Better than the outgoing model in every way, the all-new BMW 3-Series wont increase much in price when it goes on sale later this month.
The 2006 325i will start at $30,995, only $1,695 more than the 2005 model, despite featuring an entirely new design, upgraded 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that now makes 215-horsepower compared to the 2005 models 184-horsepower rating, a new six-speed automatic transmission with manual mode, enhanced chassis engineering and steering geometry, totally revised interior, and more.
The top-line 330i is improved too, featuring all of the 325is upgrades plus an all-new 3.0-liter engine that produces 255-horsepower compared to the outgoing models 225-horsepower rating, while torque is up from 214 lb-ft in the current car to 220 lb-ft. Like the 325i, the 330is base price will rise when it goes on sale, but only by $1,295 to $36,995.
Both new engines are the first in large-scale series production to incorporate magnesium as a main component, a metal that is 30 percent lighter than aluminum. The engines are also the first six-cylinders in the BMW family to make use of Valvetronic, the brands variable valve timing system.
Other option groups include the $2,200 Navigation package, up $400 from last years navigation system, but now featuring integrated voice recognition for hands free actuation of ancillary functions.
A Cold Weather package, at $1,000, the same price as last years version, adds a ski bag, fold down rear seatbacks, heated front seats and retractable headlight washers.
A Premium package, available on both models, is priced at $2,900 in the new 325i compared to $2,300 in the outgoing car. It features the same power glass sunroof, leather covered 8-way power front seats and drivers side memory, and Harmon/Kardon LOGIC7 audio system. The new model also features power folding mirrors in premium guise.
The Premium package for the 330i is...