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The BMW 3 Series has come a long way from E21, first launched in 1975. The first generation of the sedan went on till 1983. Its sporty performance and its power, which ranged from 75hp to 143hp across variants, created a unique image of its own. The two-door sedan was initially offered with convertible body styles.
The second generation, E30, was a roaring success because it introduced a racing sedan in a streetcar version. From this generation on, all 3 Series sedans got two headlamps.
The third generation, E36, went on from 1990 till 2000, and this witnessed the widest choice of body styles ranging from a coupe, convertible, compact and sedan. Power ranged from 99hp to a whopping 321hp with this series.
The fourth generation, E46, which lasted till 2006 from 1997, had an oomph of 105hp, and M3 stretched the maximum with 36-360hp. This generation has clinched ‘the highest selling 3 Series of all time’ tag.
The fifth-generation E90, from 2005 till 2013, arrived with turbocharging technology. All models were larger and heavier than those that came before. This generation’s M3 came out with a V8 engine and was a milestone.
The sixth generation of 3 Series saw electric engines, and all engines were turbo-charged.
The seventh-generation 3 Series, G20, arrived in 2019. This also offers a single-turbo four- or six-cylinder engine.
The BMW 3 Series M340i Xdrive, which can stretch to 2998 cc, has a 3-litre inline six-cylinder petrol engine and its variant, 320d Luxury Line, has an inline 4 diesel engine with 1995 cm3/121.7 cu-in capacity.
Both of these variants are equipped with 8-speed automatic transmission.
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The latest variant of the BMW 3 Series — the M340i xDrive — is in its seventh generation. The BMW 3 Series is available in four trims: 330i Sport, 320d Luxury Edition, 330i M Sport, and the M340i xDrive. The 2021 variant is available in Sunset Orange, Tanzanite Blue, and Dravit Grey Metallic. This BMW 3 Series was launched in India back in August 2019.
The infotainment in the sedan comes with a 10.25-inch touchscreen system, a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, wireless charging, three-zone climate control, a sunroof, and ambient lighting. Petrolheads have the option to change the colour of this ambient light. The M340i has a 3-litre straight-six turbo-petrol engine that pulls out 387 PS and 500 Nm.
Safety features, which are a must with a beast of this much strength, are ABS with brake assist, six airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchors, and a tire pressure monitoring system, among others. The four drive modes and the powerful engine are worth mentioning. We can be assured when the company claims it is the quickest car ever assembled in India.
Since BMW 3 Series M340i xDrive is the top model — it is the highest among the series and tagged at Rs62.90 lakh. And the 330i Sport 1998cc, which is the petrol version, comes at Rs45.40 lakh.
The powerful 3 Series is pitted against the Mercedes-Benz C Class, Jaguar XE, Genesis G70 and Audi A4. Let’s check out how the sporty series from BMW fares against its rivals inside the driver’s cockpit and on the roads.
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Engine performance: The 2021 BMW 3 Series’ engine — TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder — delivers a near-perfect mixture of power and efficiency. Total output stands at a more than adequate 255hp.
Excellent manoeuvre: Its athletic reflexes will surprise a lot of petrolheads when they take it on a back road because this one can quickly hug tight corners without disappointment.
Modern exteriors: The kidney grille cast in unison with headlamps jacks up its look. Anyone looking at this can easily recall the brand and thus fathom its value.
Automatic transmission: The best part is that BMW’s eight-speed Steptronic transmission delivers precise shifting. When the car’s navigation system detects a bend in the road, it will send this information to the transmission.
Safety: The new series provides good crash protection for every passenger. Automatic emergency braking is a standard for the series, and no one should spend more to get this.
Cost: Adding options will cause the car’s total cost to climb. Even all-wheel drive is a relatively expensive option.
Transmission: Manual transmission has been taken out with the 2021 version. Some auto enthusiasts still swear by manual transmission.
Vs Mercedes C-Class: 3-Series offers superior handling even though the C-Class provides a more plush and luxurious feel.
Vs 2021 Audi A4: Audi A4 packs a punch with a good interior along with its excellent infotainment. However, the plug-in hybrid model in electric mode outdoes what A4 can’t.
Vs 2021 Genesis G70 : Genesis G70 still gives manual transmission and has road-handling precision. Genesis G70 has an extended warranty, while 3 Series makes the driver feel more luxurious.
With rivals like Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C Class and Genesis G70, The BMW 3 series has no room for a quality cut. Exceptional as it is, you have to give the engine a mention. Its powerful engine — 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six — unleashes a beast with the power of 387hp and 500Nm. Inside the driver’s seat, it still keeps the sporty look for a sedan and where the infotainment gadgets are concerned, it has more than enough. Ambient light is the icing on the cake.
BMW has stuck to aggressive pricing while it still keeps all of the packages such as the engine, the exterior, the interiors, infotainment and safety intact and in line with its rivals. The four drive modes — Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ — coupled with the 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine are the brownie points the German company has in store for an auto enthusiast.
The M340i xDrive, with its engine’s power and drive modes, combines a perfect mix of sporty performance and everyday driving. You have to acknowledge the driving experience for that sporty feel behind the driver’s seat with the stylish dashboard and plush infotainment thrown in.
This one is for those who love that sporty feel while still keeping the comfort of everyday driving.
The safety quotient in this car is excellent. There are six airbags and ABS with brake assist, crash sensors, Dynamic Stability Control system, side-impact protection system, six-point pyrotechnic belt tensioners, lane-departure warning and ISOFIX child seat mounting. It also has the standard Driving Assistance Professional Package. It includes adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, active collision avoidance for the blind-spot warning system, front cross-traffic warning, and dynamic driving assistant pro.
Body Type Sedan
Fuel Type Petrol
ARAI Mileage 16.13 kmpl
Seating Capacity 5