2019 BMW 3 Series – price, specs and release date
Upcoming executive saloon is tasked with reclaiming its class-leading status from the Audi A4...
2019 BMW 3 Series space and practicality
This extra size doesn’t translate into much more space inside the car, however. Apart from being a fraction wider, the interior is the same size as before, with the same ratio of space front and rear. If you want more space, then, you still have to step up to a 5 Series, although the current 3 Series – and so the new one – is far from cramped, with space for four adults.
There are more significant changes when it comes to how the interior looks and feels. While the 3 Series was always well regarded for the quality of its materials and the way it was built, some trims could leave it looking a little drab. Now, even entry-level SE models feature better materials, with hard plastics reserved for the extremities only. There are more optional flourishes such as horizontal seat stitching, too, while ambient lighting and a sports steering wheel are standard. Plus, buyers can opt to swap the analogue instrument dials for a digital display that can be configured to show sat-nav instructions, for example, as with Audi’s Virtual Cockpit.
Nor has practicality been ignored. The rear seatbacks now split 40/20/40 as standard, while there are more storage cubbies, a same-sized but better-shaped boot and the option of up to five USB ports, for instance. The infotainment screen is 8.8in as standard – the same size as the largest screen on the outgoing car – and can be upgraded to a 10.3in unit, like the one in the new X5 luxury SUV.
The infotainment is controlled via the latest version of BMW’s excellent iDrive system, which retains intuitive shortcut buttons as well as allowing access via both a rotating dial and the touchscreen. For the first time, the system’s software can also be updated remotely and new features added.
Topping the technology wow factor is a function that records the last 50 metres you drove and can automatically reverse the route – useful for getting out of parking spaces.
To boost residual values and make choosing options easier, BMW will sell the 3 Series with a range of five pack options that lump together items with a similar purpose, including M Sport Plus, Comfort, Premium Technology and Visibility. There are just nine individual options that buyers can specify.
The list of standard equipment is more extensive than ever, too, including a reversing camera, upgraded LED headlamps, three-zone air conditioning and folding door mirrors.
2019 BMW 3 Series engines
When first deliveries begin next March, three powertrain combinations will be possible. The entry-level 2.0-litre diesel 320d (with 161bhp, in line with the outgoing Efficient Dynamics model) will be available in standard rear-wheel-drive form or with xDrive four-wheel drive, while a 254bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol 330i is expected to grow in popularity.
All versions should offer similar performance to today’s equivalents, but efficiency will be boosted by a significant step in the 3 Series’ aerodynamic credentials. As such, manual versions of the 320d are expected to fall below 120g/km of CO2, with the automatic, rear-wheel-drive 320d potentially hitting 110g/km.
Prices haven’t been confirmed yet, but they are expected to be only slightly higher than they are now, to allow for the extra standard equipment. But such is the depth and quality of the opposition that the heavy Target Price discounting in the sector is likely to continue.
All of this means the new 3 Series is very well placed to get into a close fight with the soon-to-be-facelifted A4 for class supremacy.
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