Tuned BMW 3 Series example

Which BMW 3 Series Is Best for Tuning? (5 Amazing Options)

There are many things to consider when purchasing a new car.

The BMW 3 Series offers many pros and is one of the best options for a compact sports sedan. But if you’re the type who likes to tune their car, which BMW 3 Series is best?

Here are the five best BMW 3 Series for tuning:

  1. E9x BMW 335i (2006 – 2010)
  2. E92 BMW M3 (2007 – 2013)
  3. F3x BMW 320i (2012 – 2019)
  4. F3x BMW 340i (2012 – 2019)
  5. G2x BMW 330e Plug-in Hybrid (2019 – onwards)

Read on to learn more and find out which option is right for you!

The top 5 BMW 3 Series for tuning

Looking for a BMW 3 Series that offers mind-blowing performance gains with relatively little effort?

If so, here are your five best options!

Note: If you go heavy into tuning, it can affect the life span of your BMW 3 Series.

1. E9x BMW 335i (2006 – 2010)

BMW 3 Series E92 335i grey back

The BMW 335i was released in 2006 as part of the E90 generation of the 3 Series.

The 335i was powered by the N54 engine, a twin-turbocharged inline-six that produced 306 horsepower and 400 Nm of torque.

It’s an impressive performance right out of the factory. However, there’s always room for improvement, and that’s where tuning comes in.

One of the best modifications for a BMW 335i with the N54 engine is getting a remap or tuning box from a company like RaceChip.

Using a RaceChip, you can the car up to 77 horsepower and 105 Nm more:

BMW 3 Series E92 335i RaceChip performance gains

Other popular tuning options are:

  • An upgraded charge pipe. The stock charge pipe on the car is weak and can fail quickly at higher turbo pressures.
  • An upgraded blow-off valve. The stock blow-off valve can leak at higher turbo pressures.
  • An upgraded downpipe. This is the most restrictive part of the BMW 335i’s exhaust system. An upgraded downpipe can reduce backpressure and improve power, torque, throttle response, and noise.

With a few simple modifications, your BMW 335i can be transformed into a true performance machine with 420+ horsepower!

2. E92 BMW M3 (2007 – 2013)

BMW 3 Series E92 M3 White front

The BMW E92 M3 is a high-performance sports car introduced in 2007.

It is the successor to the previous E46 M3 and is powered by a 4.0-liter V8 engine. The E92 M3 was widely acclaimed by automotive journalists and quickly became a popular choice for track days and racing events.

Today, it’s still one of the most common cars used on Nürburgring track days!

Since the E92 M3’s engine is naturally aspirated, there is little to be gained with ECU remaps.

The real tuning potential here is at the performance parts like the suspension parts or brakes!

But even if you want more power, the tuning potential for the BMW E92 M3 is nearly limitless.

From bolt-on modifications to complete engine swaps, there are countless ways to increase the power and performance of this already impressive car.

Here is a list of popular tuning mods for the E92 BMW M3:

  • Engine. A supercharger kit or a complete engine swap, although these are very costly mods.
  • Exhaust. A custom exhaust kit.
  • Brakes. Upgraded brake pads and stainless steel lines, or even a big brake kit.
  • Suspension. Lowering springs or a complete suspension upgrade kit.
  • Appearance. Add BMW M Performance Parts or even a body kit.
BMW 3 Series E92 M3 exhaust

3. F3x BMW 320i (2012 – 2019)

BMW 3 Series F30 320i touring grey front

The BMW F30 320i is a sporty and stylish sedan or touring powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 184 horsepower and 270 Nm of torque.

This power is sufficient, but one of the most popular tuning options for the F30 320i is a simple ECU tune.

An ECU tune can significantly impact this car’s performance, and it’s a relatively simple and straightforward mod to do.

It’s also relatively inexpensive, which makes it an excellent option for anyone looking to get a little more power out of their F30 320i.

For example, a tuning box from RaceChip for the BMW F30 320i will make it go from 184 to 236 horsepower and from 270 to 349 Nm!

