2013 BMW 3 Series Sedan Preview

Jeff Youngs | Jul 26, 2013
  • Gas and hybrid powertrains
  • EPA-estimated to achieve up to 36 mpg on the highway
  • 4 available trim levels
  • Rear-wheel or all-wheel drive (RWD or AWD)
  • Free scheduled maintenance for 4 years/50,000 miles


BMW's popular 3 Series luxury sedan was redesigned for 2012 and, as a result, the 2013 model arrives with relatively few changes. The most notable updates include the addition of new base and hybrid variants, and the availability of the company's xDrive AWD system.

Exterior Features

Dubbed 320i, BMW's new entry-level 3 Series sedan model features 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in run-flat tires, fog lights, power-adjustable outside mirrors, automatic headlights, and rain-sensing wipers. In addition to these amenities, the 328i offers auto-dimming rearview mirrors, while the 335i and ActiveHybrid 3 sedans are differentiated by 18-inch alloy wheels, auto-leveling HID headlights with LED accents, and a power tilt/slide moonroof.

Interior Features

The 2013 BMW 320i's cabin is fitted with manual front seats with 8-way adjustment, leatherette upholstery, Bluetooth connectivity, leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with integrated audio controls, iDrive system with 6.5-inch display screen and central controller, multiple memory settings, intelligent cruise control, and an audio system with a USB port and HD Radio service.

A number of upgrades come standard with the 328i and 335i, such as power front seats with 8-way adjustment, dual-zone climate control, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The ActiveHybrid 3 also includes these features, as well as an 8.8-inch center display screen.

Optional Features

Buyers of the 2013 BMW 3 Series sedan have access to a wide variety of factory options, including a Cold Weather package that features a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, and headlight washers. A Lighting package adds auto-leveling HID headlights to 320i and 328i models, and a Dynamic Handling package upgrades the 328i, 335i, and ActiveHybrid 3 with variable sport steering and an electronic performance-tuned suspension.

Also among the assortment of options are Driver Assistance packages consisting of items such as a rear and bird's-eye view cameras, blind-spot monitoring system, and lane-departure warning; a Premium package that, depending on trim level, features leather upholstery, satellite radio, power front seats with 8-way adjustment, and a power tilt/slide moonroof; and an available Technology package that fits 328i, 335i, and ActiveHybrid 3 variants with a voice-activated navigation system, real-time traffic information, head-up display, and smartphone-linked apps.

Offered on all but the 320i are four unique Line packages: Luxury adds chrome and high-gloss black exterior trim and special interior accents; Modern includes matte chrome exterior trim, turbine-styled 18-inch alloy wheels, and distinct interior design elements; Sport includes power front seats with 10-way adjustment, black leatherette upholstery, and an upgraded suspension; and M Sport is comprised of a body kit, star spoke 18-inch alloy wheels, and a shorter gear shift lever when paired with a manual transmission.

Under the Hood

The new 2013 BMW 320i and 320i xDrive sedans are equipped with a turbocharged and direct-injection, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers 180 horsepower and 200 lb.-ft. of torque, all of which is managed by a standard 8-speed automatic transmission or 6-speed manual gearbox. An auto start/stop system, engineered to improve fuel economy by turning the engine off when the car comes to a stop, is standard, as are driver-selectable eco pro, comfort, and sport modes. The 328i and 328i xDrive share the same features, though engine output measures 240 horsepower and 255 lb.-ft. of torque.

For the 335i, 335i xDrive, and ActiveHybrid 3 sedans, BMW employs a turbocharged and direct-injection, 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine that produces 300 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque. The 335i models are available with the 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, while the hybrid features a unique version of the latter. The gas/electric 3 Series sedan variant also includes a Lithium-ion battery and electric motor.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 BMW 3 Series sedan are:
  • 320i with manual transmission: 23/36/27 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • 320i with automatic transmission: 24/36/28 mpg
  • 320i xDrive with manual transmission: 22/34/26 mpg
  • 320i xDrive with automatic transmission: 23/35/27 mpg
  • 328i with manual transmission: 22/34/26 mpg
  • 328i with automatic transmission: 23/33/26 mpg
  • 335i with manual transmission: 20/30/23 mpg
  • 335i with automatic transmission: 23/33/26 mpg
  • 335i xDrive with manual transmission: 20/28/23 mpg
  • 335i xDrive with automatic transmission: 20/30/24 mpg
  • ActiveHybrid 3 with automatic transmission: 25/33/28 mpg


The 2013 BMW 3 Series sedan's standard safety components include 8 air bags, adaptive brake lights, active head restraints, hill-start assist, cornering brake control, 4 years of available BMW Assist with emergency response services, and 4-wheel anti-lock ventilated disc brakes featuring brake drying, brake stand-by, and brake-fade compensation systems.

In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2013 BMW 3 Series sedan received a "Good" rating--the Institute's highest--for moderate frontal-offset crash protection; the 3 Series sedan also received a "Top Safety Pick" designation from the Institute. As this preview is written, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not rated the crashworthiness of the 2013 BMW 3 Series sedan.
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