BMW 3 Series (E90)

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2007 3 Series
PredecessorBMW E46
ClassCompact executive car
Body style(s)2-door coupe
2-door convertible
4-door sedan
4-door station wagon
LayoutFront engine, rear-wheel drive / all-wheel drive
PlatformBMW E90 (Sedan)
BMW E91 (Wagon)
BMW E92 (Coupe)
BMW E93 (Convertible)
Engine(s)1.6L I4; 2.0L I4; 2.5L I6; 3.0L I6; 3.0L Turbo I6; 2.0L Diesel I4; 3.0L Diesel I6; 3.0L Twin-Turbo Diesel I6
Transmission(s)6-speed manual
6-speed automatic
Wheelbase2,761 mm (108.7 in)
LengthWagon: 4,526 mm (178.2 in)
Convertible: 4,587 mm (180.6 in)
2009- Coupe: 181.1 in (4,600 mm)
2007-08 Coupe: 4,580 mm (180.3 in)
Sedan: 4,526 mm (178.2 in)
WidthWagon: 1,816 mm (71.5 in)
Convertible & Coupe: 1,783 mm (70.2 in)
Height2009- Wagon: 55.8 in (1,417 mm)
2006-08 Wagon: 1,455 mm (57.3 in)
Convertible: 1,384 mm (54.5 in)
328i Coupe: 1,374 mm (54.1 in)
328xi Coupe: 1,394 mm (54.9 in)
335i Coupe: 1,377 mm (54.2 in)
i Sedan: 1,420 mm (55.9 in)
xi Sedan: 1,425 mm (56.1 in)
Fuel capacity63 L (17 US gal; 14 imp gal)
RelatedBMW M3
ManualsService Manual

The BMW E90 automobile platform is the fifth generation of the BMW 3 Series range of compact executive cars. The car is also available as a station wagon/estate (designated as E91), coupé (E92) and coupé cabriolet (E93). A high performance BMW M3 version of the E90, E92, and E93 is also available. It is the successor to the E46 platform, and was launched in March 2005. The E90 is slated to be replaced in 2012 when a new 3 Series body is introduced.

In 2002, Head of Production Norbert Reithofer and Development Chief Burkhard Goeschel halved the standard BMW time it took to reach full production of the E90 from six months to three.[1] First marketed in March 2005, it had quickly become BMW Group's best selling automobile worldwide by the end of the year with 229,900 vehicles delivered.[2]

E46 comparison

The E90 sedan is 49 mm (1.9 in) longer, 78 mm (3.1 in) wider and 9 mm (0.4 in) taller than its predecessor (E46). The wheelbase is longer by 35 mm (1.4 in). In previous 3 Series models, space for passengers and luggage were common criticisms, however, BMW made significant improvements to the poor leg and headroom in those previous models. BMW's brochure even highlights, 'Now long legs can be enjoyed even by the people who have them'. Large amounts of aluminium were used in the body work and suspension in an attempt to keep the weight close to previous models; however the E90 weighs between 50 lb (23 kg) and 300 lb (140 kg) more than comparable older models. The N54B30 engine is made of aluminum, while the N51 and N52 engines largely consist of magnesium. The piston sleeves are steel and have copper coating.

The E90 also introduced run-flat tires to the 3 Series range. Consequently, cars with run-flats are not equipped with a spare tire. While these theoretically improve performance and handling, run-flats cost much more to replace and give a harsher ride.



Version Local Production Engine Power Torque
316i EUR 1.6 L I4 114 bhp (85 kW; 116 PS) 0 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
316i EUR 1.6 L I4 120 bhp (89 kW; 122 PS) 0 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
318i EUR 2.0 L I4 127 bhp (95 kW; 129 PS) 0 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
318i EUR 2.0 L I4 143 bhp (107 kW; 145 PS) 140 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
320i EUR 2.0 L I4 148 bhp (110 kW; 150 PS) 0 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
320i EUR 2.0 L I4 170 bhp (127 kW; 172 PS) 210 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
320si EUR 2.0 L I4 171 bhp (128 kW; 173 PS) 0 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
323i EUR 2.5 L I6 175 bhp (130 kW; 177 PS) 0 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
323i EUR 2.5 L I6 188 bhp (140 kW; 191 PS) 0 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
323i CA 2007+ 2.5 L I6 200 bhp (149 kW; 203 PS) 180 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
325i EUR 2.5 L I6 218 bhp (163 kW; 221 PS) 200 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
325i US 2006 2.5 L I6 215 bhp (160 kW; 218 PS) 185 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
328i US, CA 2007+ 3.0 L I6 230 bhp (172 kW; 233 PS) 200 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
330i US, CA 2006 3.0 L I6 255 bhp (190 kW; 259 PS) 220 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
330i EUR 3.0 L I6 272 bhp (203 kW; 276 PS) 236 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
335i US, CA, EUR 2007+ 3.0 L twin-turbo I6 300 bhp (224 kW; 304 PS) 300 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
M3 US, CA, EUR 2007+ 4.0 L V8 414 bhp (309 kW; 420 PS) 295 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)


Version Local Production Engine Power Torque
318d EUR 2.0 L 120 bhp (89 kW; 122 PS) 0 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
318d EUR 2.0 L 141 bhp (105 kW; 143 PS) 0 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
320d EUR 2.0 L 161 bhp (120 kW; 163 PS) 0 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
320d EUR 2.0 L 175 bhp (130 kW; 177 PS) 258 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
325d EUR 3.0 L 194 bhp (145 kW; 197 PS) 295 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
330d EUR 3.0 L 228 bhp (170 kW; 231 PS) 367 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
335d US, CA 2009+ 3.0 L 265 bhp (198 kW; 269 PS) 425 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)
335d EUR 3.0 L 282 bhp (210 kW; 286 PS) 428 ft·lbf (Template:Convert/Nm)

On the Canada-spec 2007 323i an I6 engine block heater is not available -- though one can be retrofitted -- for the E90, making extremely cold weather starts problematic.

