Here’s how the next chapter looks for BMW’s most popular sedan.
For six generations, the BMW 3 Series has exemplified BMW’s idea of an entry-level luxury sedan, for better or worse. All the previous models, through the outgoing F30 generation – set the standard that this new 2019 BMW 3 Series has to fill. This generation, called the G20, sets out to bring one of the segment’s best-selling cars into the next decade.
Here’s the 2019 BMW 3 Series by the numbers. It goes on sale in March 2019, from $41,245 for the entry-level 330i model. That figure includes a $995 destination charge, and is the same starting point as the outgoing rear-wheel drive 330i. As with the F30 generation, this new 3 Series will also be available with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system. While the price remains the same, you get more car for your money. The G20 3 Series is 2.9 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider and 0.5 inches taller than the outgoing model. It’s also up to 121 pounds lighter, thanks to more extensive use of aluminum.
The 2019 BMW 330i houses a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four cylinder, same as the old model. However, BMW has upgraded it to deliver 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. That amounts to 7 extra horsepower and 37 lb-ft of torque more than the outgoing 330i. BMW claims a 0-60 time in the region of 5.6 seconds for this entry-level model.
M340i models coming next spring
Following the initial launch with the 330i, the 2019 BMW 3 Series will also get the M340i and M340i xDrive models. Here, you get a 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six engine, making 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. That makes for a brisk 4.2 second 0-60 time. BMW hasn’t announced pricing on the M340i yet, but we expect to have that information closer to its launch in spring 2019. Both the 330i and M340i get an updated eight-speed automatic transmission, launch control and auto stop/start systems.
The 2019 BMW 3 Series is more rigid than before, and maintains a 50:50 weight distribution. It also gets a slippery drag coefficient of 0.26, thanks to active shutters in the grille. BMW’s M Sport brakes and differential are available as options on the 330i, and come as standard equipment on the M340i.
Updated look, inside and out
Don’t expect radical changes in the 2019 BMW 3 Series over the old model. It looks different, but it’s still instantly recognizable as a 3 Series. You still get the kidney grille, although it’s more pronounced in the new model. There are also new LED headlights as standard. However, you can get Adaptive LED headlights with BMW Laserlight if you want.
The new G20 3 Series has more creases and a bolder appearance than the outgoing model. That’s particularly the case with the front end – thanks to those new headlights – and the rear, as the new 3 Series gets more distinct taillights. From launch, buyers can choose from ten metallic paint colors or two non-metallic colors. New for this generation are Portimao Blue, shown above, and Vermont Bronze metallic.
On the inside, BMW has updated the center stack and fitted a new digital instrument cluster and two available infotainment displays. The standard “BMW Live Cockpit” gives you iDrive 6.0, an 8.8-inch infotainment display and a 5.7-inch instrument display. However, upgrading to the available “Live Cockpit Professional” gives you a fully-digital 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment display. The system does support Apple CarPlay.
The 2019 BMW 3 Series will go on sale in the U.S. with three trim levels. There’s the Sport Line trim, followed by the Luxury Line or the M Sport. All models come standard with BMW’s Active Guard Plus system. That offers features like speed limit information, lane departure warning, and cruise control with automatic braking. The Drive Assistant Professional package adds even more tech, like Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, lane keep assist, Priority Warning and Wrong-Way Warning Systems, and Cross-traffic alert.