Following endless spy pictures and multiple speculations, BMW has finally revealed the all-new 3 Series in all its glory. The mid-size sedan has been a popular choice among luxury car buyers for over 40 years and now with this new seventh gen model, BMW is aiming to dethrone the competition.
The seventh generation model is 85 millimetres longer than its predecessor (at 4,709mm), 16 millimetres wider (1,827mm) and just 1 mm taller (1,442 millimetres). Furthermore, its wheelbase has been extended by 41 millimetres to 2,851mm, as has its track widths (front: by 43mm, and rear by 21mm).
Up front, the large BMW kidney grille elements are framed by a single surround and split up by wide bars and link to the headlight units. The twin headlights feature the familiar two-way split that is further emphasised by a notch in the front apron that rises into the headlight contour.
In profile, the ‘Hofmeister kink’ – the familiar counter-swing at the edge of the side window graphic, is easily visible. A BMW hallmark, this element of the window frame is now integrated into the C- pillar, giving the rear doors a freestanding glass edge.
Inside, the dashboard and the seats are all-new. The newly-designed instrument cluster and control display are the cabin highlights. The F30-gen 3 Series’ cabin looks outdated next to this all-new look which mimics that of bigger BMW sedans.
Displays and buttons for the air conditioning are at the centre of the instrument panel while the light functions are operated via a panel of buttons next to the steering wheel. The start/stop button for the engine is now positioned in a control panel in the centre console.
The upgraded four-cylinder engines will be used in the 330i and the 320d. The sedan will feature a new-generation six-speed manual gearbox and the eight-speed automatic transmission. As an alternative to rear-wheel drive, the xDrive all-wheel-drive system will also be available for the new 320d at launch.
Shoulder room in the front of the cabin has increased, and passengers in the rear benefit from more legroom. The distance between the front and rear seats has been extended by 11 millimetres, and all occupants have more headroom.
Compared to the outgoing model, getting in and out of the car is easier for the rear passengers because the door aperture height has been increased. The rear compartment can accommodate a row of three child seats, two of which can be locked into place using ISOFIX anchor points.
The new BMW 3 Series has made its debut at the ongoing Paris Motor Show, followed by the global market launch in March 2019 with prices starting from £33,610 (Rs 32 lakhs).