Used Car Review

2014 BMW 3 Series: Used Car Review

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Used 2014 BMW 3 Series Sedan
Used 2014 BMW 3 Series
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author photo by Ron Sessions October 2015

As the decades-long gold standard by which other premium sport sedans are measured, the 2014 BMW 3 Series continues to set a high bar for driving enjoyment. Available in rear- or all-wheel drive (AWD), the 3 Series sedan is rejoined by a Sports Wagon model and an all-new 5-door hatchback dubbed the Gran Turismo (GT). Fuel-saving technologies, such as ECO PRO mode and auto stop/start, are included on all gas-engine models. The previous 3 Series coupe and convertible models create a new 4 Series range for 2014.

What We Like

Sporty handling; maneuverable size; brisk performance of 240-horsepower turbo 4-cylinder and 300-hp turbo 6-cylinder; fuel-efficient diesel; precise-shifting 6-speed manual and 8-speed automatic transmissions; top-notch driver ergonomics; solid structure; powerful brakes

What We Don't

Hybrid gives little fuel economy benefit; steering not as sharp as previous models; nonintuitive turn-signal lever; premium fuel on all gas engines

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The entry-level 320i sedan comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter dual-overhead-camshaft (DOHC) 4-cylinder. Output is just 180 hp, but it develops 200 lb-ft of torque at just 1,250 revolutions per minute, so low-speed response is decent. Rear-wheel-drive models have an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating of 23 miles per gallon in the city and 36 mpg on the highway with the standard 6-speed manual transmission and 24 mpg city/36 mpg hwy with the 8-speed automatic. The all-wheel-drive 320i xDrive comes with the automatic only and is EPA-rated at 23 mpg city/35 mpg hwy.

The 328i and 328i xDrive sedan, wagon and GT are powered by a higher-output turbocharged 2.0-liter DOHC 4-cylinder, rated at 240 hp and 255 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel-drive sedans are EPA-rated at 22 mpg city/34 mpg hwy with the standard 6-speed manual and 23 mpg city/33 mpg hwy with the optional 8-speed automatic. 328i xDrive sedans, wagons and GTs come with automatic transmissions only, EPA-rated at 22 mpg city/33 mpg hwy.

The 328d sedan and wagon feature a torque-rich 2.0-liter DOHC 4-cylinder turbodiesel with 180 hp and a whopping 280 lb-ft of torque for good low- and midrange response. The rear-drive 328d sedan's EPA fuel economy rating is a whopping 32 mpg city/45 mpg hwy, while the all-wheel-drive 328i xDrive sedan and wagon's ratings degrade slightly to 31 mpg city/43 mpg hwy. All 3 Series diesels come with the 8-speed automatic. No manual is offered.

The 335i sedan and GT feature a smooth and powerful 3.0-liter DOHC inline 6-cylinder gas turbo, with 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. The rear-drive 335i sedan is EPA-rated at 20 mpg city/30 mpg hwy with the 6-speed manual and 22 mpg city/32 mpg hwy with the 8-speed automatic. The AWD 335i xDrive sedan has an EPA rating of 20 mpg city/28 mpg hwy with a 6-speed manual, and both the AWD 335i xDrive sedan and GT net a 20 mpg city/30 mpg hwy EPA rating with the 8-speed automatic.

The ActiveHybrid 3 comes only as a sedan. It uses the 300-hp 3.0-liter turbo inline-6, teamed with a 55-hp electric motor for 355 combined-system hp and has a lithium-ion hybrid battery and 8-speed automatic transmission. Performance is brisk, but fuel savings are disappointing, with EPA ratings of 25 mpg city/35 mpg hwy well below those of the 328d turbodiesel.

Standard Features & Options

The base 320i sedan comes well-equipped with standard auto climate control, cruise control, remote keyless entry, a tilt-telescopic leather-trimmed sport steering wheel with remote audio controls, rain-sensing wipers, BMW Assist eCall and BMW TeleServices emergency communications, fog lamps, a 9-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, 17-inch alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped shift knob and power windows, heated mirrors and door locks. Standard safety gear includes dual front airbags, front-seat side airbags, front knee airbags, overhead airbags, an anti-lock braking system, and stability and traction control.

The 328i sedan and wagon gain a driver's memory seat, a garage-door transmitter, auto-dimming rearview and side mirrors, and power front seats. The 328i GT adds a power moonroof and 18-in alloy wheels.

The 335i sedan and GT add standard 18-in wheels and a power moonroof.

Popular 3 Series options are grouped into the Sport Line, Luxury Line and M Sport. These include features such as leather seats, front and rear heated seats, an adaptive suspension, navigation, dynamic cruise control, a backup camera, front and rear parking assist, a head-up display, a 16-speaker DVD audio system, 19-in alloy wheels and a heated steering wheel.


The BMW 3 Series is the top-selling entry-luxury sedan and tends to retain resale value well, but diesel models, the entry-level 320i and the somewhat larger Gran Turismo may be less pricy than well-equipped 6-cylinder and gas turbo 4-cylinder sedans.

For an understanding of the 2014 BMW 3 Series' price range, you can look up used-car values at Search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced the following recalls for the 2014 BMW 3 Series:

The side marker lamps on sedans and wagons may not light when the parking or head lamps are on, increasing crash risk at night.

On gasoline-powered models, the fuel pump may fail, causing the engine to stall and increasing crash risk.

On sedans and wagons, the power brake-booster vacuum pump may fail, increasing brake effort and increasing crash risk.

Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, they will fix the car for free.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

The 2014 3 Series received a 5-star rating overall from the NHTSA, with a 4-star rating for frontal impacts and a 5-star rating for side impacts and rollover performance.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2014 3 Series sedan a Good rating for moderate-overlap frontal impact, side impact, roof strength and head-restraint and seat crash performance but only a Marginal rating for small-overlap frontal impact. IIHS didn't test the Sport Wagon or GT.

BMW covered the 2014 3 Series with a 4-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 4-year/50,000-mile powertrain warranty and a 12-year unlimited-mile corrosion-perforation warranty. Additionally, routine maintenance and roadside assistance were covered for a 4-year/50,000-mile period.

BMW certified pre-owned (CPO) cars can't have more than 60,000 miles on the odometer. Every CPO 3 Series receives a Carfax report. The BMW CPO warranty covers the whole car (bumper to bumper) for 2 years or 24,000 miles and includes roadside assistance.

Other Cars to Consider

2014 Cadillac ATS -- With crisper steering and sharper handling than the 3 Series, the ATS goes head-to-head with the 328i and 335i sedans but falls short with a confusing CUE infotainment system and less-engaging powertrain choices.

2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class -- No less prestigious than the 3 Series, the C-Class sedan and coupe translate the brand's solid, durable-goods feel into a fun-sized package but prioritize comfort and luxury over bare-knuckle driving dynamics.

Autotrader's Advice

Any 3 Series BMW is a joy to drive, but the 335i sedan is the quintessential entry-luxury sport sedan with a silky inline turbo 6-cylinder and thoroughbred chassis. Although hard to find, the wagon is a fantastic alternative to a crossover SUV as well, and the 328d diesel is a great all-around performer. Opt for a BMW CPO car if available.

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Used 2014 BMW 3 Series Sedan
Used 2014 BMW 3 Series
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2014 BMW 3 Series: Used Car Review - Autotrader