2015 BMW 3 Series Sedan Review & Ratings | Edmunds
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2015 BMW 3 Series Sedan Review

2015 BMW 3 Series Sedan
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Edmunds Summary Review of the 2015 BMW 3 Series Sedan

  • A Edmunds Rating
  • The 2015 BMW 3 Series is a well-rounded and highly desirable entry-level luxury car. Whether you're drawn to its sporty driving character or its high-end cabin, it's one of our favorites in this class.

  • Pros

    Excellent ride and handling balance; powerful and fuel-efficient engines; upscale interior with straightforward controls and spacious seating.

  • Cons

    ActiveHybrid 3 lacks typical hybrid efficiency; automatic stop-start system is intrusive.

  • What's New for 2015

    Only some subtle changes to standard and optional equipment are in store for the 2015 BMW 3 Series. Most notably, Bluetooth audio connectivity is now standard across the model line and heated front seats, navigation and a sunroof may be ordered as a stand-alone options.

    2015 BMW 3 Series Video Review

Reviews from owners of the 2015 BMW 3 Series Sedan

Average Consumer Rating (See all 13 reviews) Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Disappointed with comfort

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Vehicle: 2015 BMW 3 Series

I will start by saying I own a 2014 328xi. I love the acceleration and the way the car handles. The gas mileage is phenomenal! My problem is comfort. I have taken this car on 2 long trips and both times came home with a herniated disc.....L4,L5. I was not doing any heavy lifting so I know that was not the cause. My chiropractor said that he has many patients who own BMWs in all models and herniated discs are a problem. He has even written BMW about this. If BMW can make such a wonderful car mechanically, why can't they make a comfortable one??



5 of 8 people found this review helpful

Too bad

by on
Vehicle: 2015 BMW 3 Series

I'm sure it's been written many times before and I'm going to sound like an old fart, but it's sad what has become of this car. I owned a 2001 330 Xi for 14 years and it was the most fun car to drive. The minute you got in it and started to drive, it made you smile. Good in city and on snow, and punch it into a turn or a corner and the back end sits down and keeps the whole thing under control. I'm not a sports car aficionado, but that is how I imaging a sports car should be (and actually how my BMW motorcycle is). IMO, the "old 3" really was an ultimate driving machine. The newer versions have lost this, and yes I've driven a bunch of different models (328, X, 335, etc.). It's a real shame. I now drive an Audi A4, which I felt was better but still doesn't approach my old 3, and is about 2x the price. It's sad and somewhat hard to understand.



3 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sometimes new isn't better

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Vehicle: 2015 BMW 3 Series

I am on my 21st BMW. Having lived in Germany for a decade, all I did was fix up and drive BMWs, Mercedes, and Porsches. My current BMW is an 06 330i for which I was seeking a newer replacement. Since 2012, the 3 series has went to electronic steering. The car no longer transmits "road feel". If you push it in a corner, it no longer feeds the driver input that makes a sports car a sports car--it doesn't matter what mode (sports, comfort, etc it is set in) The brakes have a regeneratative feature that makes them clunky--they have lost their ability for the driver to modulate them--just like the steering. The engine exhaust note is lacking, especially when the biturbo is kicked in. It kind of sounds like a metal trash can with some marbles rolling around in it--when you get deep into the throttle, the 300hp being unleashed should have a growl and not sound like a muffled trash can with marbles. The rest of the car is classic BMW, the ergonomics are what has made the 3 series a Road and Track and Motor Trend car of the year winner in its class since its production--that has not changed. It has beautiful lines, beautiful interior appointments, and another 80 more horsepower than my current 06. One of the new technology enhancement I like is the heads up display--it also has simplified GPS info--only the turn in so many miles/ft--just what is needed on the windshield--the rest is still on the main display. Overall, I won't be buying. I could change the exhaust--but I can't change the brakes or steering which are so important to a sports car feel. BMW has tried to have an appeal to a broader audience and has left its enthusiast drivers sort of wanting more. This Ultimate Driving Machine has now been tamed and is now just a normal driving machine with sleek body lines and a little more hp under the hood.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Probably the best car i've owned!

