The Once And Future King

Unveiled at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, the G20 is the seventh generation of the iconic BMW 3 Series. It replaces the seven-year-old F30 model and introduces a new design language, state-of-the-art technology, and updated engines.

Borrowing features seen on recently introduced models like the 5 Series sedan and the X5 SUV, the 3 Series looks sportier than ever and it’s finally on par with its competitors in the technology department. It continues to feature four- and six-cylinder engines, but for the time being there aren’t any diesels to pick from. However, BMW confirmed that both oil burners and hybrids are underway. The Germans claim that "no single model has embodied the concept of the Ultimate Driving Machine better than the latest BMW 3 Series." Let’s find out if it’s true or not in the review below.

2019 BMW 3 Series Exterior

  • Longer and wider
  • Decidedly sportier
  • Brand-new headlamps
  • LED tech standard
  • Muscular rear fenders
  • Classy, elegant rear end
  • Aggressive bumpers
  • Lighter body
  • Enhanced aerodynamics

Although it remains familiar, the new 3 Series looks significantly different than its predecessor. That’s because BMW created a modern interpretation of the sedan’s iconic design language. Much like any new-generation vehicle, the 3 Series is a bit bigger than its predecessor. Specifically, it’s 2.9 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider, and a half-inch taller.

Styling-wise, the front end is clearly sportier.

As seen on recently launched Bimmers, the grille is wider and features a thicker chrome frame.

The upper side of the grille is now covered, with only the lower section allowing air into the engine. The new headlamps are particularly striking. Not only because their design is sleeker and sharper, but also because the two-way split is enhanced by a notch in the bumper that rises up into the center section of the headlight.

2019 BMW 3 Series
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Not surprisingly, full-LED technology comes standard, but you can opt for two upgrades at extra cost. BMW offers LED headlamps with extended features and U-shaped DRLs, as well as Adaptive LED lights with BMW Laserlight technology. The latter include the hexagonal DRLs with blue L-shaped elements like seen on the latest X5 SUV.

Down below, the new 3 Series is just as aggressive as the outgoing M3. That’s because the center intake is much larger while the side vents are sculpted into more muscular looking body panels. The black surrounds around the optional foglamps, which looks like they’re made from carbon-fiber, further add to the aggressive look.

Big changes are noticeable on the sides as well, starting with the new beltline that rises toward the rear.

While it still runs just above the door handles, it’s complemented by a second character line on the rear doors and fenders. This is a new feature from the 3 Series and one that makes the sedan become really muscular toward the rear.

2019 BMW 3 Series
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BMW also reworked the traditional Hofmeister kink. Now integrated into the C-pillars, it gives the rear doors a "freestanding" glass edge. The C-pillars themselves have a narrower angle compared to the cabin, so the 3 Series looks more like a four-door coupe than a traditional sedan.

The rear fascia is a significant departure from the sixth-generation 3 Series, mostly because the taillights have an all-new design.

While the previous sedan had two-piece units that were taller toward the sides, the new-gen 3 Series sports almost rectangular lights that are only marginally wider at the outer edges. This is my favorite upgrade on the new 3 Series. I never got used to the old sedan’s rear end because of the lights, which made it look somewhat cheap and as elegant as a premium sedan, albeit compact, should. These new taillights, which look to be inspired by the 5 Series, fixed those issues.

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Another cool feature here, the bumper has a wraparound design at the top, with the extremities ascending toward the taillights as they meet the rear fenders. The diffuser-like element also looks cool thanks to the center piece sitting lower in the apron and the side panels growing larger to better accommodate the exhaust pipes. The side vents are obviously fake, but their C-shaped design and deep holes add sportiness. A taller upper trunk lid with an integrated spoiler rounds off the design.

Styling aside, BMW also managed to reduce the body weight by as much as 121 pounds.

The sedan is also much more aerodynamic now after the drag coefficient dropped from 0.29 to 0.26. This was possible thanks to a completely sealed underbody, aero-optimized wheels, the Air Curtains at the front of the car, and BMW’s latest active air flaps in the kidney grille.

BMW offers the new 3 Series in two non-metallic and ten metallic exterior colors. The palette includes two brand-new hues, Portimao Blue metallic and Vermont Bronze metallic.

2019 BMW 3 Series - exterior dimensions

Length 185.7 inches
Width 71.9 inches
Height 56.8 inches
Wheelbase 112.2 inches

2019 BMW 3 Series Interior

  • Evolutionary but fresh design
  • Cleaner center stack
  • Digital instrument cluster
  • Multi-function steering wheel
  • New leather and wood trim
  • Standard sports seats
  • Intelligent Personal Assistant
  • Segment-leading trunk space
2019 BMW 3 Series
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Somewhat surprisingly, the interior includes many design cues seen in the previous 3 Series. However, BMW made several changes to give it a modern vibe. The new cabin also enhances the increased spaciousness and the driver-focused center stack, while the horizontal lines add width and elegance.

The new center stack looks very familiar thanks to its trapezoidal design, but it's much cleaner now as many buttons and knobs have been replaced by functions in the upgraded infotainment system.

The display no longer sits high on the dashboard, but it’s now integrated into the upper center stack. BMW moved the A/C vents lower and also made them slimmer.

Below, the buttons for the air conditioning unit form a sharply designed fascia, while the light functions are operated from 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 center console, where the gearshift lever is joined by the iDrive Controller and the buttons for the Driving Experience Control switch unit.

2019 BMW 3 Series
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The dashboard has a similar metallic trim on the passenger side, as well as trapezoidal A/C vents at the corners. However, both have been reworked to look fresh. The trim plate ditched the previous rectangular design for a more organic shape, and it’s now included in the aluminum trim that extends from the center stack. The A/C vents sits lower than usual. BMW kept the wraparound design of the dash that extends into the door panels, but everything looks more cohesive now.

2019 BMW 3 Series interior dimensions

Shoulder width front 56.0 inches
Shoulder room rear 54.6 inches
Legroom front 42.0 inches
Legroom rear 35.2 inches
Headroom front 38.7 inches
Headroom rear 37.6 inches
Trunk volume (SAE) 17.0 ft³
The newly designed instrument cluster and infotainment display form a larger screen grouping.

While not as obvious as the screen layout in Mercedes-Benz cars, the configuration adds a high-tech look to the dashboard.

BMW prepared big upgrades in the luxury department too by adding completely new materials like open-pore wood options and the Aluminum Mesh Effect for the metallic trim. What’s more, you can order the new Vernasca leather upholstery in five different colors. Of course, these features vