2014 BMW 3 Series has minor changes to the venerable series

2014 sees some minor changes to the BMW 3 series. For starters, there is no longer a convertible or coupe version of the 2014 BMW 3 series: this is now called the BMW 4 series.

Left – therefore – are two old options and one new: the usual, 4-door sedan and 5-door station wagon and the all-new Gran Turismo.

In size, the Gran Turismo trumps the others, extending in every direction, whilst the sedan and station wagon remain in their usual performances.

All three of the 2014 BMW 3 Series versions focus more upon comfort than performance – a possible disappointment for those used to the older vehicles – but are still amazing driving machines. The sedan is offered with either 4WD (called the BMW xDrive) or rear wheel drive; the station wagon and Gran Turismo both come with 4WD as standard.

Gearboxes offer two further options: a six-speed manual or 8 speed automatic. There is a wide choice of engines for the sedan: a 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder in its “entry level guise” in the 320i (180HP and 200lb-ft), or the same engine tuned to  240HP and 255lb-ft in the 328i. The range tops out with a 3.0 liter turbocharged straight six in the 335i, producing 300HP and 300 lb-ft. On the diesel side, there is a 2.0 turbo diesel four cylinder, producing 181HP and 280lb-ft in the guise of a 328d.

The station wagon can have either the engine from the 328i or the 328d – the Gran Turismo has either the 328i or the 335i engines.

All engines in all trims return 20-24 mpg (9.8-11.7 l/100 km) city and 28-40 mpg (5.8-8.4 l/100 km) highway. Acceleration times vary, but all are considered quick and responsive, with all petrol hitting 62 mph (100 km/h) in less than 6 seconds, and the diesel (in all trims) hitting around 7 seconds.

Inside, the usual BMW opulence continues, with touches of luxury and technology everywhere. Features can add quite extensively to the price. BMW’s drive feature comes standard and has seen much improvement over the years. Additional extras include the Winter Package (heated seats, heated steering wheel and retractable headlight washers), Driver Assistance Package (Lane Departure Warning and Active Blind Spot Detection) as well as BMW’s brilliant Parking Package.

Another standard feature is the Driving Dynamic Control, which gives the driver 4 driving setups to choose from: Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+. The default is Comfort, with the Sport and Sport+ sharpening steering and gearshifts. An optional M sport package further improves handling, lowering the suspension slightly and fitting stiffer dampers and springs – the Adaptive M-sport package allows electronic damping as well.


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