2021 BMW 3 Series

MSRP range: $41,250 - $56,700
(8)
MSRP$46,295
Edmunds suggests you pay$43,441

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2021 BMW 3 Series Review

  • Polished handling
  • Tastefully modern interior with plenty of room
  • Powerful and fuel-efficient engines
  • Infotainment system can be complicated to use
  • Unrefined operation of some driver assist features
  • New 330e plug-in hybrid version
  • Wireless Android Auto smartphone integration is now available
  • Part of the seventh 3 Series generation introduced for 2019

The current-generation BMW 3 Series sedan made its debut just a few years back, and for 2021 another new variant joins the lineup: the 330e plug-in hybrid. Its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and electric motor, which is integrated into the eight-speed automatic transmission, create a maximum combined output of 288 horsepower. That's about 30 more horses than the base 330i.

On top of that it has a hybrid battery that you can recharge at home or at a public charger to provide an EPA-estimated 23 miles of all-electric range (that drops to 20 miles when equipped with all-wheel drive). After the battery runs out of juice, the 330e pretty much drives just like any other 3 Series.

Aside from that, the 3 Series remains relatively unchanged for 2021. It's not quite as engaging to drive as some past 3 Series iterations, but this latest model — especially in M340i guise — is undeniably impressively quick and capable. And what the 3 Series may have lost in terms of driving dynamics, it's made up for it in refinement and premium touches. The interior is handsome and comfortable, and it's available with a good array of in-car tech and driver aids.

So is this 2021 3 Series for you, or should you get an Audi A4, Mercedes C-Class or Volvo S60 instead? Check out the categories of our Expert Rating to help you decide.

EdmundsEdmunds' Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team
The latest-generation BMW 3 Series is a solid luxury sport sedan. But some rivals offer more impressive design and technology. Unfortunately, "benchmark" is no longer one of the descriptors that come to mind for the 3 Series.
We tested an all-wheel-drive 330i. Its turbocharged four-cylinder is strong and responsive; you don't need to rev it much before it delivers the goods. Our test car reached 60 mph in 5.6 seconds in our testing, which is a quick time for a small luxury sedan with a base engine. The transmission shifts quickly and complements the surprisingly flexible power of the engine.

The brakes in the 330i are solid all around and one of the highlights of this car. The pedal is smooth and easy to control in casual driving but strong, stable and confident in hard use. We also like the car's agility when going around turns. With the M Sport package, the 330i's body motions are well controlled. Experienced drivers might find themselves wanting a little more playfulness, but nonetheless this luxury sedan is easy to drive quickly.
Our test 330i suffered from a surprisingly harsh ride. We suspect the cause to be our test car's optional sport suspension (as part of the M Sport package) and possibly the rough-riding tires as well. If you're worried about comfort, we'd suggest getting a 330i without the M Sport package.

We do like the 330i's exceptionally quiet cabin at highway speeds. Plus, the front seats are supportive and have plenty of available adjustments. The 3 Series' climate system is capable but operating it can be puzzling at times. Some functions are odd — syncing zones must be done through the touchscreen, for instance. Also, the system won't really adjust fan speed when in auto mode, so you'll have to do that yourself.
It's clear that BMW put a lot of thought into the front cabin comfort and design. There's ample doorway head clearance front and rear for getting in and out, and the door grabs and handles are well placed and easy to use. The front seating is roomy, although the rear seat is best suited for two — the center tunnel eats up most of the foot space.

We're less fond of the 3 Series' iDrive infotainment system. It has plenty of functions, but they are often hard to locate in the convoluted maze of menus. Also, the layout of physical buttons and controls is generally comprehensible, but you'll have to take your eyes off the road to find the flat buttons on the console — you can't just feel them by touch. It'll take some time for owners to get accustomed to the 3 Series' control setup.
You'd think that BMW would kill it here, but the reality is that some rival automakers are ahead of the game. For instance, the 3 Series' navigation system lacks the polished execution of Mercedes' new augmented-reality feature or Audi's Virtual Cockpit gauge cluster display. Also, the 3 Series has many advanced driving safety aids, but their effectiveness is hit-or-miss.

BMW includes one year of wireless Apple CarPlay, but after that it's a fee-based subscription. To date, BMW is the only manufacturer with a subscription model. There's still no Android Auto support. Our test car had the optional Harman Kardon audio system — we found it delivers rich, clean sound up front but less so for the rear passengers.
The trunk is sizable, and the lid hinges are shrouded so they won't crush cargo when the lid comes down. The rear seatbacks are split 40/20/40, and they fold and lie nearly flat when down. Storage space for small items in the cabin is decent.

For family taxi duty, the 3 Series does a respectable job. The Isofix anchors for securing child safety seats are clearly marked and easily accessible under flip-up lids. There's also enough space to fit a larger rear-facing car seat behind all but the tallest drivers.
With a rating of 28 mpg in combined city/highway driving, the 330i xDrive is surprisingly efficient for the performance it delivers. (The rear-drive 330i is slightly more efficient, and the M340 is slightly less.) We averaged a respectable 31.3 mpg on our 115-mile evaluation route, which is above expectations. Other traffic-heavy tanks yielded mpg in the low 20s.
The 3 Series isn't the priciest offering in the segment, but it's also far from the best value. You get a quality product for your dollar with solid performance to match and complimentary maintenance as a bonus. But if you're looking for maximum value, you're better off checking out some of the other segment offerings. Warranty coverage is typical for a luxury brand.
BMW can still make a capable small sedan. For most people, this 3 Series will meet expectations. But for people who love driving for fun, the 330i will likely disappoint a little. Certainly the M340i ups the excitement a little. As for design, the cabin has character, but there are some styling elements at the rear of the car that remind us of a Lexus. That's a first for a 3 Series and not necessarily a good thing.

Which 3 Series does Edmunds recommend?

As much as we enjoy revving out the turbocharged inline-six in the M340i, the base 330i offers much better value. Its turbocharged inline-four is pretty potent, and you can get most of the M340i's features for far less money. We suggest the Driving Assistance package too.

BMW 3 Series models

The 2021 BMW 3 Series sedan is offered in three trim levels: 330i, M340i and the new 330e plug-in hybrid. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive (BMW's xDrive) is optional across the board. Although the three use different engines, all route their power through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Features include:

330i
Starts you off with:

  • 255-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • 18-inch wheels
  • LED headlights
  • Sunroof
  • Automatic climate control
  • Power-adjustable front seats
  • Simulated leather upholstery
  • 8.8-inch touchscreen with navigation
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration
  • 10-speaker audio system
  • Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)

Notable options for the 3 Series include:

  • Leather upholstery
  • 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system
  • Premium package
    • Digital instrument cluster
    • Heated front seats
    • Heated steering wheel
    • Head-up display (displays important information in your sight line on the windshield)
    • Ambient interior lighting
    • Keyless entry
  • Executive package
    • Includes Premium package features
    • Gesture control (allows you to use hand gestures to operate certain infotainment functions)
    • Adaptive headlights (swivel as you turn the steering wheel for better illumination in curves)
  • Driver Assistance package
    • Blind-spot monitor (alerts you if a vehicle in the next lane over is in your blind spot)
    • Lane departure warning (alerts you if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane)
    • Parking sensors
  • Driver Assistance Professional package
    • Adaptive cruise control (adjusts speed to maintain a constant distance between the vehicle and the car in front)
    • Lane keeping assist (steers the 3 Series back into its lane if it begins to drift over the lane marker)
  • M Sport package
    • 19-inch wheels
    • Sport suspension
    • Aerodynamic body kit
  • Dynamic Handling package
    • 19-inch wheels
    • Upgraded brakes
    • Sport differential (enhances traction)
    • Adaptive suspension

330e
It's similar to the regular 330i but has:

  • Plug-in hybrid powertrain with a turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor (combined 288 hp)
  • 23 miles of estimated all-electric range

M340i
The M340i gets a big jump in performance with:

  • 382-hp turbocharged six-cylinder engine
  • Contents of the M Sport and Dynamic Handling packages (minus the adaptive suspension)
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Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2021 BMW 3 Series.

Average user rating: 5.0 stars
8 total reviews
5 star reviews: 100%
4 star reviews: 0%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%

Trending topics in reviews

  • interior
  • handling & steering
  • infotainment system
  • driving experience
  • spaciousness
  • comfort
  • fuel efficiency
  • transmission
  • technology
  • ride quality
  • lights
  • safety
  • seats
  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • value
  • dashboard
  • appearance
  • engine

Most helpful consumer reviews

5/5 stars, Love it
Joe,
M340i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A)
Like it very much... more than expected.
5/5 stars, great car
spencersynek,
M340i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A)
bought an M340i xdrive and have been having a great time easy to daily drive as well as have some fun. Clocked a quarter mile at 12.1 and 0-60 at 3.7 (wayyy faster than the claimed 4.1) all around great car.
5/5 stars, It's Fun to Drive Again
John in PA,
M340i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A)
I've had this car for about six weeks, and I still can't wait to drive this car every time I get behind the wheel. The thing that I like the most about this car is that it does what you tell it to do - in every way. If you want to go - it goes! If you want to stop - it stops! I don't even know what you have to do to overdrive a corner - it holds the road like no car I've ever had. Your wish is it's command. On top of that, I get 29 mpg in mixed driving around town! The only knock on this car is that the entertainment system operation is clunky, but everything else has met or exceeded my expectations. I'm all in!
5/5 stars, Perfect Balance
JS,
M340i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A)
For those on a strict budget, the 330i does offer a lot. What it doesn’t offer is nearly 400hp from a silky smooth inline 6. Without driving a M340i, you won’t know what you’re missing. Once you drive one, you won’t want anything else. This car’s drivetrain is the star of the show. It has virtually no weaknesses. Instant torque, quick throttle response, a smooth and quick-shifting 8 speed transmission with mental telepathy, and great fuel economy to boot. For me and many others, this is just a perfect power plant. The interior? I love it, but taste is subjective. Controls are intuitive and well placed. The infotainment system is typical BMW — complex, robust, responsive, and worth the steep learning curve. Plenty of leg room and head room. Seats are very supportive and well bolstered. Some find the exterior plain or without the typical BMW hallmark style. I think it will age well because it’s not overly stylized and doesn’t try too hard to follow recent trends (looking at you, Hyundai and Toyota). Adaptive LED headlights are great and, unlike another certain BMW model, the 3 series is blessed with a grille smaller than Lake Superior. Honestly, in spite of the relatively tame steering feel and highly insulated interior, I think this car is a modern classic that will earn itself a great reputation down the road. BMW has really improved its game, especially with drivetrains, interior technology, and reliability. The M340i is a home run.

2021 BMW 3 Series videos

[MUSIC PLAYING] SPEAKER: The BMW 3 Series used to be praised by critics like myself as the best driving and thus most desirable luxury sports sedan you could buy. Things have changed though. It's gotten bigger and heavier and more insulated. And now there are upstarts like the Tesla Model 3. These two particular cars are pretty different, so a direct comparison doesn't really play here. But think about how these two cars are similar. They're about the same money. They're about the same size. They have about the same power. Now, you can go on and on debating the merits of each vehicle's respective propulsion systems-- whether you like the familiarity and infrastructure that comes with an internal combustion engine or whether your lifestyle and commute permits an EV. We're not really concerned with that. What we care about in this video is the thing that these vehicles have to do best, and that's driving, of course. Which one drives better? [MUSIC PLAYING] Here we are in the new BMW 3 Series. It's a 330i. I've dialed it up to sport mode because we're going to be driving in a sporty manner. The 3 Series, at least the last generation, wasn't as successful, in terms of driving engagement and performance, as we would have liked it. BMW has heard our complaints, and driving dynamics was a focus of this new generation of the car. Now, when it comes to overall feel and how this drives, this is representing the classical sense of driving. We have, of course, an internal combustion engine. We have a transmission-- one with eight speeds. We have that characteristic. You role on the accelerator. You roll on the gas. We can call it a gas pedal. And the engine races towards red line-- it's either 6 or 7,000 RPM. This digital gauge cluster isn't very clear. And when you're doing that, you can feel the character of the power band change. There's a sound. There's a bunch of sounds. There's a sensation as power grows. And I think we'll find as when we get in the Tesla, it's very different-- and for obvious reasons. Now, the character of this particular two liter, four cylinder, it's fine. We've got about 255 horsepower-- about 300 pound feet of torque. That's a solid amount in this day and age for your average sedan. But is it an exciting package? I'd say the engine responds welcomingly. It's nice. The delivery is there. The power from the turbocharger, the way it comes on, feels generally pleasant. I'll say the sound-- not as good as the old six-cylinder BMWs used to sound. I used to have an E36 with the straight six cylinder. That thing sounded wonderful even if it was nowhere near as potent as these modern turbocharged four cylinders. The eight-speed transmission-- I've set it to sport-- and it's doing a pretty admirable job of choosing gears for fast driving. I'm not going for a lap time here, but I am trying to explore the vehicle's limits. Now, ride and handling-- this does not have adaptive dampers. And it is set up rather firm. That's to help give it some performance feel when tackling through some of these corners. I'm not sure if it's worth it. The ride is somewhat less luxurious than-- let's say-- than I'd expect for a commuter. And I think that's due to the fact that we're on 19 inch wheels-- performance-oriented run-flat tires. There's a lot of stiffness there that we're going to deal with when it comes to comfort. I think one of the downsides of the constant improvement of technology is how insulated these interiors have become where the feel of everything has to be simulated instead of just being organic. But you do lose a bit of the charm that comes with hydraulic steering-- that comes with a throttle cable and so on. These are things that have long since died out. So do these simulations capture the charm of those things? They do an OK job. I think this car, generally, overall-- I'm going to say feels bigger than it should-- if you're looking for a compact luxury sports sedan. But it does drive, generally, pretty well. Let's also talk about breaking. This does have the upgraded sport brakes, as BMW calls it. And they're generally good-- good feedback, good pedal modulation. You know how much performance you have available just from resting your foot on them. And, overall, as a sports sedan, does it rekindle the magic of what 3 Series used to be-- how those cars use to drive? I don't think so. But I also think that's impossible because cars today are different than what they used to be. They're saddled with so many additional requirements that you inevitably lose some of the charm and magic that cars used to have. Considering all that, this is fairly solid. And I think somebody looking at buying a traditional luxury sport compact would enjoy this purchase. But what I'm really curious to find out is how the Tesla will feel. [MUSIC PLAYING] Here we go in the Tesla Model 3. There's no sports setting to check outside of steering, which I put in sport just to keep things even. And, already, this car feels more powerful. It is slightly more powerful because Tesla recently provided an over-the-air update, which increased the power by 5%, which we've tested. But it's not just that. It's the method of power delivery. If you have been following EV news recently, you know how this works, and we're not going to rehash all the talking points. But, basically, what happens is with an internal combustion engine, when you apply the gas, you have to wait for the transmission to downshift-- if you haven't done it already. Then you have to wait for the turbocharger to spool up. Then you have to wait for the engine to start accelerating. And this all happens generally quick with modern cars but nowhere as quick as what happens when you hit the accelerator in an EV. The power delivery is just instantaneous. All the torque gets delivered as soon as the electric motor starts turning. And because it happens so quick here, the response of acceleration makes this feel more powerful. On top of that, this is a heavier car. But where all that mass is located is primarily in the batteries, which are underneath the flooring. But there's run-on benefits to that-- that effect handling, which makes this car feel a little bit more nimble, a little bit more lift, and a little bit more enjoyable. But, also, the hood line seems lower. The doors seem a little bit lower, too. Maybe the seat sits higher, but I feel like the car is smaller, overall. I don't think it is. But the sensation is what matters, not what the specs say-- at least when it comes to driving. And because of that, you get that combination of early power. And you get that combination of the handling from where the majority of the mass of this car is located. And you arrive at a car that is really fun to drive when you're going quick or when you're commuting. Now, there are shortcomings to this package. And you've probably been hearing them as I've been driving. The tires are squealing. This does not have as aggressive as a wheel and tire package as that 3 Series does. And you notice it. This thing is not going to put the same G numbers down. It's not going to break with the same capability because it doesn't have that option on it. Tesla offers it. This car just doesn't have it. But aside from that, the way the car gets positioned around it-- when you turn the wheel-- feels better. It doesn't have the same smoothness with stability control. I can't put the stability control in an intermediary setting like I can on the BMW-- or if I can, I haven't figured out how to do it the menu yet-- so calm down, Tesla fanboys. But aside from that, I gotta say, I'm enjoying driving this more. And coming to this comparison, I was not expecting that to be the outcome. We have to give criticism where it's due. And in the Tesla, that falls on the interior. This interior doesn't have the level of assembly in terms of quality or the level of materials quality that you get in that BMW. You're paying for the technology that underpins this car, not for the interior, so I get that. But you will notice it when you sit in these cars back to back. The way the power comes on-- it's just so addicting with this thing-- that you just want to keep doing it because it's so quick, and because it's so much. It really feels fun. But I think we're getting up to the edge of what these brakes were designed for. They're getting a little soft-- much like they did in the 3 Series. I'm genuinely surprised. This is more enjoyable to drive than a 3 Series. I'm shocked. I'm shocked-- sorry, BMW. [MUSIC PLAYING] We thought this was going to be a lopsided pairing, but we didn't realize in which direction. This BMW 3 Series isn't just a newer car. It's an entirely new generation of the 3 Series. And on top of that, this one had the optional sport and track handling packages that aim to improve driving engagement. Meanwhile, this Tesla Model 3 is 2 years old, has 20,000 miles on it, and isn't the sportiest configuration. And it was still way more fun to drive. From the response of the acceleration to the sense of agility provided by its lower center of gravity, the Model 3 was simply more engaging. Tesla's even done a better job with steering feel, which is amusing when you think about all the fuss around its so-called full self-driving capabilities. It's funny because in a strict fun-to-drive terms, the Tesla Model 3 beats the new BMW 3 Series. [MUSIC PLAYING]

BMW 3 Series vs. Tesla Model 3 Review & Compare -- Which Drives Better?

NOTE: This video is about the 2019 BMW 3 Series, but since the 2021 BMW 3 Series is part of the same generation, our earlier analysis still applies.

What's the best-driving compact luxury sedan? That's what Carlos Lago seeks to find out in this quick comparison. Representing tradition, we have a 2019 BMW 3 Series, the newest generation of the model. Up for the challenge is our long-term 2017 Tesla Model 3.

Features & Specs

Base MSRP
$41,250
MPG & Fuel
26 City / 36 Hwy / 30 Combined
Fuel Tank Capacity: 15.6 gal. capacity
Seating
5 seats
Drivetrain
Type: rear wheel drive
Transmission: 8-speed shiftable automatic
Engine
Inline 4 cylinder
Horsepower: 255 hp @ 5000 rpm
Torque: 294 lb-ft @ 1550 rpm
Basic Warranty
4 yr./ 50000 mi.
Dimensions
Length: 185.7 in. / Height: 56.8 in. / Width: 71.9 in.
Curb Weight: 3560 lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 13.0 cu.ft.

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Safety

Our experts’ favorite 3 Series safety features:

Driving Assistance Professional package
Enhances the 3 Series' standard safety features with upgrades such as lane keeping assist.
Active Blind-Spot Detection
Alerts you with in-mirror lights when a vehicle is in a blind spot and vibrates the steering wheel if you attempt to change lanes.
Side- and Top-View Camera
Offers a top-down, 360-degree view of the car and surroundings to monitor approaching traffic and aid in navigating tight spaces.

IIHS Rating

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

Side Impact Test
Good
Roof Strength Test
Good
Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
Good
IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front Test
Good



BMW 3 Series vs. the competition

2021 BMW 3 Series

2021 BMW 3 Series

2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

BMW 3 Series vs. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The C-Class is one of the 3 Series' well-known rivals. Both are similar takes on the small luxury sedan formula. The current-generation C-Class has been around since 2015, but a steady stream of updates have kept it feeling relatively fresh. We like the C-Class' available tech and driver aids, premium interior and refined driving dynamics.

Compare BMW 3 Series & Mercedes-Benz C-Class features 

BMW 3 Series vs. Audi A4

The Audi A4 benefits from a recent revision that includes an updated exterior design and more in-car tech and driver aids. It doesn't feel quite as new inside as the 3 Series, but the cabin is spacious and has a premium feel other sedans struggle to match. It offers standard all-wheel drive for less money than you'll pay for a base 3 Series. It's not quite as athletic as the BMW, but it's comfortable, quiet and reasonably sporty.

Compare BMW 3 Series & Audi A4 features 

BMW 3 Series vs. Genesis G70

The Genesis G70 is one of the newest kids on the block, but what an entrance. It doesn't quite match the class leaders — including the 3 Series — when it comes to an overall premium feel, but it's quite nice inside and significantly less expensive than its rivals. It's fun to drive without compromising comfort much.

Compare BMW 3 Series & Genesis G70 features 

2021 BMW 3 Series First Impressions

What is it?

The 2021 BMW 330e is a plug-in hybrid variant of the latest 3 Series sedan generation that BMW introduced for the 2019 model year. Its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and electric motor, which is integrated into the eight-speed automatic transmission, create a maximum combined output of 248 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. (A 12-kWh lithium-ion battery pack located beneath the rear seats powers the electric motor.) Also, a special boost mode provides even more power for brief acceleration bursts.

The 330e's electric-only range of 23 miles (20 miles if you opt for the xDrive all-wheel-drive model) should serve for most commutes. Even short stints on the freeway don't require activating the engine since the 330e can travel at speeds up to 87 mph in EV mode.

Why does it matter?

Demand for diesel-fueled sedans in the United States has waned in recent years, but shoppers continue to seek more efficient alternatives to conventional gasoline-powered cars. This plug-in hybrid replaces the last-generation 330e and fills the void left by the last diesel 3 Series. It combines the eco-friendly aspects of an electric vehicle with the convenience and range of a hybrid.

2021 BMW 330e - Profile
2021 BMW 330e
What does it compete with?

One key plug-in hybrid rival to the new BMW 330e is the Volvo S60 T8. With 400 hp, it's considerably more powerful than the 3 Series, but its range-topping status in the S60 lineup means it starts at about $10,000 more than a base 330e.

The Lexus ES 300h is a standard hybrid luxury sedan that is comfortable, efficient and roomy, but it's not as refined as the BMW and trails in terms of performance. On the other side of the spectrum, you might consider the electric Tesla Model 3. It has impressive acceleration and loads of tech, but you'll have to contend with typical EV range and charge restrictions.

2021 BMW 330e - Action Rear 3/4
2021 BMW 330e
How does it drive?

In a lot of ways, the 2021 BMW 330e lets you choose your own driving adventure. You can select from Electric, Hybrid, Sport and Adaptive drive modes, and each provides a distinct behavior. In the 330e's default Hybrid mode, you get a balanced blend of gasoline and electric propulsion. The transition between gas and electric power is subtle but not entirely seamless.

Electric mode will mostly keep the gasoline engine out of the mix. But if you happen to signal the need for extra power by pushing down hard on the gas pedal, the four-cylinder will still spring to life.

Sport mode places heavier emphasis on the gas engine and uses electricity for power boosts. The transmission will maintain lower gears and higher revs. Throttle response is also sharper. Adaptive mode analyzes driver behavior and chooses one or a mix of the above mentioned selections to best suit conditions.

In all but Sport mode, power output is limited to 248 hp. Switching to Sport (either with the mode button or moving the gear selector to the left into its own Sport setting) enables the XtraBoost function, which delivers a max of 288 hp for 10 seconds if you floor the pedal past a kickdown detent. Under these conditions, you feel a distinct shove of electric power in conjunction with the pull of the gas engine. BMW estimates the rear-wheel-drive model will reach 60 miles per hour in a respectable 5.6 seconds, or 5.7 seconds with all-wheel drive. Overall, acceleration is strong and satisfying.

