2019 BMW 3 Series: all you need to know
Following its reveal at the Paris Motor Show earlier this year, the new BMW 3 Series has officially been launched. Order books are set to open in the new year, with UK deliveries commencing in March.
Codenamed the G20, the new-and-improved seventh gen 3 Series is one of the most significant vehicles at the show and sits on a new platform, adds a host of connectivity tech as well as a plug-in hybrid option – the 330e.
Externally, the design isn’t what you’d call revolutionary, but that’s part of the 3 Series’ appeal – it’s instantly recognisable as the brand’s compact exec saloon. At 4,709mm in length and with a wheelbase of 2,851mm, it is slightly larger than the outgoing model though.
At the front, the iconic kidney grille is more prominent before, now taking up the entire space between the headlights. The bumper gets some new lines that help make it look more aggressive.
The redesign is more noticeable from the back, where a sleek new set of L-shaped taillights and a larger spoiler lip work together to give the 3 Series a more serious look. The famed “Hofmeister kink” is also a prominent feature, with the familiar angular look to be found at the trailing edge of the side windows.
Changes are more noticeable on the inside, where you’ll now find a new instrument panel with a more modern look and a fresh instrument cluster. Displays and buttons for the air conditioning are at the centre of the instrument panel while the light functions are operated via a panel of buttons next to the steering wheel.
Infotainment-wise, it gets BMW’s latest iDrive system with an 8.8 in touchscreen display. This can be upgraded to a 10.3in screen, while BMW’s 12.3in digital cockpit replaces traditional dials on some models.
The system helps the driver, learns their preferences and is familiar with their favoured settings – e.g. for the seat heating or the places they drive to frequently using the navigation system (“Take me home”).
The range of standard and optional interior trim elements available for the instrument panel and centre console is almost entirely new. As well as open-pore fine wood options, customers can choose from a variety of aluminium trims including a new Aluminium “mesh effect” interior trim.
Standard specifications have improved too, with entry-level SE trim now featuring LED headlights, interior ambient lighting, reversing camera, three-zone air con and electric folding door mirrors as standard.
BMW has kitted the 3 Series out with numerous new safety systems too, with automatic emergency braking now standard across the entire range. Adaptive cruise control with stop&go function, steering assist and side collision alert are available for the first time, too.
The boot remains the same size as the outgoing model’s at 480 litres, although there’s more ‘usable’ luggage space, and all models now feature 40:20:40 folding rear seats as standard.
From launch, one petrol and one diesel will be offered, with the entry-level diesel being the 187bhp 320d. This now gets a 0-62mph time of 7.1 secs and impressive economy of up to 67.3mpg. It’s also available in four-wheel drive xDrive form, which lowers economy to 62.8 but improves acceleration to 62mph to 6.9 secs.
The petrol is the 330i – now a 2.0-litre four-cyl unit producing 258bhp. With a 5.8-second 0-62mph run and a limited top speed of 155mph, it gets an official combined fuel consumption figure of 48.7mpg.
We know there’ll be a more potent six-cyl diesel in the works, but most significantly is the all-new 330e plug-in hybrid. Featuring a 182bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol and a 67bhp electric motor, it’s capable of up to 37 miles on battery power alone, while combined fuel economy stands at 138mpg and CO2 output is just 39g/km. On electric power alone, it can reach speeds of 68mph. This increases to 143mph once the petrol power kicks in.
The BMW 3 Series will be priced from £33,610 when it goes on sale in the UK on 9 March next year, and we’ll bring you lease rates as soon as they’re available. In the meantime, you can check out 3 Series lease deals for less than £300 per month by clicking here.