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About 3 Series

BMW's 3 Series is the German automobile manufacturer's compact sports sedan and best-selling model, making up almost a third of the brand's annual total car sales. Over its seven generations that have spanned more than 40 years, the agile and practical 3 Series has consistently been refined design- and performance-wise to stand head and shoulders above competition in the sedan class, along the way earning multiple accolades like placings on Car and Driver magazine's "10 Best" list 22 times from 1992 to 2014. Trace the illustrious history of the 3 Series to find out how it became the face of BMW and why it continues to be the high-performing car of choice of drivers everywhere.

Origin


The two-door 3 Series was a game-changer in the world of compact executive sedans when it was introduced in 1975. Designed by the legendary Paul Bracq, who served as the BMW Director of Design from 1970 to 1974, it boasted impressive sporting performance that quickly outshone its competitors. Its sleek and modern design and superior performance set the bar for excellence in the automotive industry for decades to come.

1st Generation (1975 - 1983)


The first generation 3 Series, known as the E21, was most famous for its distinctive profile, contributed mainly by the raised tail section and crease line along the body. The E21 also featured a characteristic double kidney grille and round headlights, a dashboard angled toward the driver, and a double bend at the C-pillar. These sporty elements would live on in subsequent generations.

A Baur Topcabriolet convertible variant was available from 1978 to 1981 in addition to the two-door sedan. Engines ranged from 1.6 - 2.3L. Initially, only inline four-cylinders were available. BMW added inline six-cylinder engines to the lineup in 1977.

2nd Generation (1982-1994)


The second generation 3 Series, the E30, saw almost doubling in sales compared to the E21. This increase was mainly due to the expansion in the range of vehicle types - besides the two-door sedan, the E30 came as a convertible, four-door sedan, and wagon (a BMW first). In 1985, the BMW 325ix joined the 3 Series lineup as the first BMW with 4WD (the "ix" designated the all-wheel drive).

Engines for the E30 were inline four-cylinder and inline six-cylinders ranging from 1.6L to 3.2L. The E30 was also the first generation to feature a diesel engine.

3rd Generation (1990-2000)


Design changes for the third-generation E36 included strongly sloping A and C lines and an extended front set at an angle that significantly improved interior comfort and impact protection. A standout of this generation and the main reason for its success was the new three-door compact hatchback with a shortened rear. Variants were the Sedan, Coupé, Convertible, Baur Topcabriolet, Touring, Compact, and M3.

Engines were inline four-cylinder and inline six-cylinders ranging from 1.6L to 3.2L.

4th Generation (1998-2007)


The 3 Series grew substantially in size for its fourth generation (E46) while also getting a curved roof line that created more headroom. With this generation, the various trims began to differ stylistically. BMW's best-selling sporty sedan became safer than ever, with ABS and six airbags as standard equipment.

Inline four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines ranged from 1.6L to 4.0L.

5th Generation (2005-2013)


The fifth generation E90 won the "World Car of the Year" award one year after its release. The E90 is five centimeters longer than the E45, providing a roomier interior and distinguishing the 3 Series variants.

Inline four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines ranged from 1.6L to 4.0L.

6th Generation (2011-2019)


In its sixth generation, the 3 Series was equipped with hybrid engines for an electrifying performance. This generation's design aligned more with the larger 5 Series, connecting headlamps to the kidney grille with a prominent profile for more interior room.

Engines were inline three-, four- and six-cylinders between 1.5L to 3.0L.

7th Generation (2019-present)


The design language takes yet another turn with the seventh generation of the 3 Series. The grille is now wider than its predecessors', along with longer dimensions and a more streamlined body. This generation sets new standards for the industry thanks to semi-autonomous driving systems and adaptive voice and gesture control. A hybrid model is also available in the Touring trim for the first time.

This generation's engines are inline four- and six-cylinders between 2.0L to 3.0L.

Engine Performance & Technology


While most car manufacturers have swapped to a V6 layout for the six-cylinder engines, BMW continues to use the inline-six layout, which it cut its teeth on for the 3 Series. These inline six-cylinder engines produce greater torque at lower speeds, are more quiet, and produce less vibrations than V6 engines.

Some 3 Series gasoline and diesel engines from 2011 utilize BMW's TwinPower Turbo technology that allows for more variability within the engine range, improves fuel consumption, and reduces emissions.

Safety & Reliability


While the 3 Series has a long-standing reputation for being a safe vehicle, safety features have only improved with each subsequent generation. The newest model years feature a robust build quality and systems like Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic Traction Control, Anti-lock Braking System, Dynamic Brake Control, Cornering Brake Control, and Frontal Collision Warning.

Trim Configurations


Variants for the 3 Series are the Sedan, Coupé, Convertible, Touring, M3 (as Sedan, Coupé, and Convertible), and Gran Turismo, depending on the generation and market. Each of these can also come in an xDrive version that includes BMW's xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive system, larger wheels, and more ground clearance. Plug-in hybrids are also available.

Conclusion


The sports sedan at its best, the 3 Series, offers unparalleled performance and luxury. It doesn't hurt as well that it sports one of the segment's most attractive designs. If you're ready to make the 3 Series your ultimate driving machine, you'll find your ideal one in great condition and at a hard-to-beat price here at BE FORWARD!

BE FORWARD : Excellent cars stocked in Japan, Singapore, UK, UAE, Thailand, and Korea, safely delivered worldwide to your location.