Whichever drive mode you select, the brakes ably slow down the 330e. The pedal is easy to modulate, and there's no artificial feeling or odd response between battery regeneration and when the mechanical brakes take hold. Unfortunately, just as you roll to a halt, there is a noticeably abrupt stop. It may be due to some unnecessarily grabby brakes, the fuel-saving auto stop-start system switching off the engine, or a combination of the two. Also, the regenerative braking effect isn't as strong as what you'd find in a typical EV. For instance, you won't be able to do one-pedal driving as you would in a Tesla.

Handling is trustworthy but not particularly sporty for a BMW. The extra 600 pounds from the hybrid system — most of which is the battery pack under the rear seats — make themselves known when cornering. That additional weight makes the 330e feel dimensionally larger sedan than it is, discouraging livelier driving.

The steering response also takes some getting used to. The on-center feel is vague, making it seem as though there's a delay on initial input. The all-season tires also exhibit more squirming and squealing over the pavement than we're accustomed to. Fortunately, for most economy-minded shoppers, performance customarily comes second to efficiency.

When driven with less sporting intent, the 330e is stable and reassuring. The ride quality is comfortably smooth, and the cabin remains pleasantly quiet.

2021 BMW 330e - Front Interior
2021 BMW 330e
What's the interior like?

As we've come to expect from the BMW 3 Series, the 330e's interior is elegantly modern. Aside from the different drive mode buttons and corresponding digital instrument panel screens, there's nothing to distinguish it from the conventionally powered 330i.

The front seats have ample padding for long-distance comfort, yet they also have enough sporty lateral support to keep you in place when cornering hard. The rear seats are spacious enough to hold average-size adults, too. The roof pillars don't impede outward visibility, so you can get a good sense of the sedan's physical boundaries.

This most recent iteration of BMW's iDrive infotainment system is packed with features, yet it remains easy to use. You can also customize some menus and placement of the on-screen buttons, much like you would on your smartphone. The inclusion of additional and more natural voice commands keeps it competitive with Mercedes' praiseworthy MBUX system.

A new dashcam-like recorder feature makes use of the 3 Series' existing cameras and has the potential for a variety of applications. It can automatically start recording in the event of a serious collision, giving you the option to use the footage in your defense. Or you can simply record your epic scenic drive to share with friends. You also have the ability to set a rolling buffer to capture moments that may have just occurred.

2021 BMW 330e - Cargo
2021 BMW 330e
How practical is it?

The 330e's hybrid components reduce the trunk capacity to 13.2 cubic feet compared to the non-hybrid 330i's 17 cubic feet. Despite the smaller space, there's still a decent amount of room for cargo. Plus, the 40/20/40-split rear seatback folds to accommodate larger items. The passenger compartment has enough moderately sized pockets and bins to keep your items secure.


EdmundsEdmunds says

Our initial impressions of the 2021 BMW 330e are predominantly favorable. With an all-electric range of about 41 miles and improved overall fuel economy, the new 330e delivers useful local EV-style driving along with the ability to go long distances. On top of that, it's pleasant to drive and has the refinement expected of a luxury sedan.


FAQ

Is the BMW 3 Series a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 3 Series both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.6 out of 10. You probably care about BMW 3 Series fuel economy, so it's important to know that the 3 Series gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg to 30 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that carrying capacity for the 3 Series ranges from 13.0 to 13.2 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a BMW 3 Series. Learn more

What's new in the 2021 BMW 3 Series?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 BMW 3 Series:

  • New 330e plug-in hybrid version
  • Wireless Android Auto smartphone integration is now available
  • Part of the seventh 3 Series generation introduced for 2019
Learn more

Is the BMW 3 Series reliable?

To determine whether the BMW 3 Series is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the 3 Series. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the 3 Series's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2021 BMW 3 Series a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 BMW 3 Series is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 3 Series and gave it a 7.6 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 3 Series is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2021 BMW 3 Series?

The least-expensive 2021 BMW 3 Series is the 2021 BMW 3 Series 330i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $41,250.

