The BMW 3 Series has described the ultimate meaning of the compact luxury sport sedan genre since its inception in the 1970s. The current seventh-generation G20 model came in 2019, intending to provide the performance and luxury that made the previous 3 Series a favorite among its admirers. However, the 3 Series has more competitors than ever before, making it more difficult for BMW to maintain its lead.
The BMW 3 Series was formerly considered the crown gem of the automotive landscape. It received so much acclaim and won so many comparison tests. In simple words, the cars were just incredible. However, the 3 Series has lost its shine recently and didn’t impress luxury buyers exactly. Even more complex, it encountered stronger competition than ever before, rivals who began to surpass the excellent standard established by the previous three Series.
The famous high-performance M3 model returns for 2021, delivering the most incredible power of the range and an additional six-speed manual transmission along with a contentious front-end design. The 330e plug-in hybrid, which offers greater fuel efficiency and an all-electric driving range, also hits the market.
Its fuel efficiency ratings are comparable to a modest compact car despite possessing big-time power and torque. The 330e plug-in hybrid for 2021 and the M340i’s new mild-hybrid technology strengthen that claim even further.
So, is the 2021 BMW 3 Series considered as a gem of crown once again? On the other hand, those competitors are just growing harder, and crossovers are swiftly taking up their overall sector.
Still, if you want to remain with sport sedans, there’s no better way to start than the BMW 3 Series.
- Elegantly sophisticated decor with lots of space
- Smooth polished handles
- Engines that are both powerful and efficient in terms of fuel consumption
- Swift acceleration
- Spacious cabin and trunk
- Interior design that is a little more understated
- The features of infotainment systems might be complicated
- No manual transmission
- Costly than rivals
For 2021, the majority of the BMW 3 Series range remains unchanged. However, a new PHEV model, the 330e, has been introduced to the range for 2021. There’s also a new M3 car with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-6 and 473 horsepower. The engine in the M3 Competition, which features all-wheel drive (AWD), generates a whopping 503 horsepower. Let’s take a look at what’s new in the 2021 BMW 3 Series.
- The M3 produces 473 horsepower.
- In competition spec, the engine produces 503 horsepower.
- The 330e plug-in hybrid provides an all-electric range of 20-22 miles (with RWD or AWD)
- A 48-volt mild-hybrid system is added to the M340i engine.
- Automatic high beams are now standard overall trim
- Hands-free keyless entry
- Standard Android Auto smartphone integration
- Ambient interior lighting has been added to the M340i
- High-performance and even more potent M3 and M3 Competition trims
- Highway fuel economy in the 30s
- Fun to Drive
Price: $40,760-$71,800 depending on specs
Fuel Economy & Performance
The EPA rates the 2021 BMW 330i at 26 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway when equipped with the standard engine, a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine producing 255 horsepower and an excellent 295 lb-ft of torque. These figures drop to 25 mpg city/34 mpg highway in the AWD 330i xDrive.
The 330e plug-in hybrid retains a 2.0-liter engine but adds an electric motor driven by a 12.0-kWh battery. The combined output is 288 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque.
The 330e engine efficiency achieves an EPA-rated 75 mpg-e with RWD and 67 mpg-e with AWD. The all-electric driving range is approximately 22 miles with RWD and 20 miles with AWD.
RWD is standard on all 3 Series vehicles, with BMW’s xDrive AWD technology available as an option. The majority have an eight-speed automatic transmission, while the M3 has a six-speed manual.
The RWD 2021 BMW 330e PHEV model, which can drive 22 miles on electricity alone, is rated at 28 mpg combined with its gas engine and 75 MPGe combined with gas and electric power. The AWD 330e xDrive achieves 25 mpg on the highway and 67 MPGe on the highway with electricity.
The M340i is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter I-6 engine that adds a 48-volt mild-hybrid electrical system in 2021. The engine produces 382 horsepower and 368 lb.-ft of torque. The estimated fuel efficiency for RWD vehicles is 23/32 mpg and 22/31 mpg for AWD versions.
The 3 Series includes twin 8.8-inch displays as standard equipment. One is in the Gauge cluster, while the other serves as the infotainment touchscreen. A 12.3-inch gauge display and a 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen are available as options.
Android Auto is the latest addition for 2021 that includes Bluetooth connection, Apple CarPlay, and GPS mapping as standard features. Two front-row USB ports and two in the second row; a wireless charging pad is offered.
The base 10-speaker audio system could be updated to a Harman Kardon premium 16-speaker configuration.
Besides that, a 360-degree video system, semi-autonomous parking aid, a head-up display, and infotainment gesture controls are among the premium technology choices.
The 2021 BMW 3 Series, in particular, is equipped with Active Guard Collision. This technology may bring the car to a complete stop if it detects an impending collision with a vehicle or a bicycle ahead.
The Driving Assistant option, which is standard on the M3, demands a special note. It has a blind-spot monitoring system and a lane-departure warning system, which alerts the driver if the vehicle drifts out of its lane. Driving Assistant also features a rear cross-traffic warning, which is particularly useful for avoiding fender-benders while backing out of a tight parking place at the supermarket.
Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and rain-sensing windshield wipers are standard driver and active safety features.
Cargo Space and Interior
The trunk size of the 3 Series is 17.0 cubic feet, with split-folding second-row seats to accommodate bulkier stuff.
The 3 Series has 38.7 inches of front-row headroom, whereas the Audi A4 has 37.3 inches. The 3 Series has 37.6 inches of second-row headroom, the same as the A4’s 37.4 inches. The BMW has 42.0 inches of front-row legroom, while the Audi has 41.3 inches. The 3 Series has 35.2 inches of second-row legroom, comparable to the A4’s 35.7 inches.
The 2021 BMW 3 Series is currently in its third year of remodeling. It has returned to its most dynamic style, but more appropriate for the 2020s, when technology, elegance, and efficiency are considerably more essential. The 3 Series infotainment system is among the finest in the premium segment, and it offers a startlingly pleasant ride as such a sporty car.
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