2020 BMW 3 Series

#8
in Sedans
2020 MODEL
$40,750 - $42,750
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8.1

Overall Rating

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2020 BMW 3 Series Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide


Karan Rawat's image

Karan Rawat Automotive Journalist Updated on: December 8, 2019


Known by drivers cars all over the world, the 2020 BMW 3 series continues that tradition of being a top-notch all-rounder.  A  hugely entertaining car now comes with more interior space,  powerful base engine and sharper handling. The base 330i packs a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 255 horsepower while the M340i employs a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six-cylinder pumping out 383 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. As stated by the company officials -"no single model has embodied the concept of the Ultimate Driving Machine better than the latest BMW 3 Series."

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Pros

Efficient and lively engine's

Sporty driving dynamics

Spacious interior

Intuitive infotainment system

Cons

Lackluster interior quality for the class

Intrusive driver-assist technology

What's New?

Completely redesigned

Six-cylinder engine returns with new M340i model


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$40750

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

RWD

engine type

displacement

122 cu.in.

horsepower

255 hp @ 5000 rpm

torque

295 lbs.-ft. @ 1550 rpm

transmission

8 speed automatic

chassis

frame type

Unibody

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

62.3/62.9

dimensions

wheelbase

112.2 in.

length

185.7 in.

width

71.9 in.

height

56.8 in.

curb weight

3589 lbs.

ground clearance

5.7 in.

capacity

cargo volume

17 cu ft.

payload capacity

825 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

5.3 sec.

zero to 100 mph

5.6 sec.

standing ¼-mile

13.7 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

26/30/36 mpg

ev range

405.6 mi.

highway range

561.6 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

powertrain warranty

4 yr. / 50000 mi.

corrosion warranty

12 yr. / unlimited


Pictures

Exterior
 2020 BMW 3 Series 3 Quarter View  2020 BMW 3 Series 3 Quarter View  2020 BMW 3 Series Front View  2020 BMW 3 Series 3 Quarter View  2020 BMW 3 Series 3 Quarter View
Interior
 2020 BMW 3 Series Cargo Area  2020 BMW 3 Series Rear Seats  2020 BMW 3 Series interior  2020 BMW 3 Series interior  2020 BMW 3 Series Rear Seats

Styles

 2020 BMW 3 Series in Alpine White color  2020 BMW 3 Series in Black Sapphire Metallic color  2020 BMW 3 Series in Glacier Silver Metallic color  2020 BMW 3 Series in Jet Black color
Alpine White

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.2

Engine

8.5

Fuel Economy

8.0

Interior

7.5

Exterior

9.0

Safety

9.0

Competition

8.0

Final Verdict

8.5

8.1

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2020 BMW 3 Series 330i

330i

power
255hp @ 5000 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
30 combined

$40,750 - $42,750


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
330i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $40,750 MSRP (26/30/36) 255hp @ 5000 rpm, 2 L, inline 4, premium unleaded (recommended)
8-speed shiftable automatic rear wheel drive 5
330i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $42,750 MSRP (25/28/34) 255hp @ 5000 rpm, 2 L, inline 4, premium unleaded (recommended)
8-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5

Expert Review

8.1

Overall Rating


Some of the cars never really changed with time and their spirit remained the way it was decades ago. You can name them: VW Golf, Porsche 911, Range Rover and the mighty 3 series sedan. These are some of the oldest oaks in the automotive forest which have set standards to measure others. Over the past 40 years, with its six previous incarnations having sold over 15 million examples, the 3 series climaxes into phenomenal success for BMW.

2020 BMW 3 Series Front View
2020 BMW 3 Series Front View
2020 BMW 3 Series Rear View
2020 BMW 3 Series Rear View

7.2/10
Features

 

8.5/10
Engine

 

8.0/10
Fuel Economy

 

7.5/10
Interior

 

9.0/10
Exterior

 

9.0/10
Safety

 

8.0/10
Competition

 

8.5/10
Final Verdict

 

2020 BMW 3 Series Features

7.2/10

As is typical of a BMW, the 3 Series is not lacking for variety. For 2020, BMW is offering this vehicle in three body styles: the four-door sedan, the Sports Wagon, and the hatchback-style Gran Turismo. Pricing for the 330i model starts from $40,250 in the U.S. Add xDrive AWD, and pricing jumps to $42,250 plus shipping. Despite of the larger dimensions, the new 330i costs just as much like the outgoing model. Standard features across the 330i lineup include Sensatec upholstery (which is BMW's synthetic leather), power-adjustable front seats, HD Radio, ambient lighting, LED headlights, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror and driver's side exterior mirror. 

