2016 BMW 3 Series Review
Pros & Cons
- Balances sharp handling with a ride quality that won't beat you up
- engine choices that offer power, smoothness and fuel efficiency
- upscale, spacious interior with logical and easy-to-use controls.
- Automatic stop-start system is intrusive
- limited feature availability on base 320i.
List Price Range
$14,117 - $28,590
Used 3 Series for SaleSee all for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
Most helpful consumer reviews
328i xDrive SULEV 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
For 2016, BMW has really improved the 3 series, particularly the 328i model. I was very impressed with the handling, and interior upgrades that make the car feel more expensive and more like a true BMW again. The steering still has an artificial feel, but it is very precise and they have fixed the handling issues of the early models of this generation. The car feels well composed and can take just about anything you throw at it. Acceleration is terrific, and I found braking response to be just okay. The Harmon Kardon stereo sounds great, and I wish it was standard as it is in the 340 - would definitely recommend it. LED lighting package is well worth the money as it looks great with LEDs all around including turn signals front and rear. Safety ratings are superb with five stars, and lots of available safety enhancing technology. I hesitated for years to trade my 2011 3 series in for one of the new models, but I feel great about getting this 2016 328i x drive, as BMW has finally figured out what we wanted. This car is fantastic.
340i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
After several months of researching all types of different vehicles I ultimately decided on purchasing the 2016 340i xDrive. Overall, this vehicle met my needs and after reading countless reviews (consumer and professional) the 340i remained in my top three narrowed down selection. My personal needs for a vehicle required performance, luxury, AWD (due to the snowy winters in Chicago), and decent gas mileage (sub par mpg with my last vehicle, 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8). My 340i is equipped with the cold weather package ($800), driver assistance package ($950), M sport package ($2,600), technology package ($2,750), and the track handling package ($1,700). $8,800 for those added options is very steep in my opinion but after getting a good trade-in value along with very low APR financing, as well as a tax credit and 4 years free maintenance I felt that it all balanced out. As for my impression of the vehicle, let me start off with the interior. Although many people tend to favor the interiors of Cadillac, Audi, Mercedes, Lexus, etc...the BMW interior is still very nice and luxurious. I can understand if some people think it's beginning to appear a bit dated, but nonetheless it's still superior to many vehicles on the market. The Dakota leather sport seats are top notch quality and for the most part above average in terms of comfort. The anthracite headliner, aluminum and gloss black trim accents throughout the vehicle along with the ambient lighting (which is dimmable) all go together fairly nicely. The cabin is really quiet and there are no rattle like noises or unwanted vibrations. The exterior of the vehicle is the best looking to date for the 3 series sedan in my opinion. From the elegant lines on the hood and the minor refresh of the whole body in general gives the vehicle a great sporty look that is very tasteful but not overstated or too flashy. I opted for the black sapphire metallic paint and the 19" alloy orbit grey M sport wheels along with black kidney grilles complete the overall look. Now on to the performance. Let me tell you, this car can move and it is fast! It doesn't exactly give you the "throw you back in your seat" kind of feeling and I must admit I do miss that and all the rear wheel glory and torque of my previous SRT8, but I still experience an ultimate thrill and satisfaction while driving this car. The 8 speed automatic transmission is flawless. The AWD has a tenacious grip on the road and you feel like you have complete control at all times. I prefer to drive in the sport mode setting regularly as it is always responsive and ready to accelerate hard at any time. The start/stop fuel saver system is very intrusive and can be deactivated with a push of a button and I never use it. I have a lead foot and most of my driving is in the city and I'm averaging 16 mpg which for me is acceptable especially considering the performance you get with the 3.0 liter twin turbo V-6. I've read that 0-60 mph can be as low as 4.4 seconds which I don't doubt depending on the conditions and where you live of course. The adaptive M suspension is great, but comfort does suffer a bit if you're selecting the sport modes. The low profile