BMW 3 Series (E90)

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BMW 3 Series
(E90/E91/E92/E93)
2006-2010 BMW 335i (E92) coupe (2011-07-17) 01.jpg
Overview
Production2004–2013
AssemblyGermany, South Africa
Body and chassis
ClassCompact executive car (D)
Body style
LayoutRear-wheel drive,
All-wheel drive ("Xi" and "Xd" models)
Powertrain
Engine
Dimensions
Wheelbase2,760 mm (109 in)
Length4,520–4,610 mm (178–181 in)
Width1,780–1,820 mm (70–72 in)
Height1,380–1,420 mm (54–56 in)
Chronology
PredecessorBMW 3 Series (E46)
SuccessorBMW 3 Series (F30/F31),
BMW 4 Series (F32/F33)

The fifth generation of the BMW 3 Series consists of the BMW E90 (sedan version), BMW E91 (wagon version, marketed as 'Touring'), BMW E92 (coupe version) and BMW E93 (convertible version) compact executive cars. The E90/E91/E92/E93 was produced from 2004 to 2013 and is often collectively referred to as the E90 or E9x.

The E9x was the first 3 Series was sold with a turbocharged petrol engine.[1] The E9x family also saw the introduction of run-flat tyres to the 3 Series range. Consequently, cars with run-flats are not equipped with a spare tyre.

The E90/E92/E93 M3 is the only generation of M3 to be powered by a V8 engine. Released in 2007,[2] it uses the BMW S65 naturally aspirated V8 engine and was produced in sedan, coupe and convertible body styles.

Following the introduction of the F30/F31 3 Series in 2012, the E90/E91 sedans and wagons began to be phased out. However, the E92/E93 coupes and convertibles remained in production until 2013,[3] when they were replaced by the F32/F33 4 Series models.

Development and launch[edit]

The design for the fifth generation 3 Series was frozen in mid-2002, approximately 30 months before the start of production.[4] The sedan and wagon were designed by Joji Nagashima,[5][6] and the coupe and convertible were designed by Marc Michael Markefka.[7]

The range was introduced in 2005 with the sedan and wagon body styles. The coupe was introduced in 2006 and the convertible was introduced in 2007.

Body styles[edit]

Sedan (E90)[edit]

The sedan model was the first model sold of the E90/E91/E92/E93 3 series, being launched on 5 March 2005.[8][9][10]

Touring (E91)[edit]

The E91 wagon/estate models were marketed as 'Touring' in Europe and 'Sports Wagon' in the North America.[11] Optional equipment included a panoramic sunroof, which extends to the rear passenger area. Trim levels typically were similar to the E90 sedan, however there was no M3 model in the wagon body style.[12]

Several markets outside Europe only offered a small subset of models in the wagon body style. In the United States and Canada, the only wagon model available prior to 2007 was the 325xi,[13] and then the 328i and 328xi from 2007 onwards.[14]

Coupé (E92)[edit]

In August 2006, one year after the sedan was released, the E92 coupé body style was released.

Compared with previous generations of 3 Series, the coupé has more external styling differences to the sedan models. These include the tail-light design (L-shaped on the coupe), more steeply angled headlights and smaller side windows. As per its E46 predecessor, the coupe doors are longer and have frameless door windows, the rear seat holds two passengers (compared with a three-person bench for the sedan) with a rear centre console tray and the front seatbelts are on motorised arms that extend from the B-pillar to hand the seatbelts to the driver and/or passenger.

The E92 was the last generation to include coupé (and convertible) body styles as a part of the 3 Series range. For later generations, these body styles changed to being marketed as the BMW 4 Series.

Convertible (E93)[edit]

E93 with roof raised

The E93 convertible was BMW's first model to use a retractable hardtop (folding metal roof), instead of the cloth roof as previously used. The E93 was one of first retractable hardtops in its price range.[15][16] The "Comfort Access" option allows the roof to be raised and lowered using the key fob. The E93's side windows are 30 percent larger than its E46 convertible predecessor, resulting in a 38 percent increase in visibility.[17]

The BMW 3 Series convertible was often priced higher than direct rivals, however reviewers have praised its passenger/boot space (even with the roof down), driving dynamics, weight and chassis rigidity.[18][19][20][21]

Engines[edit]

Petrol[edit]

Official specifications are as follows:[22]

