Oct 22, 2023

10 Things To Know Before Buying The 2023 BMW 3 Series

While it still holds on to its traditional design cues, the BMW 3 Series has never been better. Here's everything you should know before getting one.

The G20 generation of the BMW 3 Series has always been a favorite among American luxury compact sedan buyers. Being a Bimmer, the 3 Series takes forward the impressive handling and fun-to-drive aspects of the older model years, making it much more enjoyable than many rivals. Along with that, it is loaded to the brim with all the tech, features, and opulence that you would expect from this segment that hasn't been compromised one bit.

With the arrival of the 2023 BMW 3 Series for a base MSRP of $42,300, BMW retains all the qualities of the 2022 model year, while bringing quite a lot of changes to make it hide its age. The exterior design has seen a major tweak. Along with that, the interior feels very modern due to the digital dashboard, making it similar to the new BMW 7 Series and BMW iX. Infotainment software is upgraded too. Competing with the Genesis G70, Audi A4, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, here are 10 things you need to know before buying the 2023 BMW 3 Series.

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This 2023 iteration of the BMW 3 Series comes with a lot of changes from the outgoing 2021 model, however, the powertrain sees no major upgrades. Both the 330i and 330e trims are going to offer superb performance and lightning-quick gearshifts, both of which you would expect from BMW.

The 330i trim comes with the same 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine producing 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, and this helps the car to do 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds. The turbo lag is very minimal and the ZF-sourced gearbox makes it a joy to drive around. However, if you want to experience even faster acceleration, the M340i trim with the inline-6 is the one to get.

Being part of the premium compact sedan segment, BMW has made sure that the driving experience does not feel bogged down, especially while doing those cross-country road trips. We loved the minimal engine noise that creeps into the cabin, especially at higher revs when compared to the rivals.

The aerodynamic design of the 2023 iteration makes sure that the wind noise is under control. The premium cabin experience coupled with excellent sound deadening also helps the passengers feel at home while the car is being driven at the legal speed limit on the highways. The suspension and transmission don't feel clunky and harsh as well.

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The 2023 BMW 3 Series comes with an independent front and rear suspension setup with coil springs and anti-roll bars on all four corners. We have always been fans of the well-tuned suspension of the outgoing 3 Series models, and this 2023 iteration is no different.

With a tinge of stiffness to the setup, this compact luxury sedan offers a flat ride quality on the highways. Even while driving slowly, the ride quality doesn't become jarring when met with sudden potholes. You could also get the optional Dynamic Handling package for an even more comfortable ride quality due to the adaptive dampers. However, the M340i is tuned to the sportier side with the M Sport suspension on offer.

The driving experience is still one of the biggest reasons to get the 2023 BMW 3 Series over the likes of the Genesis G70 and Kia Stinger. The standard suspension setup is adequately sporty and taking the back roads is going to be very enjoyable. The car turns in with precision, and it feels well-balanced while doing sudden direction changes.

The stiff chassis and the brilliantly communicative electric power steering system also add to the driving experience. If you want an even stickier grip, we recommend going for the Dynamic Handling package on offer. This significantly reduces the initial understeer when the suspension is set to Sport Mode. The xDrive AWD drivetrain can be had for an additional price too.

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The 2023 BMW 3 Series is still part of the G20 generation of the 3 Series which came in 2018. As a result, the cabin space hasn't been changed from the outgoing model. However, you are going to be impressed with the better opulence and updated tech that this 2023 model has.

When it comes to the space, both the front and rear row passengers get one of the best headroom and legroom for the segment. The sports seats are supremely supportive, and the rear bench seat has excellent under-thigh and lower back support. The wide armrest and multiple storage spaces are a plus point too. The 17 cu. ft. of cargo space of trunk capacity is more than enough to store stuff of five passengers with ease as well.

The braking of the 2023 BMW 3 Series is handled by the 4-wheel disc brake setup with all the relevant features like ABS with EBD, automated emergency braking, brake assist, and hill hold control coming as standard. The brake pedal felt firm and the initial bite and braking progression were as good as any other rivals.

Press hard on the brake pedal from 70 mph, and the 2023 BMW 3 Series comes to a standstill in just 165 feet. The brake fade was minimal even with prolonged brake usage, and we also loved the aggressive engine braking done by the 8-speed automatic transmission.

Even the base 330i trim of the 2023 3 Series comes standard with driver-assistance features like automated emergency braking, forward collision warning, and a driver monitoring system. The basic safety features like side impact beams, traction control, stability control, airbags, ABS, rearview camera, and the tire pressure monitoring system are standard too.

However, features like lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control with lane-centering are all part of optional packages. Even though the 2023 iteration hasn't been crash-tested yet, the outgoing 2022 model received the top safety pick title in the IIHS crash test and a 5-star rating in the NHTSA crash test.

The 330i trim of the 2023 3 Series comes with the same 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 as the outgoing model. This well-tuned engine comes mated to a superb 8-speed torque converter automatic transmission, and both of them help the sedan to do 26 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highways.

The 30 MPG of combined gas mileage offered by the 2023 330i is much superior to the 24 MPG offered by the Lexus IS 300 and 27 MPG offered by the Audi A4. Even the Mercedes-Benz C-Class offers a lower combined gas mileage of 28 MPG. However, the Merc has better range due to the bigger fuel tank capacity.

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If you want no compromises on gas mileage, luxury, and handling offered by the 3 Series, BMW brings the plug-in hybrid 330e trim to the lineup as well. It comes with the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine mated to an electric motor, producing 288 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.

The performance numbers are better than the 330i, and we also loved the crisp throttle response and the punchy mid-range it comes with. The 8-speed automatic remains unchanged as well. However, the biggest difference from the 330i trim is the all-electric range of 23 miles when you go with the 330e RWD variant. The 28 MPG of combined gas mileage is decent, too.

Step into the 2023 BMW 3 Series and you will be presented with one of the most opulent cabins for the price. The interior comes filled with aluminum, leather accents with contrast stitching, and tactile switchgear, all of which ups the cabin experience considerably. In comparison, the Genesis G70 is still a notch below the 3 Series in terms of cabin feel.

We loved the premium feel offered by the SensaTec upholstery which can be had in four color combinations. You can also get the Vernasca leather upholstery as an option in five different color schemes. The wooden and aluminum inlays on the center console and dashboard and the beautifully incorporated digital gauge cluster display and infotainment system add to the ambiance too.

Mohith is our in-house motorcycle mechanic and automotive geek. He loves riding and driving at the limits, and you would frequently notice him on racetracks at the weekends. Mohith is someone who would redline anything that comes with a motor - even our office lawnmower. He often does cross-country road trips in his trusted 300ZX and you could find him riding his CB750 quite often through the streets of Pasadena as well as on the Moore Motorsports racetrack.