Other versions include:

  • 330i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) which starts at $41,250
  • 330i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) which starts at $43,250
  • M340i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A) which starts at $54,700
  • M340i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A) which starts at $56,700
  • 330e 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A) which starts at $44,550
  • 330e xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A) which starts at $46,550
Learn more

What are the different models of BMW 3 Series?

If you're interested in the BMW 3 Series, the next question is, which 3 Series model is right for you? 3 Series variants include 330i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), 330i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), M340i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A), and M340i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A). For a full list of 3 Series models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2021 BMW 3 Series

2021 BMW 3 Series Overview

The 2021 BMW 3 Series is offered in the following submodels: 3 Series Sedan, 3 Series M340i xDrive, 3 Series Hybrid, 3 Series M340i. Available styles include 330i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), 330i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), M340i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A), M340i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A), 330e 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A), and 330e xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A). BMW 3 Series models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine or a 3.0 L-liter hybrid engine, with output up to 382 hp, depending on engine type. The 2021 BMW 3 Series comes with rear wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 8-speed shiftable automatic. The 2021 BMW 3 Series comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What do people think of the 2021 BMW 3 Series?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 BMW 3 Series and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 3 Series 5.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 3 Series.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 BMW 3 Series and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 3 Series featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2021 BMW 3 Series?

2021 BMW 3 Series 330i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)

The 2021 BMW 3 Series 330i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $46,295. The average price paid for a new 2021 BMW 3 Series 330i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) is trending $2,854 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $2,854 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $43,441.

The average savings for the 2021 BMW 3 Series 330i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) is 6.2% below the MSRP.

2021 BMW 3 Series 330i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)

The 2021 BMW 3 Series 330i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $48,885. The average price paid for a new 2021 BMW 3 Series 330i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) is trending $3,133 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $3,133 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $45,752.

The average savings for the 2021 BMW 3 Series 330i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) is 6.4% below the MSRP.

2021 BMW 3 Series 330e 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A)

The 2021 BMW 3 Series 330e 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $50,045. The average price paid for a new 2021 BMW 3 Series 330e 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A) is trending $3,635 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $3,635 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $46,410.

The average savings for the 2021 BMW 3 Series 330e 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A) is 7.3% below the MSRP.

2021 BMW 3 Series 330e xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A)

The 2021 BMW 3 Series 330e xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $52,835. The average price paid for a new 2021 BMW 3 Series 330e xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A) is trending $3,111 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $3,111 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $49,724.

The average savings for the 2021 BMW 3 Series 330e xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A) is 5.9% below the MSRP.

2021 BMW 3 Series M340i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A)

The 2021 BMW 3 Series M340i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $55,695. The average price paid for a new 2021 BMW 3 Series M340i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A) is trending $3,759 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $3,759 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $51,936.

The average savings for the 2021 BMW 3 Series M340i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A) is 6.7% below the MSRP.

2021 BMW 3 Series M340i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A)

The 2021 BMW 3 Series M340i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $57,695. The average price paid for a new 2021 BMW 3 Series M340i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A) is trending $3,572 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $3,572 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $54,123.

The average savings for the 2021 BMW 3 Series M340i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A) is 6.2% below the MSRP.

Which 2021 BMW 3 Serieses are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 BMW 3 Series for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 BMW 3 Series.

Can't find a new 2021 BMW 3 Seriess you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new BMW for sale - 1 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $18,266.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

What is the MPG of a 2021 BMW 3 Series?

2021 BMW 3 Series 330i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), 8-speed shiftable automatic, premium unleaded (required)
30 compined MPG,
26 city MPG/36 highway MPG

2021 BMW 3 Series 330i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), 8-speed shiftable automatic, premium unleaded (required)
28 compined MPG,
25 city MPG/34 highway MPG

2021 BMW 3 Series M340i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A), 8-speed shiftable automatic, premium unleaded (required)

EPA Est. MPG30
Transmission8-speed shiftable automatic
Drive Trainrear wheel drive
Displacement2.0 L
Passenger VolumeN/A
Wheelbase112.2 in.
Length185.7 in.
Width71.9 in.
Height56.8 in.
Curb Weight3560 lbs.

Should I lease or buy a 2021 BMW 3 Series?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out BMW lease specials