All-new BMW 3 Series - Here's all you need to know
The BMW 3 Series Sedan has epitomised the concept of sporty driving pleasure in the global premium midsize class for more than 40 years.
It takes the signature characteristics of a BMW and turns the volume up several notches.
A worldwide reputation
The sedan represents not only the core of the 3 Series range (of which over 15 million units have now been sold worldwide) but also the heartbeat of the brand.
This latest edition of the car sees BMW building in particular on the sporting tradition of the 3 Series, whose exploits in race competition have earned it so much extra dynamic credibility. The seventh generation of the sports sedan moves the game on once again in its segment in terms of driving dynamics, premium quality and innovation.
What do you think of the new BMW 3 Series? Email us and send us pictures of your own 3 Series.
The large BMW kidney grille and the headlights leading off it are dominant themes of the front end of the car. Their familiar two-way split is emphasised by an eye-catching notch in the front apron that rises up into the headlight contour.
Full-LED headlights come as standard, while the LED headlights with extended features and Adaptive LED headlights with BMW Laserlight for non-dazzling and high beams are available as an option.
A classy route to sporting flair
The brand’s new design language also brings a clear arrangement of surfaces to the interior of the car. This accentuates the spaciousness of the cabin and, together with the cockpit’s focus on the driver, enhances their concentration on the road.
The new screen grouping of Control Display and instrument cluster, the tall centre console and the coordinated design of the light, modern instrument panel and door panel trim create an all-round feeling of space and a sporting aura.
The controls are clustered into clearly structured function panels. In the centre of the instrument panel, the displays and buttons for the air conditioning and the air vents form a sharply designed unit, while the light functions are operated from a panel of buttons next to the steering wheel.
The light functions are operated from a panel of buttons next to the standard-fitted sports leather steering wheel.
The start/stop button for the engine is now positioned in the control panel in the centre console, where the gearshift lever or newly designed selector lever is joined by the iDrive Controller and the buttons for the Driving Experience Control switch unit and parking brake.
Five powerful and efficient engines will be available from the start of sales for the 3 Series.
The line-up comprises a pair of four-cylinder petrol engines with 135kW in the 320i and 190kW in the 330i, plus two four-cylinder diesels with a 110kW version in the 318d and 140kW in the 320d. A 195kW six-cylinder in-line diesel engine powers the 330d.
Also available from launch is intelligent all-wheel drive in the 320d xDrive.
Innovation and driving comfort
Overall, car weighs up to 55kg less than the corresponding predecessor model, depending on the model variant and equipment fitted.
It also has a low centre of gravity and 50:50 weight distribution, while the stiffness of the body structure and suspension mountings have been significantly increased.
The standard-fitted suspension and optional M Sport suspension both include lift-related dampers, which are making their debut in a BMW model.
They make a major contribution to the balance between sportiness and comfort – unmatched by any rival – which defines the character of the new 3 Series.
Continuously variable control allows them to adjust the damper firmness progressively according to changing spring travel, which reduces body movement perceptibly when evening out vibrations caused by bumpy road surfaces and dynamic cornering.
The two optional suspension variants also bring customers the benefits of variable sport steering, the latest version of which has even more direct and precise feel.
M Sport brakes with four-piston fixed calipers at the front can also be ordered. The blue-painted calipers display the M logo. An M Sport differential is available for 330i and 330d models in conjunction with the M Sport suspension or Adaptive M suspension.
Quality optional equipment
The premium characteristics of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan can be further enhanced with an array of high-quality and innovative options. The Advantage, Sport Line, Luxury Line and M Sport equipment lines help to provide targeted individualisation.
Added to which, newly designed steering wheels and interior trim elements, optional Vernasca and BMW Individual Merino leather trim, an instrument panel in Sensatec and a leather-covered BMW Individual instrument panel, plus three-zone automatic climate control, auxiliary heating and the optional telephony with wireless charging, offer scope for increased comfort and exclusive style.
Image: Wheels24/Sergio Davids
The windscreen is fitted as standard with acoustic glass, which is also available as an option for the side door windows. The optional glass roof has a 100mm longer transparent surface.
And the optional ambient lighting results in atmospherically rich illumination, while the Harman Kardon surround sound system delivers exceptional listening pleasure.
Extended shoulder and elbow room in the front seats and additional legroom, seat comfort and ease of entry and exit all contribute to the generous feeling of space in the interior.
The car's 480-litre boot offers improved loading comfort. A 40: 20: 40 split-folding rear backrest is part of the standard specification, while automatic boot lid operation and a trailer coupling that can be extended and retracted again electrically are both options.
The optional Comfort Access, which now has a new sensor system, allows the car to be locked and unlocked automatically and also includes hands-free opening of the boot lid.
Leading the way
It uses a significantly expanded selection of innovative assistance systems to likewise take a leading role on the road to automated driving.
Standard equipment includes Lane Departure Warning, plus Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, the latest version of which also alerts the driver when a cyclist is detected.
Options include Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function and the Driving Assistant with Lane Change Warning, Rear Collision Prevention and Cross-Traffic Alert. Also offered is the Driving Assistant Professional, a complete comfort and safety-enhancing package.
One of the features of the Driving Assistant Professional is the Steering and lane control assistant, which works together with the driver to help keep the vehicle in the detected lane through narrow channels and also includes the Lane Keeping Assistant with active side collision protection and the evasion aid.
The new-generation BMW Head-Up Display offers a larger projection surface, new graphics and additional display content.
Park Distance Control and the rear view camera assist the driver with manoeuvring and entering/exiting parking spaces. Also available is the Parking Assistant, which takes over steering, acceleration, braking and gear changes with the Steptronic transmission when driving into and out of a space.
Its range of functions also includes the Reversing Assistant, which can reverse the vehicle for distances of up to 50m by steering it along exactly the same line it has just taken when moving forward.
Intuitive operation and flawless connectivity
The new BMW Operating System 7.0 plays a leading role in optimising the control and display system with modern, digital functions geared precisely to the needs of the driver.
The optional BMW Live Cockpit Professional comprises consistently designed, situation-linked and customisable displays on the fully-digital 12.3" instrument cluster and 10.25" Control Display.
For intuitive operation, the driver can choose from the Control Display’s touch control, the iDrive Controller, the steering wheel buttons, gesture control and voice control.
Making its debut is the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, an intelligent, digital character that responds to the prompt "Hey BMW".
One unique feature over other digital assistants is that drivers can give him a name. The arrival of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant ensures there is always a genuine BMW professional on board.
Image: Wheels24/Sergio Davids
He is able to explain all sorts of different functions ("How does the High Beam Assistant work?"), provide current status information ("Is the oil level okay?") and help answer questions ("What warning messages do I have?").
The Intelligent Personal Assistant is, in short, the ideal co-driver and comes in particularly useful during everyday driving by responding to natural voice commands to help the driver with numerous tasks, such as enhancing productivity and on-board entertainment.
The range of functions and skills available will be constantly expanded as part of regular updates, which can be carried out seamlessly on a smartphone and in-car by Remote Software Upgrade.