Looking at the 2011 BMW 3-Series

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New stuff for the coupe and convertible models of the 2011 BMW 3-Series include a brand new style and new sports trim level. However, not much has changed with this premium compact car insofar as the sedan and wagon versions are concerned.

The 3-series model lineup is comprised of an entry level 328, a high performance M3, and a top-line 335. The 328i can come is available in either rear-wheel drive or with the BMW’s all-wheel drive “xDrive”, which will all depend on the body style of choice.

2011 BMW 3 Series Looking at the 2011 BMW 3 Series

This lineup comes with a 230 hp 3.0 liter inline 6-cylinder engine. The 335i may come in either a rear-wheel drive or the all-wheel drive system which, again, depends on the body style chosen. These models are also powered by a 320 hp 3.0 liter turbocharged 6-cylinder engine.

What’s new for 2011 are the 335is coupe and convertible with the sports theme. They run on a turbocharged 320 hp 3.0 liter 6-cylinder engine. The 335d sedan with rear drive, on the other hand, runs on a 265 hp 3.0 liter turbo diesel inline 6-cylinder engine. This engine produces emissions that are legal in all the 50 states. The M3 run on a 414-horsepower 4.0 liter V8 engine.

The gasoline engines of all the BMW 3-series run together with a 6-speed manual transmission. There is also an optional 6-speed automatic on the 328i as well as the 335i. This feature, however, is standard on the 335d.

The M3 and 335is are both available with an automated manual with 7-speed dual clutch. This functions very similarly to that of an automatic.

This series is also rich with safety features, namely: ABS, antiskid system, traction control, and front-side airbags. These are standard safety features, but in addition to these the convertibles also have a standard head-protecting tubular side airbags capable of covering both seating rows. The convertibles also have rollover bars, which are intended to activate from the rear headrests should sensors detect an incoming tip.

Those cars that have the navigations system as an optional feature get BMW’s iDrive. This uses a console which allows the driver to configure the settings of navigation, communication, and entertainment.

Other available features include BMW’s Active Seeing, steering-linked headlights, adaptive cruise control, rear obstacle detection, and a wireless cell phone link from the BMW Assist service. BMW’s Active Steering is designed to quicken steering response at lower speed.

There’s also a brand new package available for the M3. It’s called the Competition Packages. It includes performance suspension with a specific tuning as well as antiskid systems and traction control.

While most premium compact cars are rated by expert evaluators an average of 66.2, the 328i convertible on manual transmissions and with the sports package scored a total 67 in the same test.

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