Sedans & Coupes

A Used BMW 3 Series is Versatile Luxury and Sport All in One

The name BMW means a lot of things to the consumer market. From one aspect, it means innovative technology, like what we saw with the brand’s flagship hybrid supercar, the i8. For others, it means high-end and expensive luxury. With a history of racing heritage to match up with all of our other expectations, we imagine that owning one of these cars is out of an average budget or might not be as practical. The BMW 3 Series, however, seems to be the best of all worlds, and a used one can be the right price.

Plenty of variations

The BMW 3 Series usually looks like a more standard sedan, but there are a lot of options that might make you look twice. For one, you can get the 3 Series as a sedan or a coupe, both with a practical amount of backseat space. You can also find them with convertible hardtops that make it the best of the sports car world wrapped up in a vehicle that has enough room to be practical.

If you’re battling snow this winter or live in a climate where the roads can get wet or icy, you can appreciate the BMW 3 Series xDrive, the all-wheel-drive system that makes this car a great option no matter where you live. If you don’t care much for that you can still enjoy the mostly rear-wheel-drive versions.

a blue 3 Series at speed on a scenic mountain road.
2019 BMW 3 Series | BMW

Plenty of luxury

No matter what year of the BMW 3 Series you look at, you can enjoy plenty of comforts and luxury. Owning a 2009 coupe version, the front seats were comfortable and spacious enough to relax in for a daily commute cities away, and the back seats made it the obvious choice when traveling with friends. The beautiful dashboard and interior aged well, making it a luxurious interior no matter the age.

My 2013 BMW 3 Series was a sedan, and it offered just as much comfort with basic luxuries that paralleled my earlier generation. You can find them on the used car market for a decent price, but watch out for this generation’s timing chain recall — a problem that caused two of my matching 328i vehicles to lose their engines.

An employee prepares a BMW 328i for display | ANDREAS GEBERT/DPA/AFP, Getty Images

RELATED: Why the BMW 3 Series Is the Best Entry-Level Sports Car

The BMW 3 Series is surprisingly sporty

As an avid sports car enthusiast, it’s hard for me to find a responsible daily driver, but I was surprised to find the BMW 3 Series left me having to make barely any compromises. Between the two generations I bought used, each had its own unique driving experience, but neither of them was dull. In fact, it became quite is to forget that I wasn’t actually driving a sports car at some times.

In comfort mode, I could cruise along the highway to work without spilling a drop of coffee. The driving wasn’t dull, however, and in the car’s sport mode both the throttle and steering jumped to lift to provide an exciting and enjoyable driving experience.

2002 BMW 3-Series
2002 BMW 3 Series | BMW

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The BMW 3 Series is a versatile car, and buying them on the used car market opens the door to a ton of possibilities that can fit any driving style and need. From an entry-level luxury car to a sports car, there is something about this car almost any driver could love, and as a responsible daily driver it is very well-rounded.