2017 BMW 3-SeriesShould you buy?
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What's New for 2017
The 2017 BMW 3-series replaces one model and engine option with another, replacing the 328i trim with the new 330i. Both engines are 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder ones, but the new one ups the power output to 248 horsepower for better performance. There are also a number of new convenience options, including a wireless charging station and Apple CarPlay integration.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2017 BMW 3-Series – The Pros
1. Elegant Exterior
In the luxury sedan segment, looks matter and BMW managed to strike a fine balance with the most recent upgrade to the 3-Series’ looks. It has managed to incorporate the modern design aesthetics without resorting to sharp jagged lines like Lexus and maintain its classic look without looking dated, unlike Volvo. The resulting aesthetic gives the 3-Series appeal across a variety of demographics.
2. Great Selection of Engines
There is an engine for everyone in the 2017 BMW 3-Series lineup. There is a budget-friendly 180-horsepower powerplant in the 320i, a 320-horsepower turbocharged six-cylinder on the 340i, a diesel engine and even a plug-in hybrid for the mileage-conscious, as well as several others. Whatever you plan to use your 3-Series for, there is a great engine for it.
3. Versatile Body Style
Following the theme of versatility offered by the 2017 BMW 3-Series in the engine department, the vehicle is also offered in several different body styles. While the conventional sedan is the most common, there are also the Gran Turismo hatchback and a wagon available. Both are relatively rare on the US market and are perfect for those looking to get a little more passenger room or utility space from their luxury sedan.
4. Sharp Handling
The 3-Series displays BMW’s dedication to good handling and responsive controls. The steering has just the right amount of resistance to help you place the car perfectly whether you are in the parking lot or on the race track, while the chassis keeps body roll to a minimum and the turn radius short. Optional upgrades can improve performance even further through upgrades to the suspension and braking systems.
5. Adjustable Driving Dynamics
With its Driving Dynamics Control, the 2017 BMW 3-Series solves the luxury sedan issue of whether to optimize for performance or for comfort. The Driving Dynamics Control allows you to pick between several driving styles - Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, and Sport Plus - allowing you to choose how you want your 3-Series to feel at that moment. That means a comfortable ride for the in-laws and blistering speed on the track.
6. Available Manual Transmission
While other manufacturers have been reducing the availability of manual transmissions, BMW continues to offer them on almost all of the 3-Series models. If you are a manual transmission enthusiast, you will appreciate the option. Even if you are not, it still points to a car optimized for a hands-on, engaged driving style.
7. Innovative Efficiency
Gas mileage is not as important in a luxury sedan as it is on a mass-market model, but BMW nonetheless offers a lot of pioneering technology to up its numbers. The 2017 BMW 3-Series is equipped with an engine start-stop system to avoid idling and an Eco drive mode on all models, as well as a regenerative braking system on some models as well. And that is not even counting the hybrid model or the turbodiesel that earns over 40 miles per gallon.
8. Innovative Infotainment
BMW has continued to refine its iDrive infotainment control system and the version featured on the 2017 BMW 3-Series is sophisticated yet easy to use. Combining a touchpad, a selector knob, voice commands and an 8.8-inch touch screen for inputs, there are many intuitive ways to give it commands. It is truly a distinctive and innovative system.
9. Excellent Safety Report Card
The 2017 BMW 3-Series took home top awards from both of the major safety test organizations. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it the Top Safety Pick Plus award and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration scored it at five out of five stars. Sweeping both marks it as one of the safest cars you can buy.
10. BMW Heritage
BMW has a long history of building some of the best cars in the world, and this is one of them. While the added prestige of the BMW name may not carry any tangible benefits, it does make it a more attractive vehicle through reputation alone.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2017 BMW 3-Series – The Cons
1. Dated Interior
While the infotainment system, which is the centerpiece of the dashboard, is modern and elegant, the rest of the interior design is clearly in need of a refresh. Compared to the sleek and sophisticated dashboards and instrument clusters offered by other luxury manufacturers, that on the 3-Series can feel a little cheap.
2. Unimpressive Base Engine
The 2017 BMW 3-Series offers a wide range of excellent engines, but the standard engine on the base 320i is not one of them. It is very weak compared to the rest and not very fuel efficient, offering 68 less horsepower and only 1 mile per gallon more than the next engine up.
3. Few Standard Features
Similarly to the above issue, many features that are standard on competitors’ models and even mass-market sedans are only offered as options or limited to higher end models. Most egregious of those is the rearview camera. Other safety features also require several different packages as prerequisites, making a full-featured 3-Series expensive to kit out.
4. Limited Rear Seat Space
The rear seats on the 3-Series sedan are not very comfortable for adults or even taller children, which somewhat limits the 3-Series versatility as a people carrier. The wagon or Gran Turismo models are more spacious however.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition
The 2017 BMW 3-Series primarily competes against other entry-level luxury sedans. The Audi A4 offers a better interior than the 3-Series and offers many more standard features, including a full driver assistance suite and leather interior. The BMW, however, offers more power and a much more responsive drive than the Audi. The Mercedes-Benz C-class is another 3-Series competitor with a great interior, but its drive is focused more on comfort than performance and its infotainment system can be confusing. The 3-Series is also slightly less expensive when similarly equipped.
The 2017 BMW 3-Series is still the go-to vehicle in the compact luxury sedan class, as well as featuring a hatchback and wagon versions. It offers incredible driving dynamics, smooth power from a variety of engines and transmissions and excellent safety and entertainment technology. However, in order to get the most out of all of these categories, you need to spend a little extra for better models and extra options. Still, with the right equipment, the 3-Series still remains “The Ultimate Driving Machine.”
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