The 2011 BMW 3 Series remains the best entry-level luxury sedan you can buy. The 3 Series' sublime suspension, steering and brakes will provide endless, easily accessible entertainment. At the same time, the 3 Series is a wonderful long-distance cruiser, boasting both a supple ride and a hushed cabin. The 3 Series' long-running double act is truly extraordinary: It speaks the language of driving enthusiasts, yet its upscale image and comfortable interior give it unrivaled mass appeal. Driving is what the 2011 BMW 3 Series does best. The 328i's naturally aspirated inline-6 is otherworldly in its smoothness from idle to redline, and it has enough power to suit most tastes.
Standard equipment on the 328i models includes 16-inch wheels, heated side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights, foglamps, "leatherette" premium upholstery, automatic climate control and a 10-speaker sound system with CD player, HD radio and an auxiliary audio jack. This 2011 BMW 3 Series is equipped with xDrive all-wheel drive for best in class-all weather performance. The 328i features a 3.0-liter inline-6 that produces 230 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque. Its 0-60 time is approximately 5-plus-seconds and fuel economy is now actually slightly better than the less powerful 328i, at 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined.
Standard safety equipment on the 2011 BMW 3 Series includes antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. The stability control system integrates several features designed to improve braking performance, such as periodically wiping the brake rotors dry when the windshield wipers are in use and automatically snugging the pads to the rotors when the driver abruptly lifts off the throttle. In government crash tests, the sedan and wagon received four out of five stars for frontal collision protection and five stars for side protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 3 Series the top rating of "Good" in its frontal-offset crash test.
The 2011 BMW 3 Series interiors will be familiar to anyone who has spent time in a BMW product. Classic analog gauges, sensible ergonomics and a restrained overall aesthetic combine to create a pleasant driving environment, though there's less visual pizzazz here than in some rivals. The base seats are comfortable and supportive, while the Sport package's purpose-built seats are even more so. Materials and build quality are exceptional; even the standard leatherette (vinyl) upholstery looks and feels better than one would expect. The convertible's available heat-reflective leather does a wonderful job of keeping occupants' posteriors cool. The recently improved iDrive electronics interface that comes with the optional navigation system is intuitive and one of the best interfaces of its kind. The rear seats are adequately roomy for adults on shorter trips, but taller passengers will complain that their heads are crammed into the roof. Trunk space is average in sedans and coupes, while the wagon offers a maximum cargo capacity of 61 cubic feet.
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Exterior: The exterior of this unit is in excellent shape with no major flaws.
Interior: The interior is in excellent condition.
Mechanical: This vehicle is "Insight Certified" with no known mechanical defects after completing a 144 point mechanical inspection with required maintenance performed.
Tires: The tires are in excellent health with plenty of tread life remaining.
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