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Vehicle: 2015 BMW 3 Series

Ok, i'll start off first with the pros. The car is F.A.S.T! If I need to get around someone on the freeway, I barely even touch the gas pedal, and i'm in front of them. The gas mileage is great, considering I have a lead foot (average freeway speed is 80 mph). Also, the seats are the most comfortable seats I have a had in a luxury car. And trust me, all my life I have owned luxury vehicles (Range Rovers, other BMWs, Mercedes, and even Audis). The iDrive is AMAZING! I owned the 2007 BMW 750Li when it came out, and holy crap did the iDrive suck! It great now! Now the cons. Resale value is horrible! My Range Rover was a 2009 HSE Sport and I sold it in 2011 and got 35k for it! I already checked the BlueBook value for my 335Xi and its already down to 40k! Ughh! When you start the car, it sounds like a crazy diesel motor for a second! Coming back to a pro though, the drive is so smooth compared to my old 2010 Mercedes 350 Sport! The car has the smoothest suspension I have ever dealt with! And heading back to cons, the rear seats aren't that comfortable if you don't have the heated rear seats option (I do but my friend has a 2014 328Xi with no heated rear seats). And my god, the navigation has sent me to more dead ends then I care to recall. Thats about all my issues I have with it for now. I recommend buying one for sure! Good luck!



3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Bmw has officially gone "mainstream" and lost it

by on
Vehicle: 2015 BMW 3 Series

I am the owner of the previous model of the 3 series, and had this car as a loaner for a month and over 2k miles in driving. It fixes everything that was "annoying" with the old model; a nice smooth 8 speed automatic transmission, really strong acceleration, no more bone-jarring over NY/NJ potholes, and a functional navigation that actually has useful up-to-date traffic information. City MPG is not much better, but highway is where it shines (~30% better MPG). Unfortunately, the negatives outweigh the positive. Starting the car, you hear this annoying diesel like clatter. The power steering is one of the best I've ever driven, but still lackluster in feedback. Brake pedal is nice and firm like the BMW norm, but it takes forever to stop and also lurches when used in force. Interior plastics have gone down to Honda/Toyota levels - tap the console under the CD changer and you will hear lots of clack. Overall, much more plastic and less wood. If you are a typical Mercedes/Audi driver, this 3 series generation will appeal - all the "complaints" from previous generations such as stiff steering, firm ride, etc. are gone with this car. If you're a BMW purist, you will hate this car as much as I did. I have never been happier to turn in my loaner car, to get my real car back!



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Perfection is attainable

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Vehicle: 2015 BMW 3 Series

Best car I've ever owned. The superlatives could go on for quite a while. Turbo four is efficient and ready to go when needed. One year in and it still charms and amazes.



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Full Expert Review: 2015 BMW 3 Series

What's New for 2015

Only some subtle changes to standard and optional equipment are in store for the 2015 BMW 3 Series. Most notably, Bluetooth audio connectivity is now standard across the model line and heated front seats, navigation and a sunroof may be ordered as a stand-alone options.

Introduction

Ask a person to name a sport sedan and the first answer likely will be "BMW 3 Series." The 3 Series is practically synonymous with the segment itself and has long been a favorite with consumers and critics alike. Taking a look at this year's lineup, you might also think that at some point the car will become synonymous with "variety," too.

Sedan or wagon, rear- or all-wheel drive, and with gasoline, diesel, or hybrid-electric motors, the 2015 BMW 3 Series will appeal to a wide variety of car-savvy entry-level luxury shoppers. Having some of the nicest interior furnishings around and a reputation for providing sporty handling and a fun overall driving experience won't hurt either. Although the current-generation car puts more priority on ride comfort than previous versions, the 3 Series remains enjoyable whether you're seeking out roads less traveled or just driving to the office.

