Edmunds’ Expert Review
- Excellent ride/handling balance
- Powerful and efficient engines that are fuel-efficient
- Elegant interior with simple controls and ample seating.
- ActiveHybrid3 is not a typical hybrid product.
- The intrusiveness of an automatic stop-start system makes it difficult to use.
The 3 Series wagon is back, having received the same redesign as the sedan in 2012. A new four-cylinder diesel engine is now part of the 2014 BMW 3 Series lineup. There are also a few standard features. The 3 Series coupe has also been updated, but the 4 Series is now available.
The 2014 BMW 3 Series is an attractive entry-level luxury car that’s well-built and very desirable. It’s a favorite in this class because of its sporty driving style and high-end cabin.
Overview of the vehicle
The United States’ premium-brand car sales are dominated by entry-level luxury vehicles. These cars are what people buy after receiving a big promotion at work. The BMW 3 Series is a long-standing favorite among consumers and critics. It’s a well-known and respected model. It boasts some of the most powerful, efficient and fuel-efficient four and six-cylinder engines this class as well as the finest interior furnishings. The 3 Series is known for its sporty handling and fun driving experience. The 2014 BMW 3 Series is still enjoyable, regardless of whether you are driving to work or exploring the roads less traveled.
The 2014 model year will bring many changes to the 3 Series lineup. After 2013’s success, the BMW 3 Series wagon is back in the lineup. It shares the same platform architecture and engines as the 3 Series sedan. The wagon this time is only available with all-wheel drive. The 3 Series coupe/convertible are now history. Instead, the redesigned versions will be part of the 2014 4 Series.
BMW introduces a new engine for 2014. If you love mpg, this turbocharged four-cylinder diesel 2.0-liter is going to be a great choice. This engine has 180 horsepower and 280 pound-feet torque. The rear-wheel-drive diesel 3 Series sedan gets a remarkable 37 mpg combined EPA rating while the AWD 328d wagon earns a 35 mpg combination rating. The 2014 328d wagon and sedan aren’t quite as fast as the other 3 Series models but they’re still very efficient. BMW claims that they can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 7 seconds.
The diesel BMW 3 Series’s high fuel economy will make the ActiveHybrid 3 sedan, which is also expensive, even more difficult to sell. It only gets 28 mpg combined. Every other 2014 BMW 3 Series sedan or wagon is worth considering. While there are strong competitors such as the Audi A4 / Infiniti Q50, Lexus IS 250 / IS350 & Mercedes-Benz C-Class, it will be difficult to make a decision. However, none of these cars can match the BMW’s exceptional road manners, luxurious interior furnishings, and overall refinement. The 2014 BMW 3 Series is the best entry-level luxury car you can test drive this year.
Performance and mpg
The 2014 BMW 3 Series sedans have the option of rear-wheel drive or the xDrive all wheel-drive system. AWD is standard on 3 Series wagons. The sedans come with a six-speed manual transmission, while the wagon has an optional eight-speed automatic transmission. The automatic 3 Series cars equipped with the Sport or M Sport packages have an “sport” version with paddle shifters at the steering wheel. Both transmissions have an automatic stop-start function, which turns off the engine when it stops to conserve fuel.
The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine of the 320i is rated at 180 horsepower and 200 lb ft of torque. The EPA fuel economy ratings for the 320i are remarkable at 28 mpg combined (24-city/36-highway) for a rear-drive sedan equipped with an automatic. Both the manual and xDrive versions score 27 mpg combined.
The 328i model is powered by a 240-hp version of the 320i’s motor. It also has 255 lbft of torque. An automatic-equipped 328i with automatic transmission will get 27 mpg combined driving. This is an exceptional number for this class. This is perhaps the best combination performance-efficiency in the entire 3 Series lineup. We can’t recommend the 328i M Sport enough. It ran a stunning 5.4 second sprint to 60 mph at our facility, and it got 33.6 mpg over our 120-mile loop.
The 328d models come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder that produces 180 horsepower and 280 lb ft. This engine is only available with the automatic, regardless of what body style you choose. The 37 mpg combined rear-drive 328d sedans and the 35 mpg each combined 328d xDrive wagon are both rated 35 mpg respectively . We achieved an impressive 34 mpg on our 120-mile evaluation loop in the 328d wagon. Surprisingly, the wagon also ran a remarkable 7.2 second 0-60 mph at our test facility.
The turbocharged 3.0-liter six cylinder engine of the 335i sedan is rated at 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft torque. The automatic is nearly as fuel efficient as the 328i sedan, with a 25mpg combinedEPA rating. The combined rating drops to 23 mpg by adding the manual gearbox. AWD means that you get 24 combined and 23 for manual.
ActiveHybrid 3 is the final option. It combines the 335i’s engine and the 8-speed automatic. A rear-drive electric motor, a lithium-ion battery, and an electric motor are also included. This combination produces 335 horsepower and 330 lb/ft of torque. The ActiveHybrid 3 sedan runs fast. The ActiveHybrid 3 sedan is quick. We ran a blistering 5.1 second sprint to 60 mph on our test track. However, don’t expect big mpg numbers as the EPA rates it at 28 mpg combined (25 mpg in the city/33 mpg on the highway). We also validated the EPA estimate using the Edmunds evaluation loop. Here, we averaged just 29 mpg.