The 2017 BMW 3 Series is available in sedan and wagon body styles. Sedans come in 320i, 328d, 330i, 330e and 340i trim levels with standard rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive (called xDrive) is optional on all but the 330e plug-in hybrid. The wagon is available only in 330i xDrive and 328d xDrive trims. The 320i is the cheapest way into a 3 Series, but it lacks many standard and optional creature comforts. Best to start at the 330i.
The BMW 320i starts with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (180 horsepower, 200 pound-feet of torque) and a choice of a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission. Standard feature highlights include 17-inch wheels, remote locking and unlocking, push-button start, automatic wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, premium vinyl upholstery, BMW Assist emergency telematics, Bluetooth connectivity, the iDrive infotainment interface, a 6.5-inch display and a nine-speaker sound system.
The BMW 330i has a more powerful 2.0-liter engine (248 hp, 258 lb-ft of torque) as well as power-adjustable front sport seats, power-folding and heated side mirrors, auto-dimming mirrors, paddle shifters for automatic transmission-equipped models, driver-seat memory functions and split-folding rear seatbacks.
The 328d and 330e sedans come similarly equipped. Both also use a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired only to the eight-speed automatic, but the 328d engine uses diesel fuel and generates 180 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. The 330e engine takes conventional gasoline but is augmented by an electric motor for a combined 248 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.
The 328d and 330i wagons are equipped like the sedans and also come with a panoramic sunroof, roof rails, a power liftgate and the eight-speed automatic transmission.
Finally, the BMW 340i sedan has a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine (320 hp and 330 lb-ft), the contents of the Premium package (see below), LED headlights, keyless entry and ignition, a sunroof and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system (optional on most other models). The M Sport package (see below) is also standard, but its contents can be replaced by those from the Sport or Luxury packages.
There are several option packages for the 2017 3 Series. In our opinion, the main ones to look out for are Premium and Technology as they further equip the BMW 3 Series with a host of desirable convenience and tech-oriented extras. Other popular picks include the Track Handling package (improves handling) and the two Driver Assistance packages that add many advanced driver safety aids.