run flat tires detract from the comfort too, but nothing that isn't tolerable. The handling on this car is great too. So much that it almost feels like you're driving a coupe. Although this is a sedan, it feels so light and steering it is so effortless without taking away from the overall driving experience. The M sport brakes are phenomenal and feel perfect and smooth (not too sensitive and not too soft) when I need to apply my foot to the pedal. I also really like the sound of the dual exhaust when I drive in sport mode. You'll definitely hear the "crackles and pops" when revving the engine and when you accelerate hard and ease off the gas pedal. I always look forward to getting behind the wheel of this car and just letting it open up on the road. But let me tell you, this car isn't perfect. I do have a few gripes with it. Mostly with the knob control of the display screen. It can get quite annoying. Turn the knob to scroll here, click this and click that, hit the back button to exit, and on and on. So many times I want to be able to just touch the screen and get to what I want with ease but I can't. I knew this beforehand of course and was willing to deal with it. Connecting your iPod or iPhone via Bluetooth or with a cable isn't the best in terms of integration with this vehicle either. The interface definitely needs some tweeking. For example, let's say you connect your phone via Bluetooth so you can play your music. Accessing playlists or trying to shuffle songs is not easy when dealing with the knob turn dial control. And with the lack of a touch screen, you can't just select what you want with ease. If you've had a Nissan/Infiniti or a Dodge, their infotainment systems are much better. Lack of a touch screen and remote start at this price point is disappointing.
320i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
I purchased a white 320xi. It comes with 4 years free maintenance. It's my first BMW, comfortable, quick, and very smooth. I wanted a compact car, but I also wanted a solid car that looks good, and is safe, reliable, and fun to drive. The 320xi has plenty of power for me. It took 800 plus miles on the engine until I could feel it begin to break in. The design is very pleasing to the eye -- exterior & interior. The controls are logical, and easy use. I have the Sensatec faux leather which I think is excellent. I prefer it over leather in some ways, mostly because I think leather has a strange smell. I think it is a good quality, solid car, and a good value for the money. Excellent build quality. I did, however, trade it in for a Mercedes Benz E350, that has more comfortable seats and doesn't ride so low. (I traded the E350 for a Porsche Macan, that I think has a more heavy duty suspension, and more comfortable seats.) I have two negative opinions: First, no spare tire came with the car, and I'm not comfortable with that; and second, I found it difficult to get in and out of the 320xi, and the seats gave me a back ache. I would still recommend it, it just wasn't the car for me.
328d xDrive 4dr Wagon AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 8A)
Buyers should try driving a "diesel" engine BMW before committing to a gasser. I have been a life-long diesel driver and the VW/Audi TDIs and now this BMW diesel just do not disappoint. The handling, torque and mpg make these cars great for long-term ownership. This car is a little over the top with electronics, but I do appreciate all the safety technology. This is a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) car, which made it affordable. Try it; you'll like it! 08/10/2017 Update: Extremely pleased with the car. The exterior styling of the "station wagon" is so classic and, at times, a head-turner. Diesel fuel economy still continues to amaze. Interstate driving with cruise set at 77mph the mpg is 41-mpg. Driving at 60-mph the mpg touches 50! Overall: 37-mpg! The different driving modes allow you to tune the car's responsiveness, from Eco-pro, to Comfort, to Sport, and to Sport+ at the touch of a button. To date no issues have arisen. Quality car! Unfortunate that diesels are now almost unavailable. The search is worth the effort. 02/14/2018 Update: No issues. Beginning to drive it harder than maybe I should but it's so much fun! Definitely a keeper. 08/14/2018 Update: MPG continues to improve. The engine is still breaking in, typical of diesels. On a long haul on I-26 East (110-mi) set the cruise at 75mph and finished the run at 46.3mpg! The return trip with the cruise at 80mph I got 42.9mpg. Keeping this car for the long-term. 08/14/2019 Update: Found out that BMW stopped selling diesels in the US in 2018. So, I wanted the one of the last models and after a long search found a 2018 CPO 328d xDrive wagon and traded the 2016 in. Hated to let it go - someone will get a great car! Thanks for reading.