The 2009 BMW 3 Series: A variety of mild styling updates

The sedan and wagon variants of the BMW 3 Series for the year 2009 get a variety of subtle styling updates, in addition to a slight increase in the rear track width. The optional navigation system, which is now hard drive-based and features real-time traffic information, is accompanied by a newly redesigned iDrive controller.

In the latter part of the production year, BMW will begin offering an optional clean-diesel engine with twin turbochargers in the 3 Series sedan. Last but not least, models equipped with all-wheel drive have been given the name xDrive, and a number of features have been updated or added.

To maintain its position as the best, the 2009 BMW 3 Series has undergone a few changes. Some of the sedan and wagon’s more questionable styling elements have been rectified.

The sleek cabooses of these models mark a return to the more attractive BMW tradition of L-shaped taillights, and their new front fascias are reminiscent of the sexier coupe and convertible.

We don’t mind that the coupe and convertible haven’t received any attention this year because the sedan and wagon were the only members of the family that needed visual enhancement.

The 2009 BMW 3 Series: A variety of mild styling updates
The 2009 BMW 3 Series: A variety of mild styling updates. Image source: The Car Connection

The 2009 BMW 3 Series models

Sedan, station wagon, coupe, and convertible hardtop configurations are all offered for the 2009 BMW 3 Series. The coupe, sedan, and wagon may all be had in standard rear-wheel-drive 328i form, and all-wheel-drive 328i xDrive form is also an option.

The sedan and coupe may be acquired in 335i xDrive form, while the sedan and wagon can be had in 335i specification with rear-wheel drive. A diesel-powered 335d sedan will be available later in the model year.

A 10-speaker CD radio with an auxiliary input connection, automatic temperature control, leatherette vinyl upholstery, and 16-inch wheels are all standard on 328i versions. The sport-tuned suspension on the coupe and the power-retractable roof on the convertible are just two of the additional features that come standard on these variants.

The 335i comes standard with 17-inch alloys, xenon lighting, and power front seats with driver memory in addition to its more potent engine. The 335d ought to be furnished in the same fashion.

The Premium Package is standard on most BMW 3 Series vehicles and includes features including leather upholstery (heat-reflective in convertibles), auto-dimming mirrors, Bluetooth, BMW Assist telematics, and power seats with driver memory in the 328i.

All three body styles (convertible, sedan, and wagon) benefit from the Sport Package’s stiffer suspension, bigger wheels, sport seats and steering wheel, and unique “Shadowline” exterior trim.

The Climate Package includes heated front seats and steering wheel, fold-down rear seats, and retractable headlamp washers (though the latter are unavailable in the convertible). You can get several of these things on their own.

Options include: an automatic transmission with paddle shifters, xenon headlights (328i only), rear window shades, satellite radio, HD radio, an iPod adapter, and a Logic 7 surround-sound audio system; a navigation system with an iDrive controller; keyless ignition/entry; active cruise control; front and rear parking assist; an active steering system; and the list goes on and on.

Regardless of body design, the BMW 3 Series has long been the benchmark in the compact luxury automobile sector.
Regardless of body design, the BMW 3 Series has long been the benchmark in the compact luxury automobile sector. Image source: The Car Connection

The 2009 BMW 3 Series Overview

Another year has passed, and with it has come yet another cycle of refined improvements designed to make one of the most lauded automobiles ever produced even better. The BMW 3 Series has been the standard bearer in the compact luxury car segment for many years now, regardless of body style (sedan, coupe, convertible, or wagon).

For years, rival automakers have tried and failed to match this BMW’s impressive blend of understated luxury, top-notch build quality, ideal size, plentiful features, and harmonious ride and handling.

Apart from that, the much-criticized iDrive electronics interface has been vastly enhanced with more logically ordered menus and buttons encircling the iDrive control knob that access frequently used features (radio, navigation, telephone). The navigation system has been upgraded to use a hard drive and now includes live traffic updates.

BMW’s first U.S.-market clean diesel engine will make its debut in the 2009 335d later this year. BMW claims that its six-cylinder, twin-turbocharged engine will get an impressive 23 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the interstate while still adhering to the most recent, stringent emissions standards in all fifty states.

The 2009 BMW 3 Series: Expert Review

The 2009 BMW 3 Series is expected to retain its position as the best-selling luxury automobile in the United States for good reason: it is a true driver’s car that is also comfortable and elegant enough to attract buyers from a broad variety of demographics. It doesn’t mean there aren’t other strong options, though.

The Infiniti G37 provides 335i power for 328i pricing, the Cadillac CTS provides an extra helping of cabin space, and the most recent Audi A4 has all-weather competence in a sleek package. All of these options are worthy in their own right, but none of them can unseat the 3 Series from its longstanding position.


  • The car has nearly perfect dynamics,
  • Powerful and refined engines,
  • A high-quality interior,
  • Four different body types, and
  • A stylish retractable hardtop for the convertible.


  • The inside does not have a lot of storage space, and it is expensive.

