BMW has brought in the new generation of the 3 Series sedan in India just a year after its global debut. The new 3 is bigger, lighter, more feature-loaded, and so much better looking than the model it replaces. The Bavarian carmaker is offering the seventh-generation 3 with two engine options across three trims. Here is everything you need to know about the all-new G20 BMW 3 Series.
The new 3 is based on BMW’s modern CLAR architecture which also underpins current 5 Series and the recently launched 7 Series facelift apart from more potent M models. In terms of dimension, the 3 Series is now 74mm longer, 12mm wider and 15mm taller than the F30 sedan. The front track is increased by 43mm while the rear track is wider by 20mm. The wheelbase is up by 40mm compared to the outgoing model.
Appearance-wise, the new 3 debuts BMW’s LED headlamps which are bigger yet well-integrated layout on the fascia. There are creases which run from the front lip spoiler towards the headlamps and on to the bonnet which gives the headlamps their distinctive recess. The bumper design – both fore and aft – vary according to the trim levels, and we prefer the ones offered on the higher M Sport variant. Similar to the new 7, the chrome-surround kidney grille is bigger than before but not in your face.
The profile is unmistakable that of the 3 Series, and the duck-tail type boot adds to its sporty appeal. At the rear, the L-shaped LED taillamps are nice to look at and they are complemented by nicely sculpted bumpers and shark fin antenna. The new 3 sits on 17-inch wheels in standard guise, which can be upgraded to 18-inch in the M Sport trim.
Stepping inside, the driver-focused cabin is welcoming and – in typical BMW fashion – very functional. You get more cabin space owing to increased dimensions even though the boot space, at 480 litres, remains the same as before. Dominating the centre dash is the floating 8.8-inch infotainment system with latest 7.0 iDrive system which can be controlled via the circular dial-pad, steering mounted controls or gestures. The all-digital instrument console isn’t standard though but we love the old school analogue dials offered on the lower-spec variant.
Included in the feature list are creature comforts like – leather-wrapped upholstery, three-zone climate control, rear camera with auto brake and reversing assist, rain-sensing wipers, automatic start/stop function, driving modes, ambient lighting, sunroof, TPMS, electric seats, to name a few.
Under the hood, 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engine are carried over from the previous model. The 330i turbo-petrol is powered by a four-cylinder putting out 256bhp at 5,000rpm and 400Nm between 1,550-4,400rpm. The oil burner delivers 189bhp and same 400Nm between 1,750-2,500rpm. Power is sent to rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The new 3 continues its fray with its direct rivals namely Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4 and Jaguar XE. But priced between Rs 41.40 lakhs to Rs 47.90 lakhs (ex-showroom India), the new 3 comes as a sporty alternative to cars like Honda Accord hybrid, or for a little less, the Toyota Camry hybrid. If you are looking for high riding SUVs, then there are viable options like the Land Rover Discovery Sport Pure, Audi Q3 35 TDI or the Volvo XC40 Inscription. But the 3 Series is a driver’s car, one which is capable of putting a smile on your face every time you are behind the steering wheel.