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2019 BMW 3 Series Review

2019 BMW 3 Series Review

Debuting back in October, 2018 the revamped BMW 3 Series looks to compete with its rivals - Mercedes C Classand Audi A4 - with a new approach on driving dynamics and some super impressive tech.

Here we delve into what has changed, from exterior to interior, and what we can expect from driving this car, technology-wise. If you’re anything like us and you love high-tech vehicles, then this review is for you!

Read on.

BMW 3 Series Leasing Prices

Exterior, Interior and new tech

Styling-wise, the new BMW 3 Series is a huge upgrade from the model it replaces and sports a new one-piece kidney grille so massive that it makes F30’s grille look like a child. The vertical bars inside the grille also have a new look too. Up front, the 3 Series is defined by the horizontally drawn headlights, which helps give the vehicle an undeniable sporty, yet more prominent presence. In addition to the headlights, they come standard with LED technology, and an optional BMW Laserlight upgrade for enhanced visibility and safety. BMW laserlights allow drivers to see up to 500 metres in front, which makes it the ideal vehicle for night-time driving.

As for the wheelbase, the 3 Series sits on the same base as the 5 Series and 7 Series Luxury Saloons, meaning it is longer and wider by dimensions, lighter and safer than last years model. Down at the side, the wheels are farther apart than before, as are the rears, providing the 3 Serieswith extra balance and stability.

The rear lights follow a similar design to the headlights at the front; they are horizontally drawn and look more 3-dimensional. Moving towards the bottom of the rear, there are also new rear exhaust pipes found in the diffuser, one on each side, which again adds to the 3 Series sporty and handsome profile.

Inside, you get the same look and feel as traditional BMW vehicles. Most notably, it feels slightly more spacious than the outgoing model. Up front, you get more shoulder room, while passengers in the backseat get extra headroom and 11 mm more knee room. Yup, definitely sounds like it’s more spacious. The boot is increased to 480 litres, which is exactly the same size as the Mercedes C Class and Audi A4.

There’s a lot of new tech that significantly improves the driving experience such as the the latest generation BMW Operating System 7.0, Standard Live Cockpit Professional (for M Sport models) and Enhanced Bluetooth with wireless charging (for M Sport models), which comes as optional. Apple CarPlay comes as standard, whereas Android auto isn’t even available as an option for the 3 Series. Sorry Android users.

Voice activation is one of the most popular trends in the current market today. Voice activation first started on mobile devices, then made its way over to devices like Siri and Alexa, and now you can find it more and more in vehicles. The 3 Seriesgets the all-new Intelligent Personal Assistant, which means passengers can say: “ Hello BMW, set temperature to 24 degrees Celcius,” and the Intelligent Personal Assistant will comply with your request.

Get this- the 3 Series also comes with gesture control. Signal a gesture in front of the centre console, and like the Intelligent Personal Assistant, the vehicle will action your request. This is certainly a game changer.

The stop/start button for the engine is positioned on top of the dash close to the centre console. Lower down, the driver can select between driver modes via extremely intuitive, touch-sensitive buttons just beside the gear selector.

New engines and better fuel economy

Consumers will have a selection of two engines when the 3 Series is released: The 2.0-litre 320 diesel, producing 190 hp (horsepower), travels 0-60mph in 7.1 seconds, and returns a fuel economy of 60 mpg (miles per gallon). You can also opt for the 2.0-litre turbo petrol model, which produces 280 hp, travels 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds and returns 48.7mpg - both very fast options.

A plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) and high-performance M3 model is likely to join the range in the near future. One thing is for sure: the high performance M3 model will be the fastest.

Since the last model failed to drive like a proper sports Sedan, BMW decided to develop a new suspension set up called the “lift-related dampers”, which come as standard on both models. Each model gets primary and secondary springs, as well as hydraulic bump stops, which allow drivers to have a more controlled and comfortable ride whilst on the road. The high-performance M3 model will get a stiffer, 10-mm version of the same system, including 18-inch alloy wheels, and many other new features.

Which trim levels are there to choose from?

