2018 BMW 3-Series Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
What's New for 2018
With a full redesign planned for 2019, the 2018 BMW 3-Series is primarily a carry-over from the 2017 model year. A few new paint colors are offered for 2018 and package details have shifted slightly, but the major elements of the vehicle are the same.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 BMW 3-Series – The Pros
1. Comfortable, Luxurious Cabin
You'll have a relaxing experience on the plush seats of the 3-series, adorned with high-quality synthetic leather upholstery. The front seats are highly adjustable and can be replaced with sports seats for enhanced comfort. The spacious interior provides plenty of room for up to five passengers to stretch out, even on longer trips. Superior materials include wood-grain and brushed metal accents throughout the cabin.
2. Expansive Cargo Space
When you choose either the Gran Turismo or Sports Wagon, you'll find some of the best cargo space among small luxury cars: 25 cubic feet with the seats up and more than 50 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.
3. Class-Leading Infotainment System
BMW's proprietary infotainment system, known as iDrive, has a unique center control knob that is easy to reach and use. In fact, many reviewers note that iDrive is one of the best tech systems offered by any manufacturer. You'll benefit from the fast response, simple navigation menus, and even the ability to write with your finger on the touchscreen.
4. Powerful Engine Options
With several separate, impressive powertrains to choose from, the 2018 BMW 3-Series will appeal to drivers of all stripes. Although, the base model is equipped with a 180-horsepower four-cylinder turbo, available upgrades include a 240-hp version of the same turbo four or a 320-hp turbocharged six-cylinder engine. All models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission, though sedan drivers can replace it with an optional six-speed manual.
5. Fast, Fuel-Efficient Powertrain Choices
2018 BMW 3-Series drivers concerned about fuel efficiency, take heart. You can opt for either the 180-hp turbodiesel, which gets an EPA estimated 31 city/43 highway miles per gallon. The 3-Series is also available as a plug-in hybrid that offers 248 horsepower. You can drive around town for up to 14 miles on the charge alone, or opt for the combination to get an EPA-estimated 71 miles per gallon.
6. Scorching M Badge Model
Want a sports car with the luxury of a BMW? Choose the 2018 M3, which boasts a blistering 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds thanks to the 425-hp twin-turbo six-cylinder engine. You'll also enjoy a bold, distinctive exterior and sports-tuned suspension, brakes, and steering.
7. Outstanding Crash Test Scores
With designation as a Top Safety Pick+ from the Insurance Institute on Highway Safety, the 2018 BMW 3-Series is one of the safest cars you can buy. It also has a five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration.
8. Attractive Shadow Sport Edition
Drivers can give their 2018 BMW 3-Series a sleek, sexy look with the addition of the Shadow Sport appearance package. The exterior updates with this package include midnight black wheels and special black gloss grille.
9. High Predicted Reliability
According to data from the J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), the BMW 3-Series is above average among comparable cars when it comes to reliability. This vehicle is covered by a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty. BMW drivers will also enjoy four years of no-cost scheduled maintenance (up to 50,000 miles) and four years of roadside assistance with no mileage limit.
10. Extensive Industry Accolades
Drivers and industry experts alike agree that the 2018 BMW 3-Series is among the best small luxury cars you can buy. It's been named to the coveted Car and Driver 10 Best List more often than any other car except the Honda Accord, boasting both 22 overall wins and boasts the longest streak of consecutive wins.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 BMW 3-Series – The Cons
1. Dated Interior
Although the cabin of the 2018 BMW 3-Series features gorgeous, high-quality materials, it hasn't been fully updated in quite a few years. Some drivers might prefer a fresher, more modern interior, while others will be happy with the minor refresh from 2016 and will appreciate the spare, elegant design BMW is best known for.
2. Poor Cargo Space in Sedan
If you opt for the traditional sedan, you'll have just 13 cubic feet of cargo space. That's about average for the class, but nothing to write home about. And because the sedan has the second-row leg room of a coupe, some taller passengers might feel cramped.
3. No Standard Driver Assistance Tech
The 2018 BMW 3-Series is one of the only cars in this class that doesn't come standard high-tech driver assistance features such as automatic braking, a benchmark among most luxury vehicles. However, you can add these features on as separate accessories, with options including smart cruise control, blind spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking and high beams, a 360-degree camera system, and many more.
How it Stacks up to the Competition
The 2018 BMW 3-Series is a classic luxury car with the cachet of one of the world's most eminent brands. That said, it has fierce competition from a few vehicles in the small luxury car segment, including the Audi A-4 or the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Still, it's hard to do better than the 3-Series when you want an all-around combination of luxury, performance, and style. Keep in mind, though, that with such an extensive range of features and options, it's easy for the price tag to add up quickly.
Although it's not the fastest or the most luxurious, the 3-Series has long been the standard among luxury sedans. The range of trims, body styles, and engine options means there's a 2018 BMW 3-Series for almost any driver.
• Why buy a 2017 BMW 3-Series? w/ pros vs cons