BMW 3 Series – The True Drivers Car
The BMW 3 Series is known as the class-leading sports saloon amongst all car enthusiasts. It combines elegance and executive styling, with the performance and handling of a genuine sports car.
You might think that BMW can't make the 3 Series any better, but you will be pleasantly surprised. The all-new seventh-generation BMW 3-Series is a definite improvement on its predecessor. Total sales of over 15.5 million over the last 44 years. It is BMW's all-time global, best-selling car. Amazingly 1 in 5 BMW's sold is a 3 Series. The company car market will be able to take advantage of the excellent selection of diesel models. There will be a new 330e plug-in hybrid, predicted to take upwards of 30% of all 3 Series sales when it is released later in the year.
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The strive for perfect balance
The new car is 85mm longer, 16mm wider and 1mm taller, which has allowed the wheelbase to lengthen by 41mm. The extra size provides the much needed extra legroom for passengers and also offers more interior space. The body has been made 25% stiffer at the front and in some areas up to 50%.
The 3 Series suspension has been stiffened to help with the cars handling. Upgrading to the optional BMW M Active differential on M Sport models allows adjustments to suit each driver and driving style.
The efficient design of the car's front bumper achieves an overall improvement in aerodynamics. The all-new aerodynamic wheel design, and a floor that is nearly entirely flat, all contribute to reducing the CD figure down from 0.26 to 0.23, now in-line with its market competitors. The 3 Series also benefits from being placed on a crash diet with most models losing nearly 50kg.
BMW 3 Series petrol and diesel engines
There is a 2-litre twin power turbo four-cylinder diesel engine offering outputs of 150-190hp and around 50 mpg. The pick of the diesel engines is the 320d, which is an engine delivering 190hp and a whopping 400Nm of torque and is sure to be the company car drivers dream. The 2-litre twin power turbo four-cylinder petrol engine offers an output of 184hp and around 40 mpg.
But if this is not enough excitement, there is always the more powerful 3-litre petrol and diesel engines available. The 318d and the 320d in the SE entry-level trim, both come with a manual transmission while the 320i comes with automatic transmission. In the same trim the 320d xDrive, 330d and 330i come with BMW's smooth eight-speed sport automatic transmission with gearshift (flappy) paddles.
Upgraded Technology and Interior
The 3 Series BMW has a large amount of innovative and advanced technological equipment available across the range. As standard, you get BMW's 8.8inch Control Display with touch capability, which includes the BMW Nav system, iDrive controller with Touch function and more. You will also get the Connected Package Plus, which includes Apple CarPlay preparation, real-time traffic information and remote services and concierge services.
The BMW also comes with front and rear parking sensors, Park Distance Control (PDC), a reversing camera and BMW's Parking Assistant system. There is the option to upgrade to the 360-degree camera, which will make any manoeuvres stress-free and straightforward.
The list of standard features is highly extensive and offer excellent value for money. If this is still not enough, numerous optional extras are available covering nearly any request. BMW now provide their own 'Personal Assistant', using a voice-activation system. By using the internet and artificial intelligence to learn how to answer your question quickly and accurately. Although BMW's rivals have done this, what makes this unique and a real USP is that you can name your car whatever you like. Therefore if you call it "Tony" then you need to say "Hey Tony", the voice activation system will begin. Young children will love this 'Alexa' style feature as will adults who are young at heart.
The standard car comes with LED front and rear lights, but these can be upgraded to the new BMW Laserlights, giving an extended range of over 500 metres. The interior has a variety of different trim finishes for the dashboard and upholstery. The panel has been given a mini facelift, by condensing some of the controls to provide a more sleek appearance.
The standard 8.8-inch Infotainment can be upgraded to a 12.3-inch screen. If you opt for the M Sport package, you get this larger screen as standard.
The 3 Series will also be welcoming a new plug-in hybrid, which plans to offer an all-electric range of 41 miles. Not only this, but it will still provide sports car performance, as it is designed to use a 181hp 2-litre four-cylinder turbo engine combined with an electric motor outputting 67hp. BMW plans to give it a KERS style boost system. When in Sport mode, a new Xtra boost system will kick in to provide the 3 Series with a sudden boost of extra HP, using power directly from the battery.
The new BMW 3 Series is still a top of class executive sports saloon and remains the benchmark for all other sports saloon cars.