Trim BMW 330i BMW 330i xDrive
Starting MSRP $40,750 $42,750
Key Features

Rear-wheel Drive type

XDrive all-wheel Drive type
  ABS and driveline Traction control  
  1st row regular express open/close sliding and tilting glass Sunroof  
  18" machined w/painted accents Aluminum Wheels  
  Front air conditioning, dual-zone automatic  
  Rear air conditioning, with separate controls  
  AM/FM/HD/Satellite-prep, seek-scan Radio  
  2 - 1st row LCD monitor  
  Keyfob (all doors) Remote keyless entry  
  Heated mirrors  
  Windshield wipers - rain sensing  
  SensaTec leatherette Seat trim  

We Recommend

We would recommend you to go with the  standard 330i as it is feature-packed at a VFM price tag. You can also opt for the all-wheel-drive xDrive variant for a better 0 to 60 run and it doent the fuel economy, just 1 mpg less.

2020 BMW 3 Series Engine

8.5/10

BMW has belatedly understood and gave what the brand enthusiast's ever wanted-the M340i employs a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder dishing out 383 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Surely, an M car territory a few years ago, but not everyone wants to go there so you have the base 330i with 2.0-liter inline-four producing 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

2020 BMW 3 Series Engine
2020 BMW 3-Series Sedan 2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 Engine

You get quick upshifts and downshift with the ZF sourced 8-speed Sport Steptronic transmission, which is standard over the range. The latest upgrade of this sport automatic transmission sees a wider gear spread which improves vibration suppression. There is a new control unit that further enhances gearshift dynamics.

 Models BMW 3-Series Mercedes-Benz C Class Jaguar XE Audi A4
Starting MSRP $34,900 $40,250 $35,725 $36,000
Engine Type 2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4
Power (hp) 180 241 247 190
Torque (lb-ft) 200 273 269 236

The competition is closely matched with the BMW, offering identical configurations. The base Audi A4 is the closest match in terms of horsepower, and even that offers 10 more than the baby BMW. The sporty Jaguar XE offers the best output figure, followed closely by C-class Mercedes.

Acceleration

The standard 330i takes 5.6 seconds to climb 60 mph on the odometer. With an estimated 0-60 mph time of 4.1 seconds, the M340i is just a few ticks slower than the current-generation M3. Both of the XDrive variants are three-tenth of a second quicker than the RWD variants. Launch control is standard on every model, making you master and commander of all 382 hp, right off the line. The drag coefficient (Cd) of the BMW 3 Series sedan has been reduced to a low 0.26, a reduction of .03 Cd over the previous BMW 3 Series.

2020 BMW 3 Series Acceleration
2020 BMW 3-Series Sedan 0-60 MPH 7.1 sec
 Models BMW 3-Series Mercedes-Benz C Class Jaguar XE Audi A4
0-60 MPH 7.1 seconds 6.2 seconds 6.0 seconds 6.8 seconds
Quarter Mile 15.7 seconds 14.7 seconds 14.7 seconds 15.2 seconds
Engine Displacement 2.0L 2.0L 2.0L 2.0L

Ride and Handling

The latest G20 generation of the 3 series has improved in every aspect, down to the finest of details. Using the latest CLAR platform the 3 series sedan sheds 55 kg of its weight and which in turn increases body rigidity up to 50 percent, despite being larger than the predecessor. Of course, a new 3 Series wouldn’t be complete without proper chassis upgrades. For this model, BMW aimed to obtain the lowest center of gravity yet, as well as a perfect 50:50 weight distribution. Both settings provide agile handling and high-precision steering.

