Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 BMW 3 Series VS 2016 Dodge Charger Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2016 BMW 3 Series

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VS

2016 Dodge Charger

Safety Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Charger doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Charger only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the 3 Series Sedan and the Charger have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Charger’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The 3 Series Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Charger’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 3 Series Sedan for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Dodge doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Charger.

Reliability Comparison

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For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the 3 Series Sedan have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of some of the engines in the Charger.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 3 Series Sedan has a standard 170-amp alternator. The Charger’s standard 160-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the 3 Series Sedan has a standard 900-amp battery. The Charger’s 730-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the BMW 3 Series Sedan RWD 320i/328i’s reliability will be 37% better than the Charger and the BMW 3 Series Sedan Diesel will be 75% better than the Charger.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 18th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 18th in reliability, above the industry average. With 46 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 26th.

Engine Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan’s 2.0 turbo diesel produces 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 260) than the Charger SE/SXT’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6. The 3 Series Sedan’s 2.0 turbo diesel produces 16 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 264) than the Charger Rallye’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the 328d gets better fuel mileage than the Charger V6:

3 Series Sedan

Charger

RWD

Auto

32 city/42 hwy

19 city/31 hwy

AWD

Auto

30 city/40 hwy

18 city/27 hwy

On the EPA test cycle the 3 Series Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the Charger:

3 Series Sedan

Charger

RWD

320i/Manual

23 city/36 hwy

n/a

328i/Manual

22 city/34 hwy

n/a

340i/Manual

20 city/30 hwy

n/a

320i/Auto

24 city/36 hwy

n/a

328i/Auto

23 city/35 hwy

19 city/31 hwy

V6/Auto

340i/Auto

22 city/33 hwy

16 city/25 hwy

5.7 V8/Auto

n/a

15 city/25 hwy

6.4 V8/Auto

AWD

340i/Manual

20 city/29 hwy

n/a

320i/Auto

23 city/35 hwy

n/a

328i/Auto

22 city/34 hwy

18 city/27 hwy

V6/Auto

340i/Auto

22 city/33 hwy

n/a

Regenerative brakes improve the 3 Series Sedan’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Charger doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 3 Series Sedan’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Charger doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the Charger SE/SXT are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the 3 Series Sedan has larger standard tires than the Charger (225/55R17 vs. 215/65R17).

The 3 Series Sedan’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Charger SE’s standard 65 series tires. The 3 Series Sedan’s optional 225/40R19 front and 255/35R19 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the Charger R/T’s 45 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the 3 Series Sedan can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Charger doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Charger’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For better maneuverability, the 3 Series Sedan’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Charger’s (37.1 feet vs. 37.7 feet). The 3 Series Sedan xDrive’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the Charger AWD’s (38.4 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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The BMW 3 Series Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 700 pounds less than the Dodge Charger.

The 3 Series Sedan is 1 foot, 3.6 inches shorter than the Charger, making the 3 Series Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the BMW 3 Series Sedan amounts to more than styling. The 3 Series Sedan offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .28 to .3 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the Charger (.304 to .335) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the 3 Series Sedan get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan has 1.7 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom and 1.1 inches more rear headroom than the Charger.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the 3 Series Sedan easier. The 3 Series Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 26 inches, while the Charger’s liftover is 30.1 inches.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 3 Series Sedan’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Charger doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) offers an available heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Charger doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The 3 Series Sedan’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Charger’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left down on the 3 Series Sedan w/Comfort Access the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Charger can only raise the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The 3 Series Sedan’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Charger’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 3 Series Sedan offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Charger doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Charger doesn’t offer cornering lights. The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Charger doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The 3 Series Sedan’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Dodge only offers heated mirrors on the Charger SXT/Rallye/R/T.

The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i)’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Charger doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

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The BMW 3 Series Sedan has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

3 Series Sedan

Charger

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

n/a

Kiplinger’s Awards

2

1

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 20 of the last 21 years. The Charger has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 13 of the last 19 years. The Charger has never been an “All Star.”

The BMW 3 and 4 Series outsold the Dodge Charger by 63% during the 2015 model year.

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