The BMW 3 Series has been a recognizable icon in the auto industry since 1975 when the first generation was released. Over the years, this car has evolved in many ways, but has always remained one of the top performing cars around. Keep reading to learn more about the BMW 3 Series, the evolutions of each generation, and how this vehicle compares to the rest of the market today.
The first generation of the BMW 3 Series debuted at Munich’s Olympic Stadium in 1975. At the time, it was unmatched in its dynamic performance and had a distinctive profile thanks to the crease line along the body and the raised tail section. The first models in this generation were sedans, but they soon got a convertible upgrade that was incredibly popular.
These vehicles also introduced a dashboard that was angled toward the driver, which became a standard feature in more than just BMW vehicles. Other design details would also live on as stylistic features in the next generations of BMWs.
The second generation of BMW 3s was rolled out in 1982. Launched initially as a 2-door sedan, the 4-door sedan became available in 1983. The key innovation for this generation was the number of variations available to consumers—specifically, 7 of them.
This generation of the BMW 3 also allowed BMW to take part in the German Touring Car Championship for the first time. The high-performance BMW M3 coupe, with up to 238 horsepower, brought BMW incredible fame when it was approved to compete in the races.
In 1990, the third generation of the BMW 3 Series hit the market. The design of this generation was much more coupe-oriented, with strongly sloping A-lines and C-lines. Variants included the sedan, coupe, convertible, touring, compact, etc. The hatchback option was also introduced in the third generation of this vehicle, and it became the model with the third-highest sales behind the sedan and coupe.
4th to 6th Generations
Between 1997 and 2011, BMW launched three more generations of the BMW 3 Series. Each offered a sportier styling and more power than the last while still holding onto traditional design elements and standard features from past generations. During this time, BMW became synonymous with luxury and exceptional performance, earning German engineering a reputation for superior manufacturing.
The current generation of the BMW 3 Series was launched in 2018 and is the current generation for this vehicle. With recognizable elements like short overhangs, twin headlamps, and that distinctive crease line still in the design, there’s no denying a BMW 3 Series when you see it.
If you’re looking for a BMW 3 Series for sale in Houston, do some research about what generation the one you’re eyeing belongs to, and learn a little more about that specific generation and model.