Model Years Engine Power Torque
316i 2007-2013 N45B16
4-cyl
85 kW (114 bhp) 150 N⋅m (111 lb⋅ft)
2007-2013 N43B16
4-cyl
90 kW (121 bhp) 160 N⋅m (118 lb⋅ft)
318i 2005–2007 N46B20
4-cyl
95 kW (127 bhp) 180 N⋅m (133 lb⋅ft)
2007-2013 100 kW (134 bhp) 180 N⋅m (133 lb⋅ft)
2007-2013 N43B20
4-cyl
105 kW (141 bhp) 190 N⋅m (140 lb⋅ft)
320i 2005–2007 N46B20
4-cyl
110 kW (148 bhp) 200 N⋅m (148 lb⋅ft)
2007–2011 N46B20
4-cyl
115 kW (154 bhp) 200 N⋅m (148 lb⋅ft)
2007-2013 N43B20
4-cyl
125 kW (168 bhp) 210 N⋅m (155 lb⋅ft)
320si 2005-2007 N45B20
4-cyl
127 kW (170 bhp) 210 N⋅m (155 lb⋅ft)
323i 2005–2007 N52B25
6-cyl
130 kW (174 bhp) 230 N⋅m (170 lb⋅ft)
2007-2013 149 kW (200 bhp) 244 N⋅m (180 lb⋅ft)
325i 2005–2007 N52B25
6-cyl
160 kW (215 bhp) 250 N⋅m (184 lb⋅ft)
2007-2013 N53B30
6-cyl
160 kW (215 bhp) 270 N⋅m (199 lb⋅ft)
328i 2007-2013 N52B30
6-cyl
172 kW (231 bhp) 271 N⋅m (200 lb⋅ft)
330i 2005-2007 N52B30
6-cyl
190 kW (255 bhp) 300 N⋅m (221 lb⋅ft)
2007-2013 200 kW (268 bhp) 315 N⋅m (232 lb⋅ft)
2007-2013 N53B30
6-cyl
200 kW (268 bhp) 320 N⋅m (236 lb⋅ft)
335i 2006–2009 N54B30
6-cyl twin-turbo
225 kW (302 bhp) 400 N⋅m (295 lb⋅ft)
2009-2013 N55B30
6-cyl turbo
225 kW (302 bhp) 400 N⋅m (295 lb⋅ft)
335is 2011-2013 N54B30
6-cyl twin-turbo
240 kW (322 bhp) 500 N⋅m (369 lb⋅ft)
M3 2007-2013 S65B40
V8
309 kW (414 bhp) 400 N⋅m (295 lb⋅ft)
M3 GTS 2010-2011 S65B44
V8
331 kW (444 bhp) 440 N⋅m (325 lb⋅ft)

Since the following generation of 3 Series used turbocharged engines for the entire model range, the E90/E91/E92/E93 was the last 3 Series to be available with a naturally aspirated engine.

Diesel[edit]

Model Years Engine Power Torque
316d 2009–2011 N47D20
4-cyl turbo
85 kW (114 bhp) 260 N⋅m (192 lb⋅ft)
318d 2005–2007 M47D20
4-cyl turbo
90 kW (121 bhp) 280 N⋅m (207 lb⋅ft)
2007–2011 N47D20
4-cyl turbo
105 kW (141 bhp) 320 N⋅m (236 lb⋅ft)
320d 2005–2007 M47D20
4-cyl turbo
120 kW (161 bhp) 340 N⋅m (251 lb⋅ft)
2007–2013 N47D20
4-cyl turbo
130 kW (174 bhp) 350 N⋅m (258 lb⋅ft)
2010–2012 135 kW (181 bhp) 380 N⋅m (280 lb⋅ft)
320d ED 2010–2013 120 kW (161 bhp) 380 N⋅m (280 lb⋅ft)
325d 2006–2009 M57D30
6-cyl turbo
145 kW (194 bhp) 400 N⋅m (295 lb⋅ft)
2010–2012 N57D30
6-cyl turbo
150 kW (201 bhp) 430 N⋅m (317 lb⋅ft)
330d 2005–2008 M57D30
6-cyl turbo
170 kW (228 bhp) 500 N⋅m (369 lb⋅ft)
2008–2012 N57D30
6-cylinder
180 kW (241 bhp) 520 N⋅m (384 lb⋅ft)
335d 2006–2013 M57D30
6-cyl twin-turbo
210 kW (282 bhp) 580 N⋅m (428 lb⋅ft)

Suspension[edit]

At the front, aluminium MacPherson struts are used. The rear suspension is a steel 5-link Multi-link suspension.[23]

Equipment[edit]

Interior

Optional features (some of which are standard on higher models) include Xenon headlamps, automatic climate control, parking sensors, power-adjustable seats, satellite navigation, glass sunroof, heated front seats, Bluetooth and USB audio input.[24][25][26]

Optional equipment could be ordered individually or combined into packages. Optional interior colours, known as BMW Individual, were also available at extra cost.