BMW 3 Series F30 320i RaceChip performance gains

Note: If you’re considering adding BMW 5 Series wheels to a 3 Series, you should know that in most cases, they won’t fit.

4. F3x BMW 340i (2012 – 2019)

BMW 3 Series F30 340i blue sedan back

The BMW F30 340i is a high-performance version of the popular 3 Series sedan. It was introduced in 2012 and is powered by a twin-turbocharged inline-six engine that produces 320 horsepower.

However, with the right tools and a little know-how, it’s possible to make this vehicle perform far beyond its factory specifications.

Like the F30 320i, it can get serious performance gain with a simple chiptune:

BMW 3 Series F30 340i RaceChip performance gains

Tip: Don’t forget to try out the launch control feature on this model!

5. G2x BMW 330e Plug-in Hybrid (2019 – onwards)

BMW 3 Series G20 330e hybrid white front

The all-new BMW G20 330e is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that offers an impressively efficient driving experience.

Hidden feature: Did you know that you can create many useful shortcuts in the iDrive system of the 3 Series? Take a look at this article for more BMW 3 Series tips and hidden features!

Powered by a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo petrol engine and an electric motor, the 330e delivers a combined output of 292 horsepower and 420 Nm of torque.

However, what really caught our eye was the 330e’s tuning potential.

A simple stage 1 chiptune can help you go from 292 to 385 horsepower. That’s amazing, but the improved torque is even better. It goes from 420 Nm to 650 Nm!

BMW 3 Series G20 330e hybrid Mosselman tuning performance gains

In other words, the BMW G20 330e is the perfect car for those who want the best of both worlds: the efficiency of a hybrid vehicle with the power and capability of a BMW.

3 Reasons why you should consider an ECU remap tune for your BMW

As a proud owner of a BMW, you want to do everything you can to keep your car running at its best. And one of the best ways to do that is to get an ECU remap.

Tip: If you’re looking for other ways to improve the experience with your BMW 3 Series, check out eight tips and hidden features for the BMW 3 Series here!

This simply means adjusting the computer chip that controls your car’s engine for better performance.

Keep on reading to find out how!

1. It’s possible to get 30% or more Horsepower and torque

The primary reason for getting a remap for your BMW is to increase its power.

By increasing the air and fuel flow to the engine, an ECU remap can help the engine run more efficiently and produce more power.

RaceChip claims you can get up to 30% more horsepower and torque simply from installing their plug-and-play tuning box. And in this article, we saw that this is indeed true for multiple BMW 3 Series!

Benefits of a RaceChip tuning box

2. Up to 20% more MPG

Your BMW’s ECU controls all aspects of the engine, including air-fuel mixture, ignition timing, and boost pressure.

By tweaking these settings, it’s possible to extract more power and performance from the engine without making any physical modifications.

However, chip tuning is also becoming an increasingly popular way to improve fuel economy.

In fact, RaceChip says you can get up to 20% more MPG from installing their tuning box!

3. It doesn’t have to be complicated

Tuning your BMW 3 Series doesn’t have to be complicated.

The RaceChip Plug & Drive systems we discussed earlier can be installed by yourself without needing any specialist knowledge or tools.

It will only take 10 to 15 minutes, and when you buy a RaceChip, you’ll receive car model-specific installation instructions!

Connecting the RaceChip to your car


After much research and deliberation, we have concluded that there are five BMW 3 Series that are the best for tuning:

  • E9x BMW 335i (2006 – 2010)
  • E92 BMW M3 (2007 – 2013)
  • F3x BMW 320i (2012 – 2019)
  • F3x BMW 340i (2012 – 2019)
  • G2x BMW 330e Plug-in Hybrid (2019 – onwards)

Fun fact: Even though the BMW 3 Series can put out significant power, there are some reasons why some argue that they’re not sports cars. Read this article to learn more!

And if you want to get a 3 Series, don’t forget to note down these most common problems of the BMW 3 Series to prevent getting one with lots of hidden costs.

Let us know if we have missed any or if you’ve tuned one of these yourself in the comments below!

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