2020 BMW 3 Series Ride and Handling
2020 BMW 3-Series Sedan Front View

The 2020  BMW 3-series is able to provide the power-filled performance you’d expect from a BMW car. The steering is responsive. The car comes with an option to add an adaptive suspension system for smoother driving experience on bumpy roads. The 3-series has good and balanced body control and feels nimble around corners. If comfort in driving is what you’re looking for then the softened suspension won’t disappoint you. 

Braking

Braking is exceptional when we talk about the three series and it applies high-performance lightweight materials for sporty handling characteristics. The M Sport brakes provide excellent braking performance and intuitive feel, whether negotiating city streets or driving around a circuit on a track day. Combining an extremely sporty set-up - with short pedal travel and a distinct pressure point – with outstanding thermal resistance, they provide lasting and effective stopping power.

2020 BMW 3 Series Braking
2020 BMW 3-Series Sedan Front brakes 12.3 in.

 Models BMW 3-Series Mercedes-Benz C Class Jaguar XE Audi A4
Front Brake Dia (in) 12.3 13 13.8 12.4
Rear Brake Dia (in) 11.8 11.8 12.8 11.8
60-0 MPH (feet) 123 131 123 105

The only car in this segment with better braking is the 2020 Audi A4 which takes 105 ft before coming to a stop from 60mph, extremely good figures regardless of price or segment. Mercedes disappoints with below-average performance.

2020 BMW 3 Series Fuel Economy

8.0/10

The BMW 3-Series has a fuel-efficient engine. The base trim will give you a more than decent mileage of 24mpg (city), 34mpg (highway) and combined mileage of 27mpg. If you go for the all-wheel-drive, you need not worry about the fuel economy as the car loses only 1 mpg.

Model BMW 3-Series Mercedes-Benz C Class Jaguar XE Audi A4
City (MPG) 24 24 25 27
Highway (MPG) 34 33 34 37
Combined (MPG) 27 27 28 31

The 3-Series is less efficient than Jaguar XE, which has a mileage of 25mpg in the city, and 34mpg on the highway, averaging at 28mpg combined efficiency. Audi surprises here, with best efficiency figures from the most powerful engine here.

2020 BMW 3 Series Interior

7.5/10

The latest cabin sees a host of new changes when compared with the previous iteration and takes a lot of inspiration from bigger cousins. The 3 Series has a more driver-centric character to it than the Audi A4 and more straightforward than that found in the Mercedes C-Class, too. With the increase in overall length, the BMW 3 series definitely serves up well in terms of rear passenger legroom.

2020 BMW 3 Series Seating and Comfort
2020 BMW 3-Series Sedan Rear Seats

The car has comfortable leather upholstered seats with properly contoured support for the back which makes it easier for the driver on long drives. The car has a seating capacity of 5 people with ample room for head, legs and knee room. The base trim offers 6-way manually adjustable front seats with 2-manual headrests while the top trim offers a highly customizable seating option. The 340i has a 14-way power front sports seats, 4-way lumbar support and 2-way power side bolsters ensuring that you experience a satisfying and comfy ride.

 Models BMW 3-Series Mercedes-Benz C Class Jaguar XE Audi A4
Passenger Capacity 5 5 5 5
Front Head Room (in) 40.3 40.9 37.0 38.9
Front Leg Room (in) 42 41.7 41.5 41.3
Front Shoulder Room (in) 55.1 55.3 56.8 55.9
Second Head Room (in) 37.7 37.1 37.0 37.4
Second Leg Room (in) 35.1 35.2 35.0 35.7
Second Shoulder Room (in) 55.1 55 54.7 54.5

The cabin is fine, but overall, the M340i's appearance and quality feel like half a step behind the Audi A4 and Mercedes C43. The C-Class' standards remain higher than all of the rivals. Tha jaguar stays last in terms of creature comfort.

Cargo Capacity

Trunk space in the new 3 Series generation is an estimated 16.9 cubic feet, which is generous for a sedan this size. It can easily swallow two large bags, and weekend getaways should be fun. There are also cubby holes everywhere in the cabin, providing additional space to hold little nick-nacks.

2020 BMW 3 Series Cargo Capacity
2020 BMW 3-Series Sedan Trunk Volume 13 ft3
 Models BMW 3-Series Mercedes-Benz C-Class Jaguar XE Audi A4
Trunk Volume (ft3) 13 12.6 14.7 13

Jaguar offers better trunk space, and by a significant margin. The Audi and Merc offer the same trunk space as the BMW, which isn't too bad.