The contents of the 'Premium Package' varies according to model year and market.[27] It included items such as leather seats[28] with power adjustments, memory seat function, lumbar support, auto-dimming mirrors, a digital compass, auto-folding exterior mirrors, BMW Assist w/Bluetooth, and universal garage opener.[29]

The 'Cold Weather Package' includes headlight washers, heated front seats and split/folding rear seats with a ski bag.[30][31]

The 'Sports Package' includes a leather 3-prong sports steering wheel, sports front seats, 18-inch wheels, sports suspension and an increase in the speed limiter to 148 mph (238 km/h).[31]

The 'Technology Package' includes iDrive, navigation, keyless entry ("Comfort Access"), selectable driving modes ("M Drive"), HD radio and Electronic Damping Control.[32][33]

M3 model[edit]

E92 M3 coupe
E90 M3 sedan

The M3 model was powered by the BMW S65 V8 engine and produced in sedan, coupe and convertible body styles.

Alpina models[edit]

The Alpina B3 and D3 models were based on the E90/E91/E92/E93. The B3 was powered by turbocharged 6-cylinder petrol engine and the D3 was powered by a turbocharged 4-cylinder diesel engine.

Special Editions[edit]

320si[edit]

To satisfy homologation requirements for the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), BMW built 2600 units of the 320si.[34]

335is[edit]

BMW 335is (E93) with roof lowered

The 335is was produced in coupé and convertible models for the North American market. Its position in the model lineup was between the regular 335i and the M3, and approximately 6,300 units were produced. The 335is uses a higher performance version of the N54 engine, which increases boost from 8.7 to 11.6 psi (0.6 to 0.8 bar).[35] This results in 239 kW (320 bhp) and 332 lb⋅ft (450 N⋅m) of torque, plus an overboost function raises torque to 370 lb⋅ft (502 N⋅m) for up to 7 seconds.

Transmission options were a 7-speed double clutch transmission (DCT) with launch control or a 6-speed manual transmission. The manual transmission has an upgraded clutch compared to the regular 335i.

Other changes compared to the 335i include stiffer engine mounts, a higher-flow exhaust system, an upgraded cooling system, a different steering wheel, sport seats and "335is" badging on dash and in the instrument cluster.[36][37] Exterior differences are larger air openings in the front bumper, a rear bumper that incorporates a diffuser-style piece, black kidney grills, and 18-inch or 19-inch "Style 313" wheels.[38]

Model year changes[edit]

2008 Facelift (LCI)[edit]

In September 2008, the facelift (LCI) versions of the sedan and wagon were released for the 2009 model year. Compared to typically subtle BMW LCI changes, these changes were relatively extensive.

Mechanical changes included an increase in rear track of 24 mm (0.94 in) for some models, a power increase for the 320d from 130 to 135 kW (174 to 181 bhp) and the N57 engine replacing the M57 for the 330d model.[39]

Styling changes included front and rear bumpers, wing mirrors, headlights, taillights, boot lid, wider kidney grilles and revised crease lines for the bonnet.[40][41] The new 2009 - 2011 facelift (LCI) AWD models became known as "xDrive" models, unlike the previous 2006-2008 (pre-lci) AWD models, which were labeled as "xi" models. The new xDrive models received xDrive badges on the bumper and both the right and left sides right below the side marker lamps. For the interior, crash-activated head restraints were added to the front seats, the optional "Professional" navigation system was updated, iDrive was updated and the resolution of the display was increased.[42]

2010[edit]

For the 2010 model year,[43] the Sport, Lifestyle and Exclusive Edition were introduced for sedan and wagon models. The 316d wagon model was added, as was the 320d EfficientDynamics Edition sedan.

Mechanical changes included compliance with the EU5 emission standard, EU6 emission compliance (optional) for the 320d and 330d models, power increases for the 318d, 320d, 325d and 330d models, the N54 engine in the 335i being replaced by N55 engine, and additional features for BMW ConnectedDrive.

Safety[edit]

Euro NCAP scores[44]
Adult Occupant: 5/5 stars
Child Occupant: 4/5 stars
Pedestrian: 1/4 stars

The Euro NCAP noted the poor pedestrian protection awarding 4 points out of 36, reporting the 3 Series was "very disappointing" in this measure.

