2021 BMW 3-Series Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
Every year, the BMW 3-Series ranks among the top small luxury cars. This European sedan’s confident handling and effortless acceleration make it fun to drive. Meanwhile, spacious accommodations enable the 3-Series to satisfy families. Although the latest model looks more modern, this car still features some distinctive BMW styling cues. Should you head out to buy a new 2021 BMW 3-Series?
What’s New for 2021?
This year, a new plug-in hybrid model arrives. It’s designed for drivers who want a more eco-friendly ride. No other big changes are seen on the 2021 BMW 3-Series.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 BMW 3-Series – The Pros
1. Base Engine Delivers Ample Performance
BMW’s 2.0-liter, TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder engine is the standard power source. For good reason, this engine has become extremely popular. It delivers a near-perfect mixture of power and efficient. Total output stands at a more than adequate 255 horsepower. When accelerating, drivers can move out quickly. Models equipped with the base engine can scamper to 60 mph in a brisk 5.6 seconds. In terms of fuel economy, drivers can plan on getting up to 36 mpg.
2. M340i Model Competes on a Higher Level
The 2021 BMW 3-Series lineup reaches new heights with the thrilling M340i model. Featuring a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine and an impressive 382 horsepower, drivers will experience true excitement behind the wheel - with acceleration of 0 to 60 mph in as little as 3.8 seconds! Further enhancing performance are added features such as an upgraded sport suspension and BMW's renowned M Sport differential – making this vehicle one that truly competes on a higher level.
3. All-New 330e Model
The all-new 330e model is for drivers who desire a plug-in hybrid. According to the EPA, this version of the 3-Series will return a combined 28 mpg. However, all-electric mode truly separates the 330e from the rest of the lineup. Drivers can make short trips without using any gas. Performance is also strong. BMW lists the 330e with a total output of 181 horsepower. However, a cool XtraBoost feature momentarily boosts output by 40 horsepower.
4. Handles with Amazing Poise
While some performance upgrades are available for the new 3-Series, this car handles extraordinarily well right out the box. It can easily hang with many of today’s pure sports sedans. The car’s athletic reflexes will surprise a lot of people. Drivers will especially enjoy taking the 3-Series on a back road. They can expect the 3-Series to tightly hug curves. Despite the sedan having such a taut suspension, ride comfort remains solid.
5. Very Intelligent Automatic Transmission
Some drivers will be disappointed in the sedan’s lack of an available manual transmission. The good news is that the eight-speed Steptronic offers precise shifting. It’s a perfect match for all the available powertrains. Very few transmissions are more intelligent. BMW actually engineered the transmission to predict upcoming curves. When the car’s navigation system detects a bend in the road, it will send this information to the transmission. This helps ensure accurate shifting.
6. Modern Yet Familiar Exterior Styling
Although this sedan has changed over the years, onlookers will still know it’s a BMW product. A signature twin-kidney grille spans the front fascia. Quad headlights also come standard. Buyers can elevate the car’s styling with BMW’s popular M Sport package. It decks out the 3-Series with exclusive performance wheels and racier body treatments. The package also lowers the car for an intimidating stance. Red brake calipers are optional on the powerful 340i model.
7. Clean and Elegant Interior
Despite being classified as a small luxury sedan, the 2021 BMW 3-Series is roomy. This is a huge benefit for families. There’s enough legroom in the back to satisfy adults. Testers also applaud the 3-Series for its supportive seats. Car shoppers will certainly like the cabin’s clean and elegant appearance. Although leather-trimmed seats are on the list of options, BMW’s standard Sensatec upholstery is nice enough. When it comes to overall interior quality, the 3-Series ranks among the top half of the segment.
8. Standard & Optional Safety Tech
The new 2021 BMW 3-Series provides good crash protection for every passenger. Buyers also won’t have to pay extra for automatic emergency braking. This system does a fine job of monitoring the road for unexpected hazards. Lane departure warning is another standard driving aid. A Driving Assistant Professional package is optional. It combines several other active safety technologies, including adaptive cruise control and front cross-traffic detection.
9. Several Options Offered
Most luxury car shoppers will be happy with the base model’s equipment. Nevertheless, there are some worthwhile options to consider. Music fans won’t regret upgrading to the Harman Kardon premium sound system. Meanwhile, a head-up display puts the gauge cluster’s info in your direct line of sight. Heated front and rear seats make life in January more comfortable. BMW’s fully digital gauge cluster is another option worth considering.
10. Reasonable Starting Price
The 2021 BMW 3-Series brings luxury and affordability to the market with a starting MSRP of under $41,000. Drivers will get all the bells and whistles they expect from German engineering including a 10.2-inch touchscreen for navigation purposes, LED headlights for enhanced visibility on nighttime journeys, plus automatic braking assistance as standard features on this model - proving you don't have to break your budget when looking at premium options.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 BMW 3-Series – The Cons
1. Can Get Expensive with Options
The new 2021 BMW 3-Series is an obtainable luxury sedan. However, adding options will cause the car’s total cost to climb. Even all-wheel drive is a rather expensive option. Upgrading the car’s performance capabilities will also cost buyers more money. Prices for the more powerful M340i model begin at nearly $55,000. A less expensive alternative to the 3-Series is the new Acura ILX.
2. No Android Auto
Apple CarPlay is standard on every new 3-Series. This is a plus for drivers who own an iPhone. However, Android Auto isn’t even offered. Android phone users will have to connect their device using BMW’s integration software, which may not be as easy. Many of today’s other entry-level luxury sedans now come standard with Android Auto.
3. Lack of Steering Feel
In the past, the BMW 3-Series had one of the segment’s best steering systems. Drivers were rewarded with excellent road feedback. Sadly, BMW’s latest electric steering system is not very communicative. It causes some drivers to feel disconnected from the car.
4. Cost of Maintenance
Drivers who are upgrading from a regular family sedan should research the 3-Series’ cost of maintenance. It’s not uncommon for owners to spend more than $1,500 a year in maintenance and repairs. This is typical for many other European luxury sedans.
The BMW M340i is a car that expertly combines performance and luxury - delivering the responsive acceleration of a sports vehicle with interior design worthy of any first-class sedan. Its exterior radiates style, sophistication and power while its optional packages such as Driving Assistant Professional provide enhanced safety features for complete comfort on the road. To experience all this plus incomparable peace of mind, look no further than the stellar combination presented in one sleek package by BMW's M340i – an ideal choice to make your mark in modern driving technology.
• Why buy a 2020 BMW 3-Series? w/ pros vs cons