BMW 3 Series History

BMW 3 Series History

BMW 3 Series History


The BMW 3 Series was first introduced in 1975, quickly becoming the best-selling car in the brand’s United States lineup. Even today, the BMW 3 Series continues to combine a well-built, stylish body with ample power and a comfortable ride to give the industry a practical luxury car that you just can’t go wrong with, no matter the model year.

MORE ON THE 3 SERIES: A Little Respect for the 3 Series

Early History

When the first generation of the 3 Series was first introduced in 1975, it was meant to replace BMW’s New Class. After its introduction the model nearly doubled BMW’s worldwide sales figures in three years, showing that the carmaker made the right decision in its production. This popular two-door saloon model was the first BMW to have a center console angled towards the driver, a feature that has now become characteristic of the brand.

Recent History

When the sixth and current generation was first introduced in 2011, it switched up the typical six-cylinder petrol engine that previous 3 Series generations featured, instead choosing to use a turbocharged four-cylinder engine for power. Though the first generation was introduced with both a coupe and convertible body style, the current 3 Series is not offered in either of these body styles, since they have now been designated BMW 4 Series models.

MORE ON THE 3 SERIES: 3 Series is the Most Searched BMW Online

BMW 3 Series Awards

  • 1992-2012 Car and Driver magazine’s “Ten Best”
  • 2009 Grassroots Motorsports magazine’s “Second-most important performance car”
  • 2006 Canadian Car of the Year
  • 2006 New York Auto Show “World Car of the Year”
  • 2006 What Car? “Car of the Year”
  • 2006-2006 Japan’s Import Car of the Year
  • 2007 International Engine of the Year for its 3.0-liter twin turbo engine

2014 BMW 3 Series Overview
2013 BMW 3 Series Overview