The 2009 BMW 3 Series: Performance

BMW’s 328i and 328xi are both powered by a 3.0L inline-6 engine that generates 230 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque, respectively. To produce 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque, BMW equips the 335i and 335i xDrive with a different 3.0-liter inline-6 engine.

A twin-turbocharged diesel engine producing 265 horsepower and 425 pound-feet of torque will propel the 335d. Six-speed manual transmissions and six-speed automatics are both available for gas-powered vehicles (standard on the 335d). The car is capable of having paddle shifters installed.

We were able to accelerate a manual-transmission 328i sedan to 60 miles per hour in 6.4 seconds, but the heavier convertible took a fraction of a second longer. We have put a number of 335i sedans and coupes through our paces, and no matter the body style, they all finish the dash in little over 5 seconds. In under 5.9 seconds, the 335d completed the dash.

The 3 Series’ efficient engines allow it to have a low carbon footprint. Fuel economy for the 328i ranges from 17–18 mpg in the city, 25–28 mpg on the highway, and 20–21 mpg overall, depending on body type and engine.

With an automatic transmission, the 335i gets 17/26/20 mpg in the city/highway. Such figures will be lowered marginally by the presence of a manual gearbox or all-wheel drive. BMW claims the 335d will get an outstanding 23/36 mpg in city/highway driving.

The 2009 BMW 3 Series: Safety

The 2009 BMW 3 Series is equipped with antilock disc brakes, stability control, run-flat tires, front side airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags as standard safety features. In place of side curtains, convertibles include standard front side airbags that reach to above head level and pop-up rollover hoops.

The stability control system incorporates various elements meant to enhance braking efficiency, such as occasionally wiping the brake rotors dry while the windshield wipers are on and automatically snugging the pads to the rotors when the driver suddenly takes off the throttle.

The sedan and wagon were both given four out of five stars for frontal collision protection and five out of five ratings for side collision prevention in government crash testing.

The 3 Series sedan, wagon, and convertible all received a “Good” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for frontal-offset crashworthiness. The sedan and wagon both achieved a “Good” for side crash safety, while the convertible received the second-lowest “Marginal” score due to inadequate back seat head protection and probable torso injuries for people seated in the front.

The 2009 BMW 3 Series: Interior

The 3 Series presents a subtle air of opulence within. While not particularly flashy, the interior places a premium on the comfort and participation of the driver with features like supportive seats and uncluttered analog dials. The typical leatherette (vinyl) upholstery is surprisingly high-quality, as are all of the other materials and workmanship.

The heat-reflective leather in the convertible does an excellent job of preventing hot posteriors. The optional navigation system’s iDrive electronics interface has been updated for this model year, and while it’s a vast improvement over last year’s system, it still makes operating the audio difficult.

Both the basic front seats and the optional power-adjustable sport seats provide ample support to keep you comfortable even after a long day on the road. Adults will be comfortable in the back seats for shorter excursions, but those who are taller may find themselves wishing for additional headroom.

Sedans and coupes have typical trunk room, while the wagon has a maximum of 61 cubic feet. The convertible has a usable trunk when the top is up, but as expected, this space is much reduced when the top is folded down.

The 2009 BMW 3 Series: Comfort and Driving

You can’t go wrong with any of the 2009 BMW 3 Series’ powertrain options. The naturally aspirated basic engine lacks in low-end torque but gets the vehicle moving quickly once it gets going and gets good gas mileage on the interstate.

The inline six-cylinder engine is, in typical BMW fashion, silky smooth from idle to redline, but gives off a deliberate snarl when pushed hard. The twin-turbo 335i is a blast for speed demons since it delivers the type of acceleration that used to be reserved for the high-performance M3. The 335d, which was released late, has the most efficient gas mileage and has the most impressive first burst of torque.

The 3 Series’ excellent suspension, steering, and brakes will keep you entertained for hours on winding two-lane roads. The 3 Series is also a great long-distance cruiser thanks to its quiet interior and comfortable ride. The long-running success of the BMW 3 Series may be attributed in large part to the fact that it is both a sports car and a luxury sedan.

Which is better, leasing or buying a 2009 BMW 3 Series?

Which is better, automobile leasing or buying? Most individuals would agree that purchasing a car is the best option. If you’re prepared to make larger monthly payments, pay off the loan in full, and retain the automobile for a few years, it makes financial sense to do so.

The monthly payments for leasing, on the other hand, may be lower. It’s also beneficial if you’re the kind to buy a new automobile every three years.


The 2009 BMW 335d’s diesel engine won’t excite most Americans. It’s likely to be disliked. Diesel in our nation conjures thoughts of big-rig smokestacks spouting menacing black clouds or slug-slow, sulfur-spewing Mercedes 240Ds clogging the fast lane and the atmosphere.

The 2009 BMW 335d is like that obnoxious child who’s amazing at everything—a it’s 3 Series. The 335d makes up for its lack of standard amenities and price with sports-car-like handling and braking, a comfortable ride, and a luxurious cabin.

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