There are three gasoline engines offered on the 3 Series (four if you count the ActiveHybrid 3): two four-cylinders and a six-cylinder, all turbocharged. The recent addition of the 328d model and its diesel-powered four-cylinder provides an impressive 37 mpg combined EPA rating in the sedan. The diesel isn't slow, either -- we clocked the diesel wagon at just over 7 seconds from zero to 60 mph. Still, our favorite remains the 328i because of its unbeatable mix of power, fuel economy and value.

The high fuel economy numbers of the diesel make the potent but pricey ActiveHybrid 3 sedan a dubious pick. But every other 2015 BMW 3 Series sedan and wagon is worth serious consideration. Of course, there are some strong competitors in this segment. You'll want to look at the completely redesigned 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class. It's larger and more upscale than it was last year, but arrives without a coupe, wagon or diesel variant (yet). We're also fond of the well-rounded 2015 Audi A4 and the sharply styled 2015 Lexus IS 350.

None of these cars can quite match the BMW's combination of efficiency, fantastic road manners and outright refinement, however. With so many available combinations (11 and counting) plus comprehensive options lists, you'll likely find a 3 Series that suits your budget, personality and driving style.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2015 BMW 3 Series is available in sedan and wagon body styles. (A hatchback model, the 3 Series Gran Turismo, is reviewed separately, as are the coupe and convertible, which are now known as the BMW 4 Series.) Sedans come in 320i, 328i, 328d, 335i and ActiveHybrid 3 trim levels. For almost all of these, BMW offers all-wheel-drive versions, which it labels "xDrive." The wagon is available only in 328i xDrive and 328d xDrive trims.

Standard features for the entry-level 320i include 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, remote entry, push-button start, automatic wipers, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, six-way manually adjustable front seats, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, BMW Assist, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, the iDrive electronics interface, a 6.5-inch display and a premium nine-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.

The 328i sedan adds a more powerful version of the 320i's engine, auto-dimming rearview and side mirrors, heated side mirrors, wood trim, eight-way power-adjustable front seats, driver memory functions and split-folding rear seats. The 328i and 328d wagons are equipped similarly to their sedan counterparts and also come with a panoramic sunroof.

The 335i sedan and ActiveHybrid 3 get unique powertrains, although both come equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, LED accent lights and a sunroof.

There are several bundled option packages for the 2015 3 Series. The Premium package equips the sedan or wagon with keyless ignition and entry (including foot-activated trunk or tailgate opening), four-way power lumbar for the front seats, the sunroof (if not already included) satellite radio and leather upholstery. To the 320i, it additionally adds auto-dimming rearview and side mirrors, heated side mirrors and eight-way power-adjustable front seats with driver memory functions. A Cold Weather package (requires leather seats) includes a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats and headlight washers.

The Technology package (not available on the 320i) adds a voice-controlled navigation system, a higher-resolution 8.8-inch display screen, a touchpad iDrive controller, a color head-up display, BMW Online with MyInfo (provides news and info to the car), BMW Apps (connectivity for select smartphone apps) and BMW Remote Services (allows select mobile devices to lock the car remotely, turn on the climate control and includes a stolen vehicle recovery service, among various other tasks).

For extra safety, the Driver Assistance package provides a rearview camera along with front and rear parking sensors. The Driver Assistance Plus package (not available on the 320i and requires either the Technology package or stand-alone navigation system) gets those items plus side- and top-view cameras, blind-spot monitoring, a lane departure warning system, frontal collision warning, automatic braking for city-speed collision mitigation and a speed limit info.

Additionally, there are three optional equipment lines for all but the 320i: Luxury (requires Premium package), Sport and M Sport. Each includes different wheel designs (up to 19 inches) shod with either all-season or performance run-flat tires, various color schemes and trim and upholstery types. The Sport Line (duplicated on the 320i as the Sport package) and M Sport also include M Sport suspension tuning, summer performance tires and 10-way sport front seats, while the M Sport further adds aerodynamic exterior trim and a sport steering wheel. The Dynamic Handling package (not available on 320i) furthers the 3 Series' capabilities with an adaptive suspension and automatic variable-ratio steering.

