enjoy a special place in legend. And BMW's eagerly-awaited
restyled 3 Series, debuting as a 2006 model sports
sedan, is staking a renewed claim to that particular
the all-new 3 Series is winning accolades from
friend and respectful foe alike, as BMW continues
its relentless cross-fleet redesign. Small wonder.
Is there any BMW out there that can't be driven
with "point and shoot" accuracy nearly
breathtaking in its precision? Add to that a cleaner
molding of exterior design (that retains the familiar
"nostril" air intakes and other traditional
BMW cues), longstanding agile "driver's car"
reputation and celebrity status approaching awe.
No wonder folks expect great things.
325i and high output 330i get inline six-cylinder power
from a lightweight magnesium/aluminum engine, bumping out
215 and 255 HP respectively. It's BMW's first 3 Series use
of fuel-saving variable valve timing. It is mated to a six-speed
ZF automatic (always pronounced "Zed Eff"), or
later-arriving six-speed manual. Advanced technology almost
hits overload. Among stability enhancements alone: Dynamic
brake control, fading compensation, Comfort Stop, hill-holding
Start-Off Assist and a brake drying function for navigating
rear-drive (and subsequent AWD) 3 Series seats
five. With a shade more length and width, it's
a bit roomier than the previous model. An under-floor
trunk hideout and folding rear seats add to cargo
space. Interior changes include a redesigned dash
and poplar wood trim. Sirius satellite radio is
3 Series bases, orginally at $30 K and $37 K,
increased an average 1.4 percent in September.
That price can jump with such adds as active steering,
comfort access for auto control of functions,
heated three-stage front seats, power rear sunshades,
active cruise control, voice recognition, and
nav system paired with iDrive, a computerized
driver interface. Cold weather, premium and sport
packages add $1,000 to $2,900 to the total.
models ride on larger 17-inch alloy wheels (325i) and 18-inch
ones (330i). Despite run-flat, or higher-rated performance
tires for fast track driving, both models have a 155-mph
speed limiter to keep flat-out runs under control. With
the 330i, BMW claims a 6.1-second zero to 60 launch (manual
trans number). That's a Bimmer bragging right we won't try