Interior Features

  • SensaTec upholstery
  • 40/20/40 split fold-down through-load rear seats
  • Fine line Anthracite Wood trim with Pearl Gloss Chrome highlight
  • Anthracite headliner
  • Floor mats
  • Advanced Vehicle & Key Memory
  • Automatic climate control
  • Panoramic moon roof
  • Front-seat center armrest
  • Rear-seat center armrest with cupholders
  • Tilt/telescopic steering wheel column
  • Park Distance Control, front, and rear
  • Automatic-dimming interior rear-view mirror and driver-side exterior mirror
  • Power front and rear windows with "one-touch" up/down operation

Infotainment

The most noticeable upgrade is the availability of the iDrive 6.0 in all trims of the car. The infotainment system on the BMW 3-Series is highly responsive and has a simple and easy-to-use interface.It' s comfortable and very well-appointed. The high-quality interior features BMW' s ConnectedDrive system with an 8.8-inch flat screen, while the satellite navigation offers some of the best 3D graphics in the segment. The clarity of the reversing camera and sound quality of the Harman/Kardon system is second to none.

2020 BMW 3 Series Infotainment
2020 BMW 3-Series Sedan Infotainment System
  • 4G LTE
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Aux Input
  • Bluetooth audio
  • Hands-free Bluetooth phone
  • Mobile Wi-Fi
  • Navigation with real-time traffic
  • Real-time weather
  • Voice input

2020 BMW 3 Series interior
2020 BMW 3 Series interior
2020 BMW 3 Series interior
2020 BMW 3 Series interior
2020 BMW 3 Series interior
2020 BMW 3 Series interior
2020 BMW 3 Series interior
2020 BMW 3 Series interior
2020 BMW 3 Series interior
2020 BMW 3 Series interior
2020 BMW 3 Series interior
2020 BMW 3 Series interior

2020 BMW 3 Series Exterior

9.0/10

Some of the best artists were required to completely redesign an icon like the BMW 3 series and there was no room for errors. The 3 series sedan develops BMW’s trademark designs with modern takes on the iconic kidney grille, Hofmeister kink, and unique exterior colors. Narrow, L-shaped horizontal taillights grant a pleasant character from behind. The M340i differentiates itself with larger air dams, and gray accents on the grille surround mirror caps and rear valance. Plus, the car rides on nifty split-spoke, M-specific wheels, which help drive home the sportier look.

2020 BMW 3 Series Dimensions and Weight
2020 BMW 3-Series Sedan 3rd Quarter View

The 3-series has a wheelbase of a smidge over 110 inch, which is technically the shortest among its rivals. It also is the lightest standing at a base curb weight of almost 3,300 pounds. Still, the Beemer manages to be quite easy to muscle around the town.

 Models BMW 3-Series Mercedes-Benz C Class Jaguar XE Audi A4
Length (in) 182.5 184.5 183.9 186.1
Width (in) 71.3 71.3 72.8 72.5
Height (in) 56.3 56.8 55.8 56.2
Wheelbase (in) 110.6 111.8 111.6 111
Base Curb Weight (lbs) 3295 3594 3395 3450
Track Width, Front (in) 60.3 61.5 62.8 61.9
Track Width, Rear (in) 61.9 60.9 62.4 61.2

The Mercedes-Benz C Class has the longest wheelbase, 1.2 inches longer than the 3-series. In terms of looks, the Jaguar has no equal. Its flowing lines and swooping headlights capture the onlookers heart faster than the other cars here.

