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For seven generations and counting, the BMW 3 Series has been portraying the spirit of BMW. Since its first model was produced in 1975, manufacturing of the BMW 3 Series has evolved drastically and only gotten better with time. As the face of the BMW brand, the 3 Series is known by many customers as the picturesque BMW model. Once viewed as an industry leader for its 2-door coupe model, the BMW 3 Series is still seen as a powerful force with its newest hybrid model. Kicked off in 2019, the seventh generation of the BMW 3 Series features a plethora of new design elements but is still recognizable as a prominent 3 Series model.
Released in the year that the movie 'Jaws' was making its big break in box offices, the first BMW 3 Series was unveiled as the epitome of automotive dynamics and sporty performance. This very first model laid the foundation for the BMW 3 Series that we know and love today. For buyers who are looking for a legendary vehicle with strong roots in ethics and innovation, the BMW 3 Series is an option to seek out. Staying true to its desire to combine athleticism with luxury components, this classic sedan relies on the same design elements that brought it to fame so many years ago.
Entering its seventh generation of production in 2018, the BMW 3 Series has taken the elements it has built upon and advanced them in a way that is useful to consumers. This new generation saw a strategically placed front grille that draws attention, while still upholding the vintage designs of the 3 Series we all know and love. A prominent crease line, short overhangs, and twin headlamps stay true to the design that consumers know all too well. Yet, the 2021 BMW 3 Series is clearly a model of its own and is out on a mission to prove it. Driven by technology, the 2021 models are the most advanced we have seen, yet.
The year 2021 will see the production of three trim level options for the BMW 3 Series. The 300i, M340i, and 330e will all offer various facets that set them apart from the rest and take the design and functionality of the BMW 3 Series to the next level. From basic to sporty to upscale, BMW offers an option for every type of buyer in their newest 3 Series lineup. Standard features that are refined by unrelenting versatility set the 2021 BMW 3 Series apart from competitors and bring it to the forefront of consumer marketing as a well-rounded sedan. This guide will serve as a comparison between these three models to help you select the one that would best fit your lifestyle and needs.
Compare the 2021 BMW 3 Series 300i vs. M340i Trims. What is the Difference?
Featuring its own unique model branding, the trim levels of the BMW 3 Series draw attention of their own. The 2021 BMW 3 Series 300i has a prestigious ring to its name, one that does not go unnoticed. As the base model for the 2021 BMW 3 Series, the 300i sets expectations high for trim levels to come. It is spacious and easy to handle with great fuel economy and swift acceleration. Fun to drive, the 2021 BMW 3 Series is also the vision of luxury with its upscale look and modern feature inclusion.
Complete with a gasoline-powered engine, the 300i still gets excellent fuel economy. Its ability to attain up to 36 hwy MPG, this sedan is a great commuting vehicle that is perfect for travel, too. Equipped with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, the 300i features a reliable powertrain that has stood the test of time. In comparison, the M340i trim level utilizes a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine that brings the power up a notch. However, this additional power generation comes at a cost, which happens to be a reduction in fuel economy to 30 combined MPG.
For buyers who love speed and adventure, the performance upgrades that accompany the M340i trim level are well worth it. While consumers can expect 255 horsepower and a modest 295 lb.-ft. of torque production in the 300i, these specs increase abundantly in the M430i model. Peaking at 382 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque, the M430i is potent and powerful. The athletic ability of the M430i is the source of the "M" additional to this trim level, which notates its athletic abilities. Both models are great options for consumers, but for those who want to take performance to the next level the M340i would be a preferred selection.
Despite its status as a base model, the 300i is highly customizable. This is a desirable feature for many consumers who yearn for the affordability of a BMW that is accompanied by a plethora of possible upgrades. While buyers have the option to add the sporty styling of the M340i to the 300i model, the powertrain attributes of the M340i are exclusive to that specific model. In other words, the 2021 BMW 3 Series 300i model can play that part, but it cannot put out the power that only the M340i is capable of.
Compare the 2021 BMW 3 Series M340i vs. 330e. What is the Difference?
Despite their display of similar styling techniques, the 2021 BMW 3 Series M340i and 330e could not be more different. The 330e is BMW's newest electric contribution to the 3 Series lineup. Featuring a top speed of 87 MPH in its pure electric form, the 330e is not the powerhouse we have come to know in the M340i. However, it is fuel economy and durability do exceed our expectations of its M340i rival. As the most innovative and tech-savvy BMW 3 Series option, the 330e combines sustainability efforts and inspiring design.
