Ever since its introduction in India, the 3 Series sedan has always played an instrumental role in bringing in the volumes for BMW. With quite competitive pricing points, big car feel in and out and excellent driving dynamics, the BMW 3 Series is a popular choice for those looking for a mid-size luxury saloon.
BMW is only going to up the ante by bringing in the all-new, seventh-gen 3 Series (G20) to the Indian shores on 21 August 2019. Here’s our comprehensive overview of what all changes and additions are there in the all-new model.
The 2019 BMW 3 Series features an evolutionary design as one would expect it to. However, with great attention to detail and enhancements in the overall design, it definitely looks much fresher and appealing than before.
One glance at the exterior design of the car, and you will appreciate the way BMW has come with an evolutionary design for the new 3 Series. In addition to the more pronounced contours on the front bonnet, the front fascia looks more contemporary than before with sleeker and wider signature double kidney grille and a new set of twin LED headlights with a kink in their middle. The T-shaped air intake in the front bumper lends a nice touch too.
The moment you see the new 3 Series from the side, you will instantly feel that this is a bigger car than the erstwhile model, thanks to an increase of 76 mm in length and a marginal growth of 1 mm in height. The Hofmeister kink present in the C-pillar sees a minor change, and so do the character lines on the sides.
The all-new BMW 3 Series looks as stylish when viewed from the rear as it is on the front, thanks to a new set of L-shaped three dimensional LED tail lamps, which are bigger yet sleeker than ever before. The redesigned model is 16 mm wider than the model it replaces.
Step into the cabin and you will genuinely appreciate the sea of change BMW has brought into the interior design. With a great mix of black leather and brushed silver finishes, the cabin feels more upmarket. Adding a futuristic and modern touch to the cabin is the presence of a revamped full LCD instrument console and a new centre console which blends the control display housing with the instrument console.
With an increase in dimensions, the new BMW 3 Series also feels far more spacious than ever before. And it does not end here, for the boot space too has increased, to 480 litres. The 40:20:40 folding configuration for the rear seat adds to the versatility of the cabin.
Engines and transmissions
At a global level, BMW has come up with a very versatile list of powertrain options to match everyone’s needs. There are two four-cylinder petrol, two four-cylinder diesel, one six-cylinder petrol and one six-cylinder diesel engines on offer for the 2019 BMW 3 Series. Recently, a plug-in hybrid variant was also launched, but it's not planned for our market.
Talking about the ones powered by gasoline first, the smaller 2.0-litre in the 320i/320i xDrive variant produces 186 PS of power and 300 Nm of torque. The same engine in the 330i/330 xDrive variant gets a different state of tune - 260 PS of power and 400 Nm of torque. Both the variants get a common eight-speed Steptronic automatic gearbox.
The list of oil burner starts with the 2.0-litre four-cylinder mill in the 318d, which makes 152 PS of power and 320 Nm of torque. The upper 320d/320d xDrive variant too gets the same engine, but in a different state of tune, thus witnessing a bumped up power and torque output of 192 PS and 400 Nm respectively. Both these variants are offered with the choices of a 6-speed manual and 8-speed Steptronic automatic gearbox.
The 330d/330d xDrive is fitted with a 3.0-litre inline-six cylinder engine, which is mated to the eight-speed Steptronic automatic gearbox and belts out 268 PS of power and 560 Nm of torque. The M340i xDrive sports a 3.0-litre petrol engine that dishes out 374 PS and 500 Nm of torque. The 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission is standard in this engine variant.
India will get the 2019 BMW 3 Series in the 320i and 320d rear-wheel drive engine variants, both with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Chassis technology and driving pleasure
When it comes to compact executive saloons, the BMW 3 Series has always ranked itself at the highest when the parameter of driving dynamics is taken into consideration. The all-new BMW 3 Series takes the game even further with the help of enhanced aerodynamics, thanks to better contours on front bonnet and side doors as well as the presence of active air flap control and air curtains.
In addition, the all-new BMW 3 Series also is blessed with a stiffer body structure and suspension mountings, wider tracks, new damper technology and a lower centre of gravity. The range of chassis options for the sedan include M Sport suspension with lowered ride height and Adaptive M suspension, with additional bits like variable sport steering and M Sport brakes further sharpening the driving dynamics even more.
BMW has left no stone unturned while equipping the all-new 3 Series with the latest of comfort, convenience and safety features, to give it an edge over its traditional rivals.
The presence of LED headlamps and tail lamps are standard, while the expensive BMW Laserlight for the headlamps and LED front fog lamps are a part of the optional equipment list. More emphasis has been set on enhancing the driver’s comfort and convenience, with revamped designs for the multifunctional steering wheel, fully digital, 12.3-inch TFT screen for instrument console and an all-new, 10.25-inch central display.
The seats too are designed to offer better comfort levels and maximised space levels, with the optional Vernasca leather trim further increasing the luxury quotient. Voice command controlled new BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, ambient lighting with Welcome light carpet, Harmon Kardon sound system with 16 speakers and wireless charging are also offered as optional equipment.
The all-new BMW 3 Series comes loaded with a host of safety features. Aspects like Collision and Pedestrian Warning with Braking function, Lane Departure Warning system, Parking and Reversing Assistant, Park Distance Control and 360-degree parking cameras are offered as standard. At the same time, the car also gets Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, Steering and lane control assistant, Lane Change Warning system, side collision protection, evasion aid, Cross-Traffic Alert, Priority warning, Wrong-way warning and Head-Up Display are optional safety features. The list will be much shorter in India, though.
With a good number of enhancements, the all-new BMW 3 Series is expected to witness a considerable price bump. However, considering the shift of market towards SUVs and the slowdown in the auto market, the prices will likely be competitive at launch. Expect BMW to price the 2019 3 Series in the ballpark of INR 40-42 lakh (ex-showroom) in its entry-level configuration.