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About 3 Series

BMW's 3 Series is the German automobile manufacturer's compact sports sedan and best-selling model, making up almost a third of the brand's annual total car sales. Over its seven generations that have spanned more than 40 years, the agile and practical 3 Series has consistently been refined design- and performance-wise to stand head and shoulders above competition in the sedan class, along the way earning multiple accolades like placings on Car and Driver magazine's "10 Best" list 22 times from 1992 to 2014. Trace the illustrious history of the 3 Series to find out how it became the face of BMW and why it continues to be the high-performing car of choice of drivers everywhere.

Origin


The two-door 3 Series was a game-changer in the world of compact executive sedans when it was introduced in 1975. Designed by the legendary Paul Bracq, who served as the BMW Director of Design from 1970 to 1974, it boasted impressive sporting performance that quickly outshone its competitors. Its sleek and modern design and superior performance set the bar for excellence in the automotive industry for decades to come.

1st Generation (1975 - 1983)


The first generation 3 Series, known as the E21, was most famous for its distinctive profile, contributed mainly by the raised tail section and crease line along the body. The E21 also featured a characteristic double kidney grille and round headlights, a dashboard angled toward the driver, and a double bend at the C-pillar. These sporty elements would live on in subsequent generations.

A Baur Topcabriolet convertible variant was available from 1978 to 1981 in addition to the two-door sedan. Engines ranged from 1.6 - 2.3L. Initially, only inline four-cylinders were available. BMW added inline six-cylinder engines to the lineup in 1977.

2nd Generation (1982-1994)


The second generation 3 Series, the E30, saw almost doubling in sales compared to the E21. This increase was mainly due to the expansion in the range of vehicle types - besides the two-door sedan, the E30 came as a convertible, four-door sedan, and wagon (a BMW first). In 1985, the BMW 325ix joined the 3 Series lineup as the first BMW with 4WD (the "ix" designated the all-wheel drive).

Engines for the E30 were inline four-cylinder and inline six-cylinders ranging from 1.6L to 3.2L. The E30 was also the first generation to feature a diesel engine.

3rd Generation (1990-2000)


Design changes for the third-generation E36 included strongly sloping A and C lines and an extended front set at an angle that significantly improved interior comfort and impact protection. A standout of this generation and the main reason for its success was the new three-door compact hatchback with a shortened rear. Variants were the Sedan, Coupé, Convertible, Baur Topcabriolet, Touring, Compact, and M3.

Engines were inline four-cylinder and inline six-cylinders ranging from 1.6L to 3.2L.

4th Generation (1998-2007)


The 3 Series grew substantially in size for its fourth generation (E46) while also getting a curved roof line that created more headroom. With this generation, the various trims began to differ stylistically. BMW's best-selling sporty sedan became safer than ever, with ABS and six airbags as standard equipment.

Inline four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines ranged from 1.6L to 4.0L.

5th Generation (2005-2013)


The fifth generation E90 won the "World Car of the Year" award one year after its release. The E90 is five centimeters longer than the E45, providing a roomier interior and distinguishing the 3 Series variants.

Inline four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines ranged from 1.6L to 4.0L.

6th Generation (2011-2019)


In its sixth generation, the 3 Series was equipped with hybrid engines for an electrifying performance. This generation's design aligned more with the larger 5 Series, connecting headlamps to the kidney grille with a prominent profile for more interior room.

Engines were inline three-, four- and six-cylinders between 1.5L to 3.0L.

7th Generation (2019-present)


The design language takes yet another turn with the seventh generation of the 3 Series. The grille is now wider than its predecessors', along with longer dimensions and a more streamlined body. This generation sets new standards for the industry thanks to semi-autonomous driving systems and adaptive voice and gesture control. A hybrid model is also available in the Touring trim for the first time.

This generation's engines are inline four- and six-cylinders between 2.0L to 3.0L.

Engine Performance & Technology


While most car manufacturers have swapped to a V6 layout for the six-cylinder engines, BMW continues to use the inline-six layout, which it cut its teeth on for the 3 Series. These inline six-cylinder engines produce greater torque at lower speeds, are more quiet, and produce less vibrations than V6 engines.

Some 3 Series gasoline and diesel engines from 2011 utilize BMW's TwinPower Turbo technology that allows for more variability within the engine range, improves fuel consumption, and reduces emissions.

Safety & Reliability


While the 3 Series has a long-standing reputation for being a safe vehicle, safety features have only improved with each subsequent generation. The newest model years feature a robust build quality and systems like Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic Traction Control, Anti-lock Braking System, Dynamic Brake Control, Cornering Brake Control, and Frontal Collision Warning.

Trim Configurations


Variants for the 3 Series are the Sedan, Coupé, Convertible, Touring, M3 (as Sedan, Coupé, and Convertible), and Gran Turismo, depending on the generation and market. Each of these can also come in an xDrive version that includes BMW's xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive system, larger wheels, and more ground clearance. Plug-in hybrids are also available.

Conclusion


The sports sedan at its best, the 3 Series, offers unparalleled performance and luxury. It doesn't hurt as well that it sports one of the segment's most attractive designs. If you're ready to make the 3 Series your ultimate driving machine, you'll find your ideal one in great condition and at a hard-to-beat price here at BE FORWARD!

BE FORWARD : Excellent cars stocked in Japan, Singapore, UK, UAE, Thailand, and Korea, safely delivered worldwide to your location.

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