The usual trim levels for the 3 Series is the M Sport, Sport and SE. Below highlights some of the equipment differences between them:


 - 17" light alloy V-spoke style 778 wheels
 - Active Air Stream Kidney grille, Chrome frame with eight Black, High-gloss vertical slats
 - Active Guard Plus
 - Adaptive LED headlights
 - Air conditioning, automatic with three-zone control
 - Ambient lighting with light carpet
 - Anthracite cloth upholstery
 - Bluetooth hands-free facility with USB audio interface
 - BMW Emergency call
 - BMW Online Services
 - BMW Live Cockpit Plus, comprising: – 8.8" Control Display with Touch Function – BMW Connected+ – BMW Navigation system – BMW Operating System 6.0 – BMW Teleservices – iDrive controller with Touch Function – Map updates
 - Brake lights with LED technology, Dynamic
 - Connected Package Plus, comprising: – Apple CarPlay® preparation – Concierge Services – Connected Teaser: Microsoft Office 365 – Real Time Traffic Information – Remote Services
 - Cruise control with braking function
 - DAB tuner
 - Eight-speed sport automatic transmission with gearshift paddles (320d xDrive and 330i only)
 - Manual transmission (320d only)
 - Exhaust tailpipes – split, left and right
 - Exterior mirrors – electrically folding with anti-dazzle
 - Exterior trim, Matt Black
 - Floor mats, velour
 - Interior trim, Black, High-gloss with Pearl Chrome finisher
 - Rain sensor with automatic headlight activation and windscreen wiper control
 - Seat heating, front
 - Sport multi-function steering wheel, three-spoke
 - Tyre pressure monitoring
 - Park Distance Control (PDC), front and rear
 - Parking Assistant with Reversing Camera


 - 18" light alloy V-spoke style 780 wheels, Bicolour Orbit Grey with run-flat tyres
 - Aluminium door sill finishers in the front with BMW designation
 - Exterior trim, High-gloss Shadowline
 - Front and rear bumper with specific design elements in Black, High-gloss
 - Larger fuel tank, total of 59 litres (exclusively for 320d / 320d xDrive)
 - Roof mouldings in body colour
 - Seat heating, front
 - Sports seats, front
 - T-shaped design element right and left in Black, High-gloss
 - Vernasca leather upholstery


- 18" M light alloy Double-spoke style 790 M wheels, Bicolour Orbit Grey
- BMW Live Cockpit Professional Comprising: – 12.3" Control Display with Touch Function – BMW Connected+ – BMW Emergency Call – BMW Navigation system – BMW Operating System 7.0 – BMW TeleServices – Intelligent Personal Assistant
- Connected Package Professional Comprising: – Apple CarPlay® preparation – Connected Navigation – Concierge Services – Connected Teaser: Connected Music, In-Car Experiences, Microsoft Office 365 – Intelligent Functionalities – Real Time Traffic Information – Remote Services
- Exterior trim, High-gloss Shadowline
- Gear selection lever with M-specific designation (manual transmission only)
- Headlining, Anthracite
- Interior trim, Aluminium Tetragon
- Larger fuel tank, total of 59 litres (exclusively for 320d / 320d xDrive)
- M aerodynamics bodystyling
- M designation on front side panels, left and right
- M Leather steering wheel
- M Sport braking system (exclusively for 330i)
- M Sport suspension
- Seat heating, front
- Sports seats, front
- Vehicle key with M-specific designation
- Vernasca leather upholster

Rivervale’s verdict

It looks like BMW have manufactured a vehicle that combines elegance, comfort and power all in one. Yes, it’s not going to change the automotive industry, but there is a lot to appreciate about it - it has new advanced tech such as the gesture control, new upholstery leather seats, powerful engines, and is extremely spacious for a saloon vehicle. This is one step in the right direction for BMW as they continue to compete against their rivals - the Mercedes-Benz C Class and the Audi A4.

It’s only upwards from here for BMW.

Longer, wider and lower weight No android auto
State of the art tech features Optional features and packages can get expensive
More luxurious Not a game changer
Plug-in hybrid version soon to follow  

see our Rivervale Used stock of BMW 3 Series.

While the new BMW 3 Series Saloon is still yet to be released, check out our best deal for the current BMW 3 Series Saloon priced at £239.99 + VAT p/m.


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