The seventh-gen 3 Series gets a new design and set of new petrol and diesel engines
BMW has unveiled the seventh-gen 3 Series at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. The updated sedan looks edgier than ever and gets a set of new petrol and diesel engines. While we will have to wait almost a year (India launch expected end-2019), let us take a look at what all has changed in the seventh-gen sedan.
- The seventh-gen 3 Series is longer, wider and taller than its predecessor. It also has a longer wheelbase.
- Despite its increased dimensions, BMW claims that the new sedan is 55kg lighter than its predecessor.
- The new 3 Series looks sportier and more aggressive than its predecessor. Special mention goes to the bumper here, which looks particularly edgy compared to the rather sober front bumper of the existing model.
- The dual-barrel LED headlamps are also new and feature a kink at the bottom. Unlike the headlamps on the existing 3 Series that stretch horizontally to reach the kidney grille, the new units merge into the grille.
- The two-part kidney grille of the existing model is out and in comes a single-piece kidney grille. It also appears flared and big, like on most new BMW cars, compared to the outgoing model.
- The horizontally stretched tail lamps with those sleek L-shaped LED lights remind one of the 8 Series. The two-part tail lamps of the existing model are not as sleek.
- The new 3 Series has a long bonnet, like its predecessor, and its shoulder line goes right below the window line, just above the door handles. In the outgoing model, the shoulder line appears to be more prominent and the door handles are placed on the shoulder line.
- Like the outgoing model, the new 3 Series also rides on 17- and 18-inch alloys. Size will depend on the variant.
Interior and Features
- The new 3 Series M Sport that has been showcased features an all-black cabin, like in the current M Sport version. We expect more upholstery options going forward when BMW announces market-specific models.
- The all-black cabin of the 3 Series M Sport features more silver-coloured inserts than on the current model. The inserts find their way to the central console, dashboard, AC vents and door trims.
- The instrument cluster is now bigger, with the screen size (MID) increased from 2.7-inches to 5.7-inches. The infotainment system is also larger: 8.8-inch screen size compared to 6.5-inch before. This time BMW is also offering BMW Live Cockpit Professional with the 3 Series as optional. It includes a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster and 10.25-inch Infotainment screen.
- The steering is also new and features a panel of buttons for light functions.
- In terms of features, the new 3 Series is equipped with LED interior lighting and Radio Professional with six speakers, three-zone climate control and powered front seats as standard. Ambient lighting, Harman Kardon surround sound system with 16 speakers and telephony with wireless charging are optional
- For driver assistance, the new 3 Series gets Collision and Pedestrian Warning with Braking function and Lane Departure Warning system as standard. Optional driving assistance features include Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, Steering and lane control assistant (which helps guide the car through narrow channels), Lane Change Warning system, side collision protection, evasion aid, Cross-Traffic Alert, Priority warning and Wrong-way warning systems
- The heads-up display now has 70 per cent larger projection compared to the existing HUD on the 3 Series
- The 3 Series is also available with Parking Assistant with automated longitudinal and lateral guidance, Reversing Assistant, parking sensors, rear view camera and 360-degree cameras, depending on the variant
- This time the 3 Series is also equipped with BMW Digital Key for accessing the car and starting the engine via smartphone.
- Although not confirmed, the new 3 Series should continue to get six airbags, tyre pressure monitoring system, dynamic stability control, corner brake control, rain sensing wipers and automatic headlamps like the outgoing model.
- At launch, the new 3 Series will be available in the following 6 engine iterations: 320i, 330i, 318d, 320d, 320d xDrive and 330d.
- The 320i and 330i will be powered by a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission but in different states of tune. In the 330i, the engine will produce 258PS/400PS and in the 320i, it will produce 184PS/300Nm. In India, the outgoing 3 Series is available in the 330i version only, powered by a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine that makes 252PS/350Nm. So, the 330i variant sees an increase in power and torque.
- The 118d, 320d and the 320d x Drive, on the other hand, will be powered by a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission
- Like the petrol engine, the diesel engine will also be available in two states of tune. In the 118d, the engine will make 150PS/320Nm. In 320d and 320d xDrive it will generate 190PS/400Nm, like the outgoing model. As the name suggests, the 320d xDrive is a AWD variant of the 320d.
- Apart from these two 4-cylinder engines, BMW will also offer a more powerful six-cylinder diesel engine in the 330d variant. This engine produces 265PS/580Nm with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
- In 2019, the German carmaker will introduce (globally) two more variants of the 3 Series Sedan: 330e and M340i xDrive
- The 330e will be a plug-in hybrid variant powered by a combination of an electric motor and a petrol engine with power output ranging from 251PS to 292PS mated to an 8- speed automatic transmission. It will have an all-electric range of 60km.
- The M340i, on the other hand, will be an M performance version of the standard sedan. It will be powered by six-cylinder petrol engine producing 374PS and 500Nm with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Like the 320d xDrive the M340i will also be a 4WD variant.
Launch and Price
- The new 3 Series will go on sale in international markets from 9 March 2019. So, expect it to launch here soon after that
- When launched, the new 3 Series is expected to be priced at a slight premium over the current version, which is priced from Rs 39.80 lakh to Rs 47.30 lakh (ex-showroom pan-India).
- It will continue to take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4, Jaguar XE and the upcoming Volvo S60.
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