For the 320i, other option highlights include the sunroof, eight-way power front seats with driver memory functions, heated front seats, split-fold rear seats, the navigation system with iDrive touchpad and a Lighting package with adaptive xenon headlights and LED accent lights. For the rest of the 3 Series model line you can further add upgraded M Sport brakes, an automated parallel parking system, adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam control, rear window sunshades, a live-operator concierge service, a leather-trimmed dashboard and an upgraded 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.

Powertrains and Performance

2015 BMW 3 Series sedans offer a choice between rear-wheel drive and the xDrive all-wheel-drive system, while AWD is standard on 3 Series wagons. A six-speed manual is available on sedans, but the wagon comes only with an eight-speed automatic transmission (optional on the sedan). Automatic-equipped 3 Series cars with the Sport or M Sport package have a "sport" version of this transmission with steering wheel paddle shifters. Both transmissions come with an automatic stop-start function that turns off the engine when the car stops in order to save fuel.

The 320i has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 180 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. Considering we recorded a decent 7.3-second 0-60-mph time at the track, the EPA fuel economy ratings are impressive at 28 mpg combined (24 city/36 highway) for a rear-drive sedan with the automatic. We duplicated the EPA's combined target on our own 120-mile mixed-driving evaluation route. The manual version and xDrive versions are nearly as good, rating 27 mpg combined.

The 328i model uses a more powerful version of the 320i's engine, rated at 240 hp and 255 lb-ft of torque. The EPA estimates an automatic-equipped 328i will achieve 27 mpg in combined driving, while the manual version is rated at 26 mpg combined, excellent numbers for this class. With a 328i M Sport automatic posting a 5.4-second sprint to 60 mph at our track and logging a remarkable 33 mpg on our 120-mile loop, the 328i gives you the best combination of performance and efficiency within the entire 3 Series lineup.

The 328d models have a turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder rated at 180 hp and a robust 280 lb-ft of torque. This engine only comes with the automatic. Rear-drive 328d sedans are rated at 37 mpg combined, while the 328d xDrive sedan and wagon are both rated at 35 mpg combined. On our 120-mile evaluation loop, we achieved an admirable 34 mpg in a 328d wagon. The diesel is also pretty quick; we recorded a 7.2-second 0-60 mph time for the wagon at our test facility.

The 335i sedan has a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine rated at 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. With the automatic, it's nearly as fuel-efficient as the 328i, boasting a 25 mpg combined EPA rating. Getting the manual gearbox drops the combined rating to 24 mpg. With AWD, you're looking at 24 combined for the automatic and 23 mpg for the manual. At the Edmunds test track, a 335i M Sport with the manual transmission sprinted to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds.

Finally, there's the ActiveHybrid 3, which pairs the 335i's engine with the eight-speed automatic, a rear-drive electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. This combination provides 335 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque. The ActiveHybrid 3 sedan is quick. At our test track, we recorded a 5.1-second sprint to 60 mph, but don't expect huge mpg numbers, as the EPA rates it at just 28 mpg combined. We essentially validated the EPA's estimate of 28 mpg combined on the Edmunds evaluation loop, where we earned a little over 29 mpg.

Safety

Every 2015 BMW 3 Series comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and front knee airbags.

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 gas. BMW Assist emergency communications is standard and includes automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle recovery and on-demand roadside assistance.

Options include parking sensors (front and rear), a rearview camera, surround- and side-view cameras, blind spot monitoring, a lane departure warning system, frontal collision warning and automatic braking for frontal collision crash mitigation (includes pedestrian detection).

In Edmunds brake testing, a 328i sedan with 18-inch summer tires came to a stop from 60 mph in 115 feet, while the 328i M Sport stopped in 109 feet and a 335i M Sport stopped in 112 feet -- average distances for an entry-level luxury sedan with summer tires. The 320i, on all-season tires no less, took just 111 feet in the same test, which is excellent. Book-ending this group were the 328d xDrive wagon with all-season tires at 126 feet, and the ActiveHybrid 3 at 106 feet on summer tires.