IIHS[edit]

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the 3 Series a "Good" overall rating in both the frontal and side impact crash tests. The 3 Series received "Good" marks in all six of the frontal crash test categories,[45] and "Good" marks in six of the nine categories in the side impact test.[46] The IIHS also gave the 3 Series the Top Safety Pick award. The convertible is rated "Marginal" in side impacts,[47] making the 3 Series convertible the lowest rated vehicle currently sold in its class in IIHS tests.[48]

2008 sedan NHTSA scores[49]
Frontal Driver: 4/5 stars
Frontal Passenger: 4/5 stars
Side Rear Driver: 5/5 stars
Side Rear Passenger: 5/5 stars
Rollover: 4/5 stars

Recalls[edit]

In November 2017, BMW recalled 672,000 3 Series cars from model years 2006–11 with climate control system electronic components at risk of overheating, due to a faulty blower motor.[50]

Production[edit]

BMW plant in Leipzig, Germany: Spot welding of BMW 3 series car bodies with KUKA industrial robots.

In 2002, Norbert Reithofer and Development Chief Burkhard Goeschel started an initiative to halve the time it took to reach full production of the next generation 3 Series from six months to three.[51]

The E90 was produced in Germany (Leipzig, Munich and Regensburg) and in South Africa (Rosslyn).[52] Local assembly of complete knock-down (CKD) kits was used for cars sold in China, Egypt,[53] India,[54][55] Indonesia, Malaysia,[56] Mexico[57] and Russia.[58]

The production dates for each body style are as follows:

  • Sedan (E90): December 2004 – October 2011
  • Wagon (E91): September 2005 – January 2012
  • Coupé (E92): June 2006 – June 2013[59]
  • Convertible (E93): December 2006 – October 2013[60]

Sales[edit]

First marketed in March 2005, the car quickly became BMW Group's best-selling car worldwide, and by the end of the year 229,900 vehicles had been delivered.[61]

The BMW E90 series was the best-selling luxury car in Canada and the United States. The 2006 E90 marked the 15th consecutive year that the 3 Series was named on Car and Driver's 10Best.[62][63]

Units sold according to BMW's annual reports:[64]

Year Total Sedan Wagon Coupé Convertible Notes
2005 256,981 229,932 27,049 - - Sedan launched in March, wagon introduced in September.
2006 463,820 336,232 105,483 22,105 - Coupé introduced in September.
2007 555,135 310,194 102,399 89,572 52,970 Convertible launched in March.
2008 474,208 246,231 93,191 79,248 55,538
2009 397,103 219,850 84,601 54,852 37,800
2010 399,009 242,831 74,008 46,358 35,812
2011 384,464 240,279 72,054 39,332 32,799
2012 112,707 - 59,144 29,525 24,038 F30 Sedan launched.
2013 32,658 - - 15,240 17,418 F30 Touring launched in autumn 2012.
Total 3,076,085 1,825,549 617,929 376,232 256,375

Motorsports[edit]

E90 320si WTCC car driven by Andy Priaulx

BMW WTCC works driver Andy Priaulx won the 2006 and 2007 World Touring Car Championships in the 320si E90, and four other drivers achieved over 35 wins in the championship.

The E90 320si was used by several teams in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC). The 2009 BTCC Drivers Championship was won by Colin Turkingtonusing the E90 320si.

The E92 Art Car entered the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans race, with Andy Priaulx (GB), Dirk Müller (DE) and Dirk Werner (DE) driving the number 78 car[65][66] which failed to complete the race.[67]

Awards[edit]

  • In April 2006, the E90 was awarded the World Car of the Year title. The car was praised for its balance between performance and practicality, as well as between style and seriousness. The jury also praised the new diesel engines and the all-wheel-drive variants.[68]
  • Car and Driver magazine listed the E90 on their Ten Best list eight consecutive times between 2006 and 2013.
  • The E90 was named "Best New Sports Sedan" in the 2006 Canadian Car of the Year awards.
  • It was Japan's Import Car of the Year for 2005–06.
  • The British motoring magazine What Car? awarded it Car of the Year 2006. From 2006 to 2011, they also awarded it Compact Executive of the Year.
  • In April 2011, the E90 335d sedan won the 2011 Diesel Car of the Year award, an honour bestowed by The Diesel Driver magazine's readers, receiving 29,6% of the vote.
  • The British motoring magazine What Car? awarded the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Auto the Overall Winner Green Car of the Year 2012. The 320d model has a UK combined fuel economy of 56 mpg and CO
    2
    emissions of 110g/km.[69]

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