2010 BMW 3 Series Review

Pros & Cons

  • Unmatched ride/handling balance, smooth and powerful engines, upscale cabin, four body styles, 335d's amazing torque and fuel economy.
  • Limited interior storage space, compromised rear headroom, options can inflate price quickly.
List Price Range
$7,677 - $10,000

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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

Vehicle overview

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.

2010 BMW 3 Series models

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 à 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.

2010 Highlights

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

Performance & mpg

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.


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.


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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2010 BMW 3 Series.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

2010 BMW 335i
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.
Solid, Powerful & Comfy
PH de CA,05/30/2010
335d 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 6A)
After years of driving economy cars I finally splurged and bought a beautiful 335d + Prem Pkg, Nav, Comfort Access, Logic 7. One week and 600 miles later, I can't believe I waited so long. It's an absolute pleasure to drive -- powerful, stable & comfortable, with good fuel economy. The diesel engine has a deep, satisfying growl at low speeds, but is almost silent on the freeway, the best of both worlds. iDrive is easy to use, & live traffic on Nav is accurate. After babying it for several hundred miles, I allowed myself the pleasure of flooring it to pass someone. OMG - on an uphill grade, but seconds later they were a distant dot in my rear view mirror. I've been smiling a lot in this car!
My Dream Come True
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
Fun to drive when it was in my possession
335i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M)
Repair shops have had "ownership" of this vehicle an estimated 6 months of my 3.5 years of ownership. I put $2800 into turbo purchase, $1500 into labor then a new turbo blew so another $1500 for labor since the subframe had to be dropped again to install the new turbo. For what the car is worth I've had turbos replace, replaced the valve cover myself due to pcv crack, injectors replaced, fuel pump replaced so I've spent almost half of the cars worth in repairs!!!!!!. Maintenance wise just a nightmare, but a fun car to drive.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2010 BMW 3 Series

Used 2010 BMW 3 Series Overview

The Used 2010 BMW 3 Series is offered in the following submodels: 3 Series Sedan, 3 Series Coupe, 3 Series Convertible, 3 Series Wagon, 3 Series Diesel. Available styles include 328i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 6M), 328i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M), 328i 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 6M), 328i 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl 6M), 335i 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M), 335i 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M), 328i xDrive 2dr Coupe AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M), 335i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M), 335i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M), 335i xDrive 2dr Coupe AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M), 335d 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 6A), 328i xDrive 4dr Wagon AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M), and 328i 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl 6M). Pre-owned BMW 3 Series models are available with a 3.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 230 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2010 BMW 3 Series comes with rear wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed manual. The Used 2010 BMW 3 Series comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2010 BMW 3 Series?

Price comparisons for Used 2010 BMW 3 Series trim styles:

  • The Used 2010 BMW 3 Series 328i is priced between $8,000 and$15,495 with odometer readings between 73349 and136592 miles.
  • The Used 2010 BMW 3 Series 328i xDrive is priced between $7,677 and$10,850 with odometer readings between 84499 and144497 miles.
  • The Used 2010 BMW 3 Series 335i is priced between $15,999 and$15,999 with odometer readings between 83624 and83624 miles.
  • The Used 2010 BMW 3 Series 335i xDrive is priced between $10,000 and$10,000 with odometer readings between 120530 and120530 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2010 BMW 3 Serieses are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2010 BMW 3 Series for sale near. There are currently 8 used and CPO 2010 3 Serieses listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $7,677 and mileage as low as 73349 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2010 BMW 3 Series.

Can't find a used 2010 BMW 3 Seriess you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used BMW 3 Series for sale - 2 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $21,508.

Find a used BMW for sale - 2 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $17,180.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW 3 Series for sale - 5 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $7,548.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW for sale - 6 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $18,941.

Should I lease or buy a 2010 BMW 3 Series?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out BMW lease specials
Check out BMW 3 Series lease specials