Exterior Features:

On the outside of the car are a few useful features, such as:

  • LED headlights
  • LED fog lights
  • Power folding, heated side mirrors
  • 18-inch bi-color wheels (Shadow Sport special edition)
  • Double Spoke light alloy wheels (Style 634), 18 x 8.0; and 245/45 run-flat all-season tires
  • Adaptive LED Headlights
  • Power-folding, heated side mirrors
  • Chrome-line exterior trim
  • Black Chrome exhaust tips
  • Non-metallic paint
2020 BMW 3 Series Exterior
2020 BMW 3 Series Exterior
2020 BMW 3 Series Exterior
2020 BMW 3 Series Exterior
2020 BMW 3 Series Exterior
2020 BMW 3 Series Exterior
2020 BMW 3 Series Exterior
2020 BMW 3 Series Exterior
2020 BMW 3 Series Exterior
2020 BMW 3 Series Exterior
2020 BMW 3 Series Exterior
2020 BMW 3 Series Exterior

2020 BMW 3 Series Safety

9.0/10

The Bavarians are known to make utterly reliable cars and there is no doubt on the quality of equipment. while the old 3 Series has fallen behind the competition as far as driver assistance features go, the new-generation compact is packed with modern tech. The 3 Series comes with a range of standard-fit safety systems such as stability control and dynamic brake lights and rest of them are listed below :

  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Front and rear Head Protection System (HPS)
  • Seat-mounted front side-impact airbags
  • Knee airbags for driver and front passenger
  • LATCH attachments for child-restraint safety installation
  • Automatic-locking retractors (ALR) on all passenger safety belts for installation of child-restraint seat
  • Front-passenger-seat-occupation recognition with Passenger’s Airbag Off indicator
  • Driver’s and passenger’s front airbag supplemental restraint system (SRS)

NHSTA Rating*

Overall Rating 5 star
Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating 4 star
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Driver 4 star
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Passenger 5 star
Overall Side Crash Rating 5 star
Side Barrier Rating 5 star
Side Barrier Rating Driver 5 star
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat 5 star
Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat 5 star
Combined Side Rating Front Seat 5 star
Combined Side Rating Rear Seat 5 star
Rollover Rating 5 star

* From 2018 and the IIHS has not been tested.

2020 BMW 3 Series Competition

8.0/10

BMW 3 Series vs. Audi A4

When contrasted with the 340i, the Audi is more tech-oriented and packs an advanced infotainment system. In terms of driving dynamics and taking high speed on corners, the  Audi A4 walks beside the Bimmer. However, the BMW 3 series is much fun to drive and enthusiasts may want to stick with it. BMW ‘s iDrive infotainment system is still a bit confusing. Audi comes with more standard features, including leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a comprehensive suite of advanced safety features. Apple CarPlay is standard in the Audi, while it’s only available with a subscription service in the BMW. 

2020 Audi A4 Sedan
2020 Audi A4 Sedan

BMW 3 Series vs. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

If a BMW  3 series is there, a Mercedes-Benz will be a natural competitor to it. The Merc is filled with luxuries and comes with more refined interior quality.   While the BMW differentiates itself with its sporty performance, the Mercedes stands out with one of the nicest interiors in the class. You get some of the most advanced safety features with the Mercedes-Benz and semi-automated driving features are available. The C Class is quite expensive, costing $5350 more for its base trim than the 3-Series. It depends upon whether you want to spend an extra 5 grand to get a better engine or have a tight budget and can do with an engine that isn’t as good but performs well.

2020  Mercedes-Benz C-Class
2020 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

BMW 3 Series Vs Jaguar XE

The Jaguar XE has a superior performing 247hp 2.0 L engine when compared to the 3-Series (180hp). The Jaguar has the best in class acceleration taking just 6.0 seconds to reach 60mph. Considering that the XE has also equipped with a slightly more economical engine 25/34/28 mpg, the Jaguar XE is the car to go for. The XE is a direct response to the 3 Series, offering all the looks, elegance, and performance as the Bimmer, but with a decidedly British style.

2020 Jaguar XE Sedan
2020 Jaguar XE Sedan

 

2020 BMW 3 Series Final Verdict

8.5/10

With the 2020 3 series , BMW went very close in creating the most perfect sedan in the entry-level luxury segment. The car may have evolved in size, but it's lighter, more aerodynamic, and better to drive than ever. The cabin is a drastic improvement from before and the exterior styling includes lots of fine details one needs to see in the body to fully acknowledge. Luckily, BMW succeeded to keep the car’s curb weight down, and this should. Arguably the biggest step forward here is the technological ascent, as the 3 Series finally has the instruments to go head to head with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Audi A4.