2011 BMW 3-Series

The 2011 BMW 3 Series belong to the 5th generation of 3 Series cars that have been in production since 1975. Currently the best selling model in the entire BMW line, this midsize sedan aims to continue the tradition of being one of the best midsize cars in history. There are 4 body types for the BMW 3 Series, and for the first time in its history, the sedan, wagon, coupe, and convertible are now independent designs instead of being essentially the same car with different body shells like from the previous generations.

Performance

3 engines are available for 3-series. The first option is a 3.0 liter inline-6 capable of producing 230 horsepower. Second option is the same engine but with a turbocharger equipped, upping output into 300 horsepower. And the third option is a 3.0 liter twin turbo diesel engine that is able to produce 265 horsepower and an incredible 425 lb/ft of torque.

A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a six-speed automatic and a seven-speed DCT transmission are optional equipment. Two Powertrain options are available: to rear wheels or to all 4 wheels. A bevy of safety equipment also abounds in this car. A host of airbags, anti-lock brakes, and stability control are all standard equipment.

The BMW 3 Series is a legendary model for a lot of reasons and it can’t be consistently critically acclaimed for nothing. One of the biggest selling points of the 2011 model is its great performance (and we’re not yet talking about the M3). Whatever the engine, it is guaranteed to provide great amounts of speed in a hurry. In addition, the suspension is tuned for great handling and the brakes are incredibly strong.

Exterior & Interior

The BMW 3 Series still looks like a quintessential BMW, no matter what the body type is. The bulbous trunk that made most people scratch their heads is now modified, the unique front fascia of the coupe transferred to the sedan and wagon, and for the coupe and the convertible, a slight modification of the front and rear lights, grills, and bumpers. These changes are subtle but just enough to freshen up its looks. The interior is also made with superb quality.

The seats are comfortable and durable, and truly is a good place to be for long distance rides, at least when seated on the front. The rear seats suffer from lack of space (something unexpected for a midsize car), and can really be problematic when bringing in full sized adults for a ride. The materials used for this car are top-notch, with serious attention to detail. A much improved iDrive system is a welcome addition.

Safety

Also, safety is very high on this car. It is equipped with all kinds of get-safe gizmos, even the convertible has built in rollover hoops that can come out in case the car flips. The materials and electronics are also top-notch, and the iDrive system is much simple to use than ever before. And the diesel variant is deceptively great: it has sports-car killing performance and top-notch fuel economy.

Competition

The Mercedes Benz C class (MSRP $33,990; 18 city / 26 hwy) and the Audi A4 (MSRP $34,500; 21 city / 27 hwy) sedans are perhaps the closest competitors to the BMW 3-series.

No matter how great the 2011 3 Series is, it has its share of weaknesses too. One of the most criticized parts of this car is the lack of rear space. Most find the back seat too cramped. Also, the boot space is average at best, with it going much lower in the convertible variant. And some people may find the suspension settings to be too harsh for daily driving.

The 2011 BMW 3 Series delivers strongly just like its predecessors. It is comfortable, stylish, elegant, and fun to drive. It is indeed a best seller for a reason, as it is a car that just about anyone can truly appreciate. It’s an ultimate driving machine indeed.

Overall Rating
74 out of 100

What others say:

"The 2011 BMW 3-Series continues the tradition of excellent handling, brisk performance, and high quality, though its relatively compact size does result in some compromises."Car Connection

"With manual transmission, the rear-drive 328i has smooth power for around-town driving and highway passing."Consumer Guide

"Unmatched ride/handling balance, smooth and powerful engines, reasonably fuel-efficient, upscale cabin, four body styles, elegant hardtop convertible design, available diesel engine."Edmunds

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Sedan Base Price: $34,600.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 16.1 gallons (61 liters) Miles Per Gallon: 18 city / 28 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 178.2 in. (453 cm) Width: 79.3 in. (201 cm)
Height: 55.9 in. (142 cm) Curb Weight: 3362 lbs (1525 kg)
Wheel Base: 108.7 in. (276 cm) Turning Radius: 36.1 ft.
Luggage Capacity: 12 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Performance
Engine: 24-valve DOHC inline-6 Displacement: 3.0 liters
Horsepower: 230 HP Max RPM: 6500 RPM
Torque: 200 lb-ft @ 2750 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
0-60 mph: 6.3 seconds Top Speed: 130 mph
Available Trims & Engine
Option:328i xDrive MSRP: $36,600; MPG: 17 city / 26 hwy
Option:328i Sports Wagon MSRP: $37,150; MPG: 18 city / 26 hwy
Option:328i Convertible MSRP: $46,450; MPG: 18 city / 28 hwy
Option:335i Sedan MSRP: $42,050; MPG: 19 city / 28 hwy