The 2023 BMW 3 Series Balances Driving Joy and Classic Luxury

There was a time when a BMW 3 Series was the only choice if you wanted a comfortable and engaging sport luxury sedan. However, models like the Mercedes-AMG CLA and Audi S3 have put the 3 Series on its heels. Now, the 2023 BMW 3 Series has gotten a mid-cycle refresh that has changed more than just the looks. This BMW luxury sedan gets performance and tech upgrades as well. With MotorTrend’s review of the 2023 BMW 330i, we take a look at the new 3 Series and see if it’s ready to reclaim its legendary status.

Front three-quarter shot of the 2023 BMW 3 Series in gloss gray.

The 2023 BMW 3 Series is Fun to Drive Again

As MotorTrend confirms, even in the entry-level BMW 330i, the 2023 BMW 3 Series delivers a new level of excitement. A 2.0-liter turbocharged engine provides a 255-horsepower backbone for all your automotive endeavors. The 294 pound-feet of torque is where this powerplant really shines. With torque peaking at just over 2,000 rpm, you’ll have that shove-you-into-your-seat feeling with nearly any punch of the throttle. From a standstill, the four-pot turbo gets you to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds. In other words, go ahead and make that lane change. Just don’t forget to use your turn signal.

Handling is equally engaging, and BMW has gone to work to make the 3 Series a callback to sport sedans past. Steering is light but reactive, giving you plenty of feedback to understand what’s happening beneath you. With the M Sport package installed, you get razor-sharp handling, though you will lose a touch of ride quality along the way. None of that matters when you find your favorite driving road. The second you spot that apex and hit it with tactical precision, you’ll forget all about that bump you hit on your way to the gas station.

Speaking of efficiency, the 2023 BMW 330i gets you an impressive 34 mpg highway and 24 mpg city. Sure, your weekend hooning may diminish those numbers a bit, you’ll be well suited for an efficient cruise to the office on Monday morning.

If the harsher ride does bother you, you can opt for an adaptive suspension setup that lets you choose damping firmness, among other settings.

The Premium Luxury You’re Looking For

There is a fine line between too much seat bolstering and falling out of the seat. The 2023 BMW 3 Series walks it with impressive grace. Just enough bolster to provide supreme comfort, but not so much that you feel wedged in when you’re just trying to use a drive-thru ATM.

The seats come wrapped in a variety of premium materials, from Sensatec to Vernasca leather. And you’ll have a range of colors available including a rich, deep red and a satisfying caramel tone dubbed ‘Cognac’. 

You’ll get other premium touches as well, including ambient interior lighting, a power-sliding moonroof, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Plus, heated and cooled seats are available to provide that extra touch of comfort.

The interior of a 2023 BMW 3 Series from the driver's side, showing red leather and the widescreen dash display.
Related 2023 BMW 3 Series: Design Refresh, Pricing, Specs

2023 BMW 3 Series: Design Refresh, Pricing, Specs

Should You Buy the 2023 BMW 3 Series?

If you are looking for a fun-to-drive, functional luxury sedan, the BMW 3 Series is back in the game. Revised handling, a punchy turbo engine, and luxury appointments put the 3 firmly into the fight once again.