Body styles and models

Sedan (E90)

2009 BMW 328i sedan (US)

The sedan (saloon) model of the 3 series was the first model sold of the 5th generation BMW 3 series. Debuting in 2006, the E90 came in two trims in the US, the 325i/x and 330i/x models. Later, the US E90 received an engine boost with the debuts of the 2007 328i/x and 335i/x models.

BMW released an M3 model of the E90 sedan for the 2008 model year. The M3 features a more powerful engine and aggressive M styling. The E90 M3 also separated itself from the standard E90 by utilizing the E92 coupe's front headlights and kidney grill design.

BMW updated the E90 sedan for the 2009 model year with minor changes comprising of new kidney grilles, a new front bumper, new headlamps, new wing mirrors, new tail lamps which return to the classic BMW L-shape, a larger boot lid, and updated iDrive with a web browser. Certain models have their rear track increased by 24mm. The 330d gets the new BMW N57 all-aluminum diesel engine with a variable geometry turbocharger,[3] and will develop 245PS. The E90 M3 only received the new rear design and iDrive system from the E90 2009 model year facelift.

Touring (E91)

The Sports Wagon (Touring) model of the 3-Series is available with both rear-wheel drive and xDrive AWD. BMW updated the E91 touring for the 2009 model year with the same changes as the E90 (see Sedan section above).

Coupé (E92)

The two-door coupé model of the 3-Series became available in August 2006. It is also the first BMW coupé offered with xDrive. The coupé's body is now its own design and no longer derived from the sedan minus two doors unlike its predecessors, being longer and narrower than its E90 counterpart.

All E92s also come standard with Xenon HID headlights and "retractable seatbelt helpers" that extend from the B pillar to hand you the seatbelt when the key fob is in the ignition and the door is closed. The E92 comes with 320i, 325i, 325xi, 328i, 328xi, 330i, 330xi, 335i, 335xi, 320d, 325d, 330d, 335d and 330xd models (availability of certain models depends on region; diesels not available to the US market until 2008).

BMW released an M3 model of the E92 coupe for the 2008 model year. Along with the same powerful engine and similar aggressive M styling found in its E90 counterpart, the E92 M3 has a black carbon fiber roof which can be traded for a traditional moonroof/painted roof setup.

Cabriolet (E93)

For the first time for BMW, the popular 3 Series convertible is no longer available with a folding soft top. Instead, the traditional fabric has been replaced with a 3 piece, folding metal hardtop roof. The new Coupé-cabriolet is also the center of many new technological advancements for BMW as well as the recipient of many existing safety and performance technologies that have been improved upon for the new model. The new 3 Series convertible improves upon BMWs "Comfort Access" option, by allowing the user to completely raise and lower the folding roof by simply pressing and holding the respective buttons on the key fob.

Special edition

Andy Priaulx's BMW 320si WTCC.

The 320si is a special homologation version, built in order to qualify the car for the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC).[4] It was released in 2006 and limited to 2,600 units. The 320si uses a modified 4 cylinder engine (N45) different from the standard 320i (N46). Modifications include an increased redline to 7,300 rpm, a shortened stroke (by 2 mm), an increased bore (by 1 mm) and a higher compression ratio (11.0:1). The engine is mostly hand built and does not have Valvetronic, decreasing the number of moving parts. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) takes 8.1 seconds and acceleration in fourth gear from 80 km/h (50 mph) to 120 km/h (75 mph) takes 7.7 seconds compared with a standard 320i which achieves them in 9.0 and 9.1 seconds respectively. Fourth gear acceleration is comparable to that of the 325i which achieves the 80 to 120 km/h sprint in 7.5 seconds.


In Euro NCAP scores[5]:

Adult Occupant: 5/5 starsStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg

Child Occupant: 4/5 starsStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg

Pedestrian: 1/4 starsStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg

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

The 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.[6] And Good marks in six of the nine categories in the side impact test.[7] The IIHS also gave the 3-series the Top Safety Pick Award.

NHTSA 2008 sedan[8]:

Frontal Driver: 4/5 starsStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg

Frontal Passenger: 4/5 starsStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg

Side Driver: 5/5 starsStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg

Side Rear Passenger: 5/5 starsStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg

2WD Rollover: 4/5 starsStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg

AWD Rollover : 4/5 starsStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg


  • In April 2006, the E90 was awarded the World Car of the Year title by a jury of 46 international automotive journalists. 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.[9]
  • Car and Driver magazine listed the E90 3-series on their Ten Best list for the 16th time in 24 years of the list's publication.
  • The E90 was named "Best New Sports Sedan" in the 2006 Canadian Car of the Year awards.
  • Top Gear voted it as the ugliest car in 2005, subsequently it was never featured in the "Cool Wall" segment.



External links