One of the most notable differences between the 2021 BMW 3 Series M340i and 330e models is their intended purpose and accompanied design. The M340i is expected to make waves in the sports car market with its dedication to sport-inspired design features, athletic appearance, and responsive driving. In contract, the 330e is intended for those who are interesting in investing in the future of auto. Concerned with fossil fuel consumption allow buyers to feel better about lessening their imprint on the earth's resources with this plug-in hybrid sedan. Two vehicles could not be more different in design, yet similar in included technology and safety elements.
In considering the exterior differences between the 2021 BMW 3 Series M340i and 330e, one of the most identifiable elements is the obvious charging port for an electric source that the 330e utilizes. Located on the front left fender, this door provides easy access for charging. Despite the potential for buyers to add in sport styling to their 330e model, the charging port door will remain a staple for any design layout. For those who are not knowledgeable about the BMW 3 Series plug-in hybrid model, this port may go unnoticed. Yet, for buyers who are comparing these two models, the presence of a flap on the body panel of the plug-in hybrid must be addressed.
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Which Trim to Choose?
Selecting the appropriate 2021 BMW 3 Series model that is best for you depends on a variety of factors. Price, purpose, fuel efficiency, technology upgrades, and sustainability efforts are all things to consider when evaluating the 330i, M340i, and 330e. Other concepts that should be considered are an automaker's reputation for producing reliable vehicles and competitor offerings. In all aspects, the 2021 BMW 3 Series is one of the most advanced and coveted sedan models that is offered in a pure electric form. Yet, comparing the models within the 2021 BMW 3 Series lineup can help buyers determine the model that best fits their lifestyle and desires.
If you are a buyer who loves a base model that is affordable, yet inclusive, the 2021 BMW 3 Series 330i is a viable option. Just as equipped as its higher trim level siblings, the 300i offers great value for the cost at which it is priced. Comfort mechanisms, like front seats that offer 14 settings and are power-adjustable, tri-zone automatic climate control, a power moonroof, and synthetic, yet realistic, leather upholstery are just a few features that buyers love about the 330i model. A few standard technology attributes include adaptive cruise control, navigation in an 8.8-inch touchscreen, ten speaker audio system, and direct integration with Apple CarPlay. When all these facets are taken into consideration, it is no wonder why consumers find the 2021 BMW 3 Series 300i model to be more than sufficient.
Despite these awe-inspiring attributes, the 2021 BMW 3 Series M430i plays to a more athletic-minded client. This model's 3.0-liter I-6 engine can produce up to 382 horsepower, making it a vision of power for those who want a little more spunk in their drive. An upgraded driving mode, in addition to sport brakes, sport suspension, and adaptive steering allow the M430i to provide a unique driving experience to drivers who expect a little more out of their BMW. Retaining many of the features that are optional within the base model, the M430i also opens the potential to incorporate a Cooling and High-Performance Tire Package to each M430i up for purchase. Certain features, like this optional package, an M sport steering wheel, and adaptive headlights, set this model apart from others in a prestigious way.
Sustainability and innovation is at the forefront of the design elements exhibited in the 2021 BMW 3 Series 330e. Starting out at the higher end of the MSRP spectrum, buyers can expect to pay a bit more for the luxuries this plug-in hybrid is adorned with. Satellite radio and automatic high-beam headlights are welcome features that come standard with this model. However, buyers can opt for package upgrades, like the Executive, Convenience, and Premium options that tack on an additional $1,500 to $4,000 on to the initial MSRP of this BMW model. Other options that are more frugal can be added on as available upgrades, providing the 330e with a unique look at an affordable price.
Regardless of the trim level you select, the luxurious feel and fun drive offered by any of the 2021 BMW 3 Series models is enough to draw you in to this modern sedan. Comfortable seating, exceptional fuel economy, and a spacious trunk for cargo stowage are some of the best features the 2021 BMW 3 Series has to offer across all models. If you in search of an ultimate luxury cabin, this sedan may not be the best option for you. Yet, many consumers are more than happy with the upscale interior attributes this vehicle incorporates in its modern design. Consumer satisfaction undeniably correlates to the selected trim level and how well it fits their lifestyle needs.
• Compare the 2020 BMW 3-Series Trim Levels