3 Fuel-Efficient BMW 3 Series Alternatives Under $45,000

When shopping for a luxury sedan like the 2022 BMW 3 Series, you’re probably not thinking too much about fuel efficiency. After all, it is the “ultimate driving machine,” so its driving dynamics are likely at the top of your list. However, did you know it’s one of the most fuel-efficient luxury compact sedans on the market?

With an EPA-estimated 36 mpg on the highway, the BMW 330i presents an excellent value proposition for anyone looking for performance with a dose of fuel efficiency. But if you’re looking to do your due diligence in shopping around for your best option, here are three fuel-efficient alternatives to the BMW 3 Series.

  • 2022 Mercedes-Benz C 300 – 25 mpg city/35 mpg highway
  • 2022 Audi A4 Quattro – 26 mpg city/34 mpg highway
  • 2022 Cadillac CT4 – 23 mpg city/34 mpg highway
The best cars for snow with high safety scores include the BMW 3 Series
The 2022 BMW 3 Series | BMW

1. 2022 Mercedes-Benz C 300 — $43,550

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class | Mercedes-Benz

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C 300 is the natural choice if you’re not looking to get behind the wheel of a BMW. The C-Class is the brand’s entry-level compact sedan, and it’s big on style and features. In standard form, the C 300 comes with heated seats, a power sunroof, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, an 11.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and a host of safety features.

The C-Class gets its stellar fuel efficiency from a mild-hybrid system that sits in between the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and the 9-speed automatic transmission under the hood. The small 48-volt motor assists the engine with a short burst of electric power to help with fuel efficiency and power. How much power? A whopping 20 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque.

2. 2022 Audi A4 Quattro — $39,900

A silver 2023 Audi A4.
2023 Audi A4 | Getty Images

The 2022 Audi A4 comes with two different engine choices: the 40 and the 45. Both of them are turbocharged 2.0-liter engines that have the benefit of a 12-volt hybrid system and AWD. The base engine (40) makes 201 hp, and the higher-trim engine (45) makes 261 hp. If you’re looking for the most fuel efficiency, the base engine is the one to go with, as it achieves up to 34 mpg on the highway. However, if performance is what you seek, then the larger one is the way to go.

On the inside, the A4 offers a clean and simplistic design that’s comfortable and minimalistic. In terms of features, the A4 comes standard with Apple Carplay/Android Auto, a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and voice command.

3. 2022 Cadillac CT4 — $34,395

A front view of the 2023 Cadillac CT4.
A front view of the 2023 Cadillac CT4. | Cadillac

Unlike the other two alternatives on this list, the 2022 Cadillac CT4 doesn’t have a hybrid powertrain attached to its engine. However, it does have a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that makes 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque that puts the power down to the rear wheels.

In rear-drive form, the CT4 returns an impressive 34 mpg on the highway, which is good for long trips. Those trips will be made even better with the CT4’s comfortable ride and spacious interior. Not to mention its bevy of standard features that include a simulated leather interior, dual-zone climate control, and an 8-inch infotainment screen with Apple Carplay/Android Auto.

Fuel-efficient alternatives to the BMW 3 Series

Although fuel efficiency might not be on the top of your list of “must haves” when shopping for a luxury sedan, it’s good to have. In case you find that the BMW 3 Series is not really for you, one of these alternatives might work better. At least you won’t need to worry about stopping at the gas station too many times, no matter which car you choose.

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