But these paddle shifters are on the smaller side, and tucked closer to the column, like attached earlobes, so it’s more of a reach for smaller hands. The $2,450 Track Handling package adds the M Sport differential, brakes, and adaptive M suspension, which is an extra $700 even on the M340i.

The lack of a flat-bottomed steering wheel also seems off. In the M340i xDrive, that time drops to 4.1 seconds and reaches the same 155-mph top speed, when optionally equipped.

This is my first review on Edmund’s.

The 2020 3-Series doesn’t look much different than its predecessor, but it’s nearly three inches longer, half an inch wider, a bit taller, and has a 1.6-inch longer wheelbase. But it’s longer and wider, the front fascia wider and bolder with hawkish headlights, and a rear that is equally buffed up with a more pronounced spoiler and larger dual chrome tailpipes.

Then come the options. The cabin has the finest touches to put it in the luxury category.

Add that to its good outward vision, safety options, and standard safety gear—each worth an extra point on our scale—it's just a federal score away from a perfect 10. All-wheel drive, which BMW calls xDrive, adds $2,000 to both models. Standard equipment on the $54,995 M340i includes Live Cockpit Pro, which we get into under the infotainment subhed, HD Radio, one year of Sirius XM radio, and all the M badging you could want.

The newest iteration of iDrive understands normal speech, can read emails, adjust cabin climate, and even lets you give it a pet name, if that’s your thing. There is no manual transmission for now, so both the 330i and M340i use the 8-speed automatic ubiquitous in BMW’s lineup. The 14-way power-adjustable seats standard on all 3-Series are customizable enough to put the cush in any tush. It uses a 12.3-inch digital display that doubles as a speedometer and tachometer. Our time in the M340i was limited to models equipped with a rear-biased all-wheel drive system that BMW calls xDrive. So if you’re BMW, you don’t cock about with the 3 Series. It’s a bit much. Starting at $41,745, the 3-Series has synthetic leather upholstery and real wood trim pieces that make it a luxury value, but temptations such as Live Cockpit Professional or Vernasca leather or any body color other than black or white will nudge the 330i closer to $50,000, at which point we would ask, why not just get the M340i? Other piecemeal options include remote start, heated front seats and steering wheel, parking sensors, Harman Kardon sound, adaptive cruise control, wireless smartphone charging, and more. The 2020 BMW 3-Series is a car built on aspirations.

The IIHS awarded the 2020 BMW 3-Series a Top Safety Pick+ when equipped with the headlights specific to the Executive package. The M340i’s 382-hp 3.0-liter turbo-6 benefits from an adaptive suspension and larger 19-inch wheels with performance non run-flat tires.

The system still offers every imaginable way to access vehicle info, from excellent voice commands to ridiculous gesture controls. When it comes to handling, BMW outfits the 3-Series with an upgraded double-joint front strut suspension and five-link rear suspension. Optional equipment includes active lane control and adaptive cruise control that can stop the car, then start it again within 30 seconds, which makes stop-and-go traffic less aggravating.

The Car Connection is published by, The technical reality of the 3-Series is that it has grown from compact to near mid-size proportions, the technology has never been better, it can equally play the part of sophisticate and punk, and it is once again the benchmark for the compact sport sedan, in spite of so much competition.

An electrified 3-Series is due next year, and that plug-in hybrid model is expected to have more than 25 miles of all-electric range. Yes, the 2020 BMW 3 Series is a great car. I owned a 2011 F10 BMW 550i M sport and decided to downsize once I saw the 2020 M340i. The longer wheelbase pushes the wheels to the edge, and the wider stance makes it appear sportier, more athletic. We think they’re both worth an 8, with extra points for grip, powertrain and handling.

The automatic’s fine in the 330i for everyday driving, but the revs drop dramatically between second and third gears. Inside the 3-Series, the dash sits lower and all the digital displays rise to the top of the soft-touch dash.

It earns a 7.7 out of 10. Up front, the classic twin kidney grille keeps getting larger, like the 3-Series itself. We’d go piecemeal for Live Cockpit Pro ($1,100), heated front seats ($500), and heated steering wheel ($190). That’s worth a point on our scale, as is the overall value of standard equipment, the bounty of options, good warranty, and a solid infotainment system. There is plenty of room for four adults, but expect that mid-rear seat to work only in a pinch.