary input jack. Coupe and convertible versions come with slightly more equipment, including a sport-tuned suspension on the coupe and a power-retractable hardtop on the convertible. In addition to its more powerful engine, the 335i adds 17-inch wheels, xenon headlights and power front seats with driver memory. The 335d is similarly equipped but includes xenon headlamps and a sunroof.

The Premium package adds leather upholstery (heat-reflective in the convertible), auto-dimming mirrors, Bluetooth connectivity, BMW Assist telematics and, on 328i models, a sunroof and power seats with driver memory. The Sport package specifies a firmer suspension on convertibles, sedans and wagons (the coupe already has this as standard) and all get larger wheels, sport seats and steering wheel, and special "Shadowline" exterior trim. The Climate package adds heated front seats and steering wheel, retractable headlight washers and fold-down rear seats (though the latter are unavailable in the convertible). Many of these items can be had as stand-alone options.

Among the ŗ la carte options are xenon headlights and a sunroof (328i only), automatic high beams, a hard-drive-based navigation system with the iDrive controller, keyless ignition/entry, active cruise control, front and rear parking assist, an active steering system (335i only), paddle shifters for the optional automatic transmission, rear window shades, satellite radio, an iPod adapter and a Logic 7 surround-sound audio system.

Powertrains and Performance

The 328i models are powered by a 3.0-liter inline-6 that produces 230 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. The 335i gets a 3.0-liter inline-6, this one twin-turbocharged to produce 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. The 335d boasts a twin-turbocharged diesel engine rated at 265 hp and an enormous 425 lb-ft of torque. All gasoline-powered models come standard with a six-speed manual shifter, while a six-speed automatic with available paddle shifters is optional (standard on the 335d).

In performance testing, we've clocked a 328i sedan with the manual transmission from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds, while the heavier convertible is a few tenths of a second slower. We've tested a variety of 335i sedans and coupes, and they consistently require a bit more than 5 seconds to reach 60 mph. The 335d did the sprint in 5.9 seconds.

According to the EPA, the 328i gets 17-18 mpg in the city, 25-28 mpg on the highway and 20-21 mpg combined, depending on body style and powertrain. The 335i with the automatic achieves 17 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined, while the manual transmission and all-wheel drive lower those numbers slightly. The 335d is rated at an impressive 23 mpg city/36 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined.


Standard safety equipment on the 2010 BMW 3 Series includes antilock disc brakes, stability control, 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 dry when the windshield wipers are in use and automatically snugging the pads to the rotors when the driver abruptly lifts off the throttle.

In government crash tests, the sedan and wagon received four out of five stars for frontal collision protection and five stars for side protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 3 Series the top rating of "Good" in its frontal-offset crash test. The 3 Series also scored a "Good" for side crash protection except for the convertible, which received the second-lowest "Marginal" score.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2010 BMW 3 Series interiors will be familiar to anyone who has spent time in a BMW product. Classic analog gauges, sensible ergonomics and a restrained overall aesthetic combine to create a pleasant driving environment, though there's less visual pizzazz here than in some rivals. The base seats are comfortable and supportive, the Sport package's purpose-built seats even more so. Materials and build quality are exceptional; even the standard leatherette (vinyl) upholstery looks and feels better than one would expect. The convertible's available heat-reflective leather does a wonderful job of keeping occupants' posteriors cool. The revised iDrive electronics interface that comes with the optional navigation system is not only greatly improved over its confusing predecessor, but also one of the best interfaces of its kind.

The rear seats are adequately roomy for adults on shorter trips, but taller passengers will complain that their heads are crammed into the roof. 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 predictably shrinks considerably when the top is lowered.

Driving Impressions

Driving is what the 2010 BMW 3 Series does best. The 328i's naturally aspirated inline-6 is otherworldly in its smoothness from idle to redline, and it has enough power to suit most tastes. Those in search of something more will be well-served by the twin-turbo 335i, which maintains the 328i's refinement while adding a huge wallop of torque that's always on tap. The 335d is perhaps the biggest hoot of them all, serving up face-flattening torque off the line and a uniquely muscular soundtrack while using the least fuel of the bunch.

When the going gets twisty, the 3 Series' sublime suspension, steering and brakes will provide endless entertainment. Sport package-equipped models can even keep pace with many genuine sports cars. At the same time, the 3 Series is a wonderful long-distance cruiser, boasting both a supple ride and a hushed cabin. The 3 Series' long-running double act is truly extraordinary: It speaks the language of driving enthusiasts, yet its upscale image and comfortable interior give it unrivaled mass appeal.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

It's all about the torque

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Vehicle: 2010 BMW 3 Series 335d 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 6A)

Bought the 335d new and logged 30k miles. It's fast and fun. The torque is amazing and combined with great fuel economy it's unbelievable. Blow the doors off most cars and with lower emissions than the Prius. Passing is exhilarating at 60mph; the torque uncoils and the power feels unmetered, WOW it pushes your head back at 37mpg and 390 lbs of torque! Overall it's a great car!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

2010 bmw 335i

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Vehicle: 2010 BMW 3 Series 335i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M)

We have been moving from Toyota to BMW in the past years. After having a 7 and 3, we just got this 335i and like it even better. I thought my bmw's are fast, but this one is even faster.

Really great car!!!

by on
Vehicle: 2010 BMW 3 Series 328i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

I have had 3 Land Rover Discovery and decided to try the 3 series. I still have my latest Discovery and have wanted to go back to a BMW for a while. My car was a loaner for the service department and had 12K miles when I bought it. This is an awesome car!! Def made for the driver. Even though it is only the 328I, it drives amazing. Perfect for driving on the interstate and intown. My partner has an E class Mercedes and does not like driving my BMW, but I don't like his Mercedes as much as mine. Really different driving experiences. I really recommend this car for anyone. I recently got 30.8 mpg..used to 13 mpg in my Rover!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

2010 bmw 3 series diesel

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Vehicle: 2010 BMW 3 Series 335d 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 6A)

After searched and compared so many times amount Mercedes E, Lexus GS, ES and BMW, finally I bought this 2010 BMW 3 Series Diesel 335d 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo diesel 6A). on January 23, 2010. I have driven this car for less than one year, but I am not so lucky as I expect, I have a lot of trouble for this car, I have send back to dealer for 4 times already for service. First I got vehicle indicating the refill diesel exhaust fluid as soon as possible warning on 5440 mileage. And refilled diesel exhaust fluid on 7/28/2010. Second time was Recheck and program control at 5768 mileage on 8/4/2010. Thirded time was vehicle indicating check engine soon light on, at 7747 mileage on 10/4/2010, this time the car stayed at dealer service for five days. Fourth time was break and DSC malfunction light on, this was after big snow on 2/27 at New Jersey, at mileage 10560. The appointment will be on January 7, 2011. right now I donít know how long the car will stay there. This is worst car I never have before, I had Toyota Cressda 1980, Toyota Celica 1990, Nissan Maxima SE 2000, and Mercedes Benz C230, 2003, in my family, but no one has these so many problems, and all problems are electronic problem, not mechanics, I donít know how BMW did the quality control for this car? When you drive a trouble car, you fell yourself sick, and uncomfortably, you did not get fun for driving. I am still wandering is this qualify for the New jersey LEMON LAW? This car is fuel economy which goes 36 mpg on high way and 32 on local. I have no complain on driving and handling.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

My dream come true

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Vehicle: 2010 BMW 3 Series 335i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M)

I have always driven "sensible" cars, Camry, Taurus, Etc. My last car was a 2007 Maxima and believe me I loved it until now. I decided I wanted a BMW. I went to the dealership with intentions of buying and I did. I wasn't looking for the 335i turbo but once I drove it I knew it was mine. I drove from Florida to Pennsylvania this weekend and it was a dream. This car handles better than any car I ever had, hugs the road without outside noise. Seats, took awhile for me to figure out all the adjustments, are very comfortable. Being petite I often have trouble with the seats, not this car. My one complaint-the seat belt doesn't adjust so it crosses against my neck and not comfortable

Very disappointed

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Vehicle: 2010 BMW 3 Series 328i 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

In 10 months had to go to the dealer about 10 times. The engine on light was malfunctioning, then the tires wore out badly, tires cost about $2000, after a year, thats a joke. I had sebring convertible,put same mileage on it, had no problems. BMW is unreliable to me. It is otherwise nice looking car, fun to drive.

Talk About The 2010 3 Series

2010 BMW 3 Series Discussions See all Started By

more importantly is the money worth it? compared to spending the same amount on a newer used 3 series?...

When is the next make over of the 3 series? The last was 2006, right? So would it be 2009 or 2010?...

I got used to the parking sensor with my nissan, the car costed only half of BMW. I saved me from accidents many times and scratches against object. My new 2010 328i doesn't have it and I would like ?...

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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