Bigger, lighter, more powerful, and better handling than ever.
Few models are as important for BMW as its universally acclaimed 3 Series sedan, of which over 15 million units have been sold worldwide since 1976. Failure is not an option when it comes time for a complete redesign. The all-new 2019 BMW 3 Series has finally arrived, making its official public debut at the 2018 Paris Motor Show.
Picking up where the previous F80 generation 3 Series left off, the new G20 3 Series is a bit bigger, more powerful, lighter, packed with impressive technologies, and more dynamic to drive than ever. The new 330i and 330i xDrive are powered by a new twin-scroll turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four with 255 hp between 5,000 and 6,500 rpm, while 295 lb-ft of peak torque will kick in from 1,550 to 4,400 rpm.
Compared to the outgoing 330i, the new model has an extra 7 hp and 37 lb-ft. BMW says this is attributed to focused optimization of the TwinPower Turbo system. Zero to 60 mph takes 5.6 seconds. Next spring, the new M340i and M340i xDrive M Performance will arrive with a new version of the straight-six with 382 hp and peak torque of 369 lb-ft. BMW believes it’ll make the sprint from 0-60 mph in just 4.2 seconds. In early 2020, the new 330e will go on sale, details of which are not yet available.
Power for the turbo four and straight-six engines is sent to the rear or all four wheels through an eight-speed sport automatic transmission with paddle shifters. BMW says this updated gearbox features a wider gear spread and an optimized hydraulic control system. The also updated and now lighter xDrive all-wheel-drive system, which remains rear biased, has an improved torque split between the front and rear wheels.
Where the 3 Series has always shined is its chassis. The 2019 3 Series once again has a 50:50 perfect front/rear weight distribution and an increased front and rear track. BMW points out overall body rigidity is up by 25 percent and goes as high as 50 percent in some areas. This improved body and suspension rigidity enables both the M Sport and Adaptive M suspension to be better than ever. The latter combines the M Sport suspension with electronically controlled dampers.
BMW also managed to shave off a total of 121 pounds thanks to increased use of high-strength steels and aluminum. M Sport brakes are also optional, as is the M Sport differential at the rear axle.
The exterior design remains familiar with the long hood, short rear deck, and short front overhangs. However, this 3 Series is 2.9 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider, and 0.5 inches taller than its predecessor. The wheelbase has also been stretched by 1.6 inches and there’s increased track widths of 1.7 inches up front and 0.8 inches at the rear. It rides on standard 18-inch alloy wheels.
Up front is the ever-present BMW twin kidney grill, which has a sleeker design than before, especially as it leads into the standard full-LED headlights. Adaptive LED headlights with BMW’s Laserlight are optional. Notice how the hood is shaped by four contour lines that all flow towards the grill. We particularly like the character lines running through the door handles and extend all the way to the rear. The additional contour line around the side skirts highlights the more sculpted rear wheel arches.
The newly enlarged interior is unlike any other found in previous 3 Series. As part of BMW’s new interior design language, the 2019 3 Series’ larger interior is still very much driver focused, but has a more premium overall look. Past 3 Series models were sometimes noted for not being quite premium enough in an increasingly competitive segment. Not this time.
LED interior lighting is standard and adjustable ambient lighting, with a total of six colors and eleven combinations of brightness and light distribution, is optional.
Higher quality materials are in abundance, such as the optional Vernasca leather upholstery. You’ll notice the instrument panel in general looks more advanced thanks to the instrument cluster and Control Display now forming a single large surfaced screen grouping. Called BMW Live Cockpit, it features an 8.8-inch digital touchscreen and 5.7-inch digital instrument display. The optional BMW Live Cockpit Professional has a massive 12.3-inch display and 10.25-inch touch screen control display as well as iDrive 7.0 (iDrive 6.0 is standard).
Controls not included are now located into more structured panels. One notable change is that the start/stop button is now located in a panel in the center console near the gear shift and iDrive controller knob. A larger head-up display is also new. Buyers will be able to select from a larger selection of optional interior trims, such as aluminum and open-pore wood, and there's more individualization options inside and out.
Shoulder room, headroom, and rear legroom have all been increased. Buyers can also opt for a 16-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system. Standard safety items include Collision and Pedestrian Warning and the optional Driving Assistance Package offers Lane Departure Warning and Lane Change Warning systems.
The 2019 BMW 3 Series 330i and 330i xDrive will go on sale this March with prices starting at $41,195 including destination. The M340i and M340i xDrive will go on sale in Spring 2019.