The 2022 BMW 3-Series nails the sport-sedan triathlon with eye-flattening acceleration, hair-bending grip, and a lavish tech-laden cabin.

The 3-Series is BMW’s birthright sport sedan, the alpha and the omega of rear-drive four-doors with enthusiast followings. Square it up against a Mercedes-Benz C-Class or an Audi A4.

The 3-Series family now ranges from the 330i to the M3 Competition sedan; for a two-door or hatchback that’s nearly identical, look up the 4-Series. BMW has dropped touch inputs on its infotainment display, as well as ambient lighting and wireless smartphone charging, as it struggles with low chip supplies.

BMW’s latest 3-Series doesn’t break much exterior styling ground and doesn’t need to. It’s a classic interpretation of the sport sedan, with a low-slung profile and stubby trunk pushing forward into a long nose.

Where it’s most flawed is in the M3’s gaping nostrils, but thankfully they’re subdued in other versions. The cabin’s angular theme looks grand in basic black—and fantastic in colorful leather and aluminum trim sold on pricey versions.

With power ranging from a 255-hp turbo-4 to a 288-hp plug-in hybrid, all the way to a 503-hp turbo-6, the 3-Series’ breathtaking performance lifts it out of the mid-size sedan doldrums. It’s at least good for 5.6-second 0-60 mph times, or in as little as 3.4 seconds with the M3.

Base versions grip the road with confidence; though it doesn’t always translate into the brilliant steering feedback of years past, the 2022 BMW 3-Series’ handling and overall tuning still set a benchmark that many big-name brands have failed to challenge.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The 2022 BMW 3-Series offers two smooth and potent gas-powered engines. The 330i features a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The M340i pairs with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six that produces 385 ponies and 369 pound-feet.

The 330e plug-in hybrid combines a turbo 2.0-liter engine with an electric motor that together generates 288 horses and 310 pound-feet.

Our first impression of the 330e revealed a harmonious relationship between the gas and electric elements, and we like the plug-in’s new Xtraboost function that provides a burst of power that feels like a shot of nitrous.

Each powertrain pairs with an exceptional eight-speed automatic transmission and standard rear-wheel drive. You can power all four wheels for a price. Unfortunately, a manual gearbox is no longer available. (Purists should hold out for the all-new BMW M3 if they need the stick.)

Buyers can choose between two suspension setups on the 3: the base arrangement or the upgrade with adaptive dampers. Our first drive of this G20-gen 3-series was encouraging.

The car’s newfound steering feel provides more road-surface information and variable effort than its predecessor did, but it’s still lacking compared with that of the 3’s iconic early generations.

The four-cylinder Bimmer proved its worth by winning a comparison test against other sports sedans. We applauded its ability to transition from relaxed and refined to sharp and playful.

The 330i also secured its spot at the top of its class by thwarting the gorgeous Alfa Romeo Giulia in a two-car comparo. Our long-term M340i further proves the nameplate’s return to form, with its superb six-cylinder and remarkable body control.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The EPA estimates the four-cylinder 330i will earn up to 26 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. The more powerful six-cylinder M340i has ratings that top out at 23 mpg city and 32 highway.

The rear-drive, plug-in-hybrid variant has a combined estimate of 28 mpg and an all-electric range of 23 miles. Both figures drop by 3 for the all-wheel-drive PHEV.

We tested a rear-drive 330i on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, and saw an impressive 42 mpg.

Likewise, we conducted the same test with an all-wheel-drive M340i, which earned 33 mpg. For more information about the 2022 BMW 3-Series’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

Inside, the 2022 BMW 3-Series has a modernized design complete with excellent materials and impressive build quality. Nothing feels cheap inside the 3-series, and its controls are well placed.

BMW also improved outward visibility, the standard sport seats are well-bolstered and supportive, and they offer extensive adjustment so it’s easy to get comfortable.

The car’s extra-cost content includes a detailed head-up display, customizable ambient interior lighting, heated front, and rear seats, remote start, and wireless charging. The BMW’s digital instrument cluster is a bit cluttered but still attractive.

Some may find the counterclockwise sweep of the tachometer needle odd at first, but you get acclimated to it quickly. The 2022 BMW 3-Series has a big trunk with an available power-operated lid.

With 17 cubic feet of cargo space, the gas-powered sedan can fit six carry-on suitcases back there and 17 total with the rear row folded.

For comparison, the Mercedes-Benz C300 sedan held one fewer suitcase in both tests and the Alfa Romeo Giulia could fit five and 15, respectively. The 330e has less trunk space (13 cubes) because of its battery pack, and we haven’t tested its carry-on capacity.

Infotainment and Connectivity

The standard infotainment system runs through an 8.8-inch touchscreen, but the interface can also be controlled with a large knob and buttons on the console or with voice commands. The Live Cockpit Plus suite of features, which includes navigation, is standard.

For the really good stuff, you’ll need to spring for the similarly named Live Cockpit Pro package, which increases the size of the touchscreen to 10.3 inches and gives you the latest and most capable iteration of BMW’s iDrive system.

A subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot is optional, but the sedan does come with two USB ports. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.

One interesting option is BMW’s Gesture Control, which allows the driver or passenger to input certain commands with hand gestures. It’s more novel than helpful, but it’ll wow your friends for a few minutes.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)

BMW is skimpy when it comes to standard driver-assistance technology, providing only forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking. Other features are available, though. For example, the Parking Assistance package will practically park the car for you.

For more information about the 2022 BMW 3-Series‘s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.

Photos

2022 BMW 3-Series

2022 BMW 3-Series

2022 BMW 3-Series

2022 BMW 3-Series

2022 BMW 3-Series

Full Specifications

2020 BMW M340i

VEHICLE TYPE
front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

PRICE AS TESTED
$66,820 (base price: $54,995)

ENGINE TYPE
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve inline-6, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement
183 cu in, 2998 cc
Power
382 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque
369 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm

TRANSMISSION
8-speed automatic

CHASSIS
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 13.7-in vented disc/13.6-in vented disc
Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, F: 225/40R-19 93Y ★ R: 255/35R-19 96Y ★

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 112.2 in
Length: 185.7 in
Width: 71.9 in
Height: 56.4 in
Passenger volume: 95 cu ft
Trunk volume: 17 cu ft
Curb weight: 3827 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS: NEW
Rollout, 1 ft: 0.3 sec
60 mph: 3.8 sec
100 mph: 9.2 sec
150 mph: 24.2 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 4.7 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 2.1 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 2.6 sec
¼-mile: 12.3 sec @ 115 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 156 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 155 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.96 g

C/D
FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 24 mpg

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 25/22/30 mpg

WARRANTY
4 years/50,000 miles bumper to bumper;
12 years/unlimited miles corrosion protection;
4 years/unlimited miles roadside assistance;
3 years/36,000 miles scheduled maintenance

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