Comparing the BMW 2-Series and 3-Series Cars
The Bavarian Motor Works, or simply BMW, is a luxury automobile manufacturer that was founded in 1916. It is one of the best-selling luxury automakers in the world and also produces Mini cars and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce. BMW offers a wide range of cars, right from sports cars to hybrids and motability cars. Today we compare the BMW 2-series cars with BMW 3-Series cars. Come; let’s see what both these series have to offer, individually and comparatively.
As mentioned before, BMW offers a wide range of cars, which it has classified in different ‘series’. Here’s something about BMW 2-series and BMW 3-series cars. The 2016 models of 2-series are coupes and convertibles with 2 doors, rear-wheel drive, and 2-passenger capacity. The 2016 2-series comes in 5 different trims – 228i Coupe, 228i Coupe SULEV, 228i xDrive Coupe, M235i Coupe, and M235i xDrive Coupe. Transmission choices for all are either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is optional. The specs and features mentioned here are of 228i Coupe.
The 2016 BMW 3-series comes in three different styles – Gran Turismo, sedan, and Sports Wagon. The specs and features discussed here are of the 2016 3-series 320i sedan. Available with rear- or all-wheel drive, the 3-series sedan comes in 10 different trims. This 4-door car can accommodate 5 passengers.
Exterior and Interior – Dimensions and Features
Let’s see what’s in store in both the series under the lens and how are they different from each other. Noticing the 2-series 228i Coupe, it has a wheelbase of slightly over 105 inches, length of 174.7 inches, width of just around 70 inches, and overall height of 55.8 inches. It weighs 3,260 pounds. On the other hand, the 3-series 320i sedan has a length, width, and height of 182.5 inches, 71.3 inches, and 56.3 inches, respectively. It weighs almost equal to the 2-series 228i Coupe at 3,295 pounds.
Some of the noticeable external features in 228i Coupe include power heated side mirrors with manual folding; speed-sensitive rain-detecting variable intermittent wipers with heated jets, fully-automatic aero-composite halogen daytime running headlamps with delay-off, and approach lights. You get almost same external features in 3-series 320i sedan as the 228i Coupe with an extra LED brakelights.
Let’s catch the interiors now where there comes a lot of clearly-seen difference, for the 2-series has a capacity to accommodate only 4 passengers whereas the 3-series can accommodate 5 people. As far as internal features are concerned, the 228i Coupe gets front sport seats, 40-20-40 folding rear seat, proximity key for push button start only, remote keyless entry with integrated key transmitter, illuminated entry and panic button, cruise control with steering wheel controls, dual-zone front automatic air conditioning, HVAC with underseat ducts and residual heat recirculation, illuminated locking glove box, day-night rearview mirror, driver & passenger visor vanity mirrors with driver & passenger illumination, fade-to-off interior lighting, tracker system, hands-free Bluetooth & USB audio connection, perimeter alarm, engine immobilizer, and two 12v DC power outlets.
The 3-series 320i Sedan gets internal features like front bucket seats, 6-way driver seat including manual recline, height adjustment and fore/aft movement, 6-way passenger seat including manual recline, height adjustment and fore/aft movement, proximity key for push button start only, valet function, remote keyless entry with integrated key transmitter, illuminated entry and panic button, cruise control with steering wheel controls, dual-zone front automatic air conditioning, rear HVAC with separate controls, HVACs including underseat ducts, residual heat recirculation and console ducts, tracker system, hands-free Bluetooth & USB audio connection, engine immobilizer, and three 12v DC power outlets.
Entertainment and Info Gauges
As both the BMW 2-series and 3-series are entry-level luxury cars, you do not get a full-fledged flashing and functioning front console with controls and everything. What you get in both the cars is very basic.
In terms of entertainment and information gauges, the BMW 2-series 228i Coupe features a radio with AM/FM/HD stereo with a CD player with MP3 playing capability. Radio comes with seek-scan, clock, speed-compensated volume control, auxiliary audio input jack, steering-wheel controls, and external memory control. You also get audio theft deterrent, satellite radio preparation, a Hi-Fi sound system along with 1 LCD monitor in the front. Gauges include a speedometer, odometer, tachometer, trip odometer, and trip computer.
Coming to the 3-series 320i Sedan, you get almost the same entertainment features and information gauges. Extra in this is an anti-theft AM/FM/HD stereo CD player along with wireless streaming.
Engine and Performance
The 228i Coupe is a 2-door rear-wheel drive car that comes with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 240 bhp at 5,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 255 lb-ft at 1,250 rpm. It comes with 6-speed manual transmission clocking 0 mph to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds.
The 4-door rear-wheel drive 5-passenger-capacity 320i Sedan carries a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine under the hood, producing 180 bhp at 5,000 rpm and maximum torque of 200 lb-ft at 1,250 rpm. The 8-speed automatic transmission helps it reach from 0 mph to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds.
Most of the safety features remain common to both BMW 2-series and 3-series cars. Some worth mentioning here include 4-wheel disc brakes with 4-wheel ABS, front & rear vented discs, brake assist and hill hold control, power heated side mirrors, fully automatic aero-composite halogen daytime running headlamps with delay-off, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), ABS and Driveline Traction Control, side impact beams, dual-stage driver & passenger seat-mounted side airbags, tire-specific low tire pressure warning, dual-stage driver & passenger front airbags, curtain 1st & 2nd row airbags, and airbag occupancy sensor.
The 3-series 320i Sedan gets an extra driver & passenger knee airbag, however.
Fuel and Economy
As far as fuel economies of BMW 2-series and 3-series cars under review are concerned, both are pretty much the same. Their fuel tank capacities differ considerably, however. The 228i Coupe has an approximate fuel tank capacity of 13.7 gallons and a highway cruising range of around 465 miles. The estimated fuel economy for city and highway comes out to be 26 mpg and 34 mpg, respectively.
The 320i Sedan has a slightly bigger fuel tank with approximate fuel tank capacity of 15.8 liters. This takes its highway cruising range to over 560 miles. Its estimated fuel economy for city comes out to be 24 mpg and for highways is 36 mpg.
Price and Availability
Both the 2-series and 3-series cars come under same price bracket. While the BMW 2-series cars range from $33,845 to $51,745, the 10 trims of 3-series have a price range of $34,145 to $50,195.
The 2016 models of both the series are available at your nearest BMW dealerships. You just need to check the availability of certain trim, if you are looking for.
We have always been a fan of BMW cars, but the high-end ones. As these are the entry-level cars and are pretty much the same in terms of budget, we recommend going with your gut feeling. See if you need a 2-door 4-passenger car or a 4-door 5-passenger car, and choose accordingly. Both these cars are value for money with not much difference in terms of features.
However, if you wish to consider some other cars in this budget, you can always have a look at other entry-level luxury cars like Audi A3, Infiniti Q30, Acura ILX, Mercedes-Benz CLA-class, Buick Verano, or Volkswagen Eos. This was for alternatives of BMW 2-series cars.
Some of the alternatives to BMW 3-series cars that can be considered are Mercedes-Benz C-class, Jaguar XE, Audi A4, Cadillac ATS, Lexus IS, and Volkswagen CC.
We hope you like our comparison of BMW 2-series and 3-series cars. Do not forget to share it with other car lovers. Enjoy your ride and drive safely!