Rivervale Reviews the New 2019 BMW 3 Series
The new BMW 3 Series is now available! It comes with a new approach on driving dynamics, some super impressive tech, and a range of tempting new colours ...
Here our Account Manager Jim delves into what has changed, from exterior styling, interior design to technology and what you can expect from driving this car ...
Exterior Styling on the 3 Series
Styling-wise, the new BMW 3 Series is a huge upgrade from the model it replaces and sports a new one-piece kidney grille. 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 (4,709mm) and wider (2,068mm) 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 Series with 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 the 3 Series: Interior styling & technology
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. 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, but Android auto isn’t 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 new 3 Series gets 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.
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. 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.
The 3 Series comes available in 12 exterior colours; Non-metalic 300 Alpine White, Metallic A96 Mineral White, Metallic A83 Glacier Silver, Metallic B39 Mineral Grey, Non-metallic 668 Jet Black, Metallic 475 Black Sapphire, Metallic C35 Blue Ridge Mountain', Metallic C10 Meditererranean Blue', Metallic C1Z Vermont Bronz, Metallic CX1 Sunset Orange, Metallic A75 Melbourne Red', Metallic C31 Portimao Blue.
Which trim levels are there to choose from?
The usual trim levels for the 3 Series is the M Sport, Sport and SE. Examples of standard features found at each trim level can be seen in the table below;
|SE||M SPORT (Equipment in addition/replacement to SE models)||SPORT (Equipment in addition/replacement to SE Models)|
|Auto Start-Stop||18" M light alloy Double-spoke style 790 M wheels, Bicolour Orbit Grey||18" light alloy V-spoke style 780 wheels, Bicolour Orbit Grey with run-flat tyres|
|Brake Energy Regeneration||BMW Live Cockpit Professional||Door sill finishers: aluminium inserts in the front, brushed with BMW designation|
|Balanced 50/50 weight distribution||Connected Package Professional||Exterior trim, High-gloss Shadowline|
|Adaptive LED headlights||Exterior trim, High-gloss Shadowline||Front bumper with specific design elements in High-gloss Black|
|Hill-start Assist||Seat heating, driver and front passenger||Larger fuel tank (total of 59 litres)|
|Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) including Brake Assist and Cornering Brake Control||Gear selection lever with M-specific designation (only manual transmission)||Rear bumper with specific design elements in High-gloss Black|
|Ambient lighting with Welcome Light Carpet||Headlining, Anthracite||Roof mouldings in body colour|
|Instrument cluster||Interior trim, Aluminium Tetragon||Seat heating, driver and front passenger|
|Bluetooth hands-free facility with USB audio interface (including audio streaming*)||Sport seats|
|DAB tuner||Larger fuel tank (total of 59 litres)|
|iDrive controller||M aerodynamics package|
|BMW Online Services (includes BMW Apps)||M designation on front side panel, left and right|
|Sports seats||M Leather steering wheel|
|Vernasca leather upholstery||M Sport braking system (330i M Sport only)|
|Check Control warning system for monitoring of lights and door/ luggage compartment open warning||M Sport suspension|
|Automatic Stability Control (ASC)||Vehicle key with M-specific designation|
|Parking Assistant with Reversing Camera||Vernasca leather upholstery|
|Remote control, including integrated key|
|12V power socket in front storage compartment|
Which engines are available in the new 3 Series?
Consumers will have a selection of two engines: The 2.0-litre 320 diesel, producing 190 hp, travels 0-60mph in 7.1 seconds, and returns a fuel economy of 60 mpg. 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.
Since the last model failed to drive like a proper sports Saloon, 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 gets a stiffer, 10-mm version of the same system, including 18-inch alloy wheels, and many other new exciting features.
The starting price for the BMW 3 Series is £32,445. A plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) and high-performance M3 model is set to join the range in July, with prices starting from under £40,000.
What are your thoughts of the new BMW 3 Series? Have your say in the comment section below.
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