In government crash testing, the sedan received five out of five stars for overall crash protection, with four stars for total frontal protection and five for total side protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the sedan the highest possible rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset crash test but a second-worst "Marginal" in the small-overlap frontal-offset crash test. In the remaining tests, the 3 Series received a "Good" rating in the side-impact, roof-strength and seat and head restraint (whiplash protection) tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Although the 3 Series cabin has a contemporary feel, BMW has taken pains to make sure it's still a comfortable and inviting place. The company's classic analog gauges provide a historical link with BMWs of previous decades, while the optional thematic equipment lines allow plenty of personal customization. Materials quality is exceptional throughout, and it's all put together with care.

In terms of technology, the basic 6.5-inch display screen is adequate, but you'll want to get the larger, optional screen for a true luxury electronics interface. The touchpad on top of the iDrive controller can be used to hand write inputs using your finger. Overall, iDrive is pretty easy to use, thanks to straightforward menus, crisp graphics and quick processing times. But compared to some rival systems, it typically requires a few more twirls and clicks to get what you want.

The base model manually adjusted front seats are comfortable and supportive, while those included in the Sport packages are even more so. Both offer an impressive amount of adjustment regardless of whether you get manual or power operation. If rear seat accommodations are a priority, you won't find a more spacious backseat in the entry-luxury car class. Rear legroom is particularly generous. Trunk space is above average in the sedan (13 cubic feet), while the wagon offers a maximum cargo capacity of 53 cubic feet with its seats folded. That's more than BMW's X1 and about the same as the Audi Allroad.

Driving Impressions

The 2015 BMW 3 Series delivers the best all-around driving experience in the entry-level luxury sedan class. The ride is smooth and quiet, no matter which driveline, wheels and tires you choose, so the car is fantastic for road trips. Even the 328d wagon (which earned an Edmunds "A" rating) and ActiveHybrid 3 impressed us in these regards, both with seamless power, benchmark handling and exemplary composure when going around turns. What's more is that while the hybrid version may not deliver the kind of fuel savings one might expect (it's more of an added performance boost), it also doesn't display some of the liabilities of a hybrid either, like lackluster acceleration or unintuitive brake response.

As for the more common engines, the 320i is pretty punchy, but the 328i is a very desirable upgrade. We think so highly of this model in particular that it earned our "A" rating. The six-cylinder 335i might seem like overkill at this point, but its huge wallop of power and distinctive inline-6 sound still make it the best choice for those wanting the top sport sedan experience. In reality, though, there really isn't a bad apple in the bunch when it comes to driving. One annoyance can be the oftentimes gruff restart nature of the automatic engine stop-start function, though this fuel-saving feature can be disabled.

For traditional BMW driving enthusiasts, the steering will likely be the weakest link in this package. Most consumers will find it very precise, but it does lack the detailed feedback that made older BMWs feel special. Also, the dynamic steering option is often criticized for a response that is out of sync with the driver's input, making the car's responses sometimes difficult to predict.

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2015 BMW 3 Series Sedan in VA is:

$76.42 per month*
*Disclaimer

Talk About The 2015 3 Series

2015 BMW 3 Series Discussions See all Started By

kk83kim
kk83kim
09-29-2015
I couldn't find any information I was looking for, so I decided to start this discussion. I'm planning on buying a 2015 320xi or 328xi in a couple of weeks and I'd like to get an idea of how much dis...


moosiej
moosiej
08-09-2015
Does anyone know what terms BMW uses for pre-owned leases? If I were to lease a pre-owned 2014 or 2015 328i x drive, are the residual and MF the same as the current new model terms? Any insight into …...


Edmunds.com
Edmunds.com
05-31-2015
5 Things to Know About the BMW 3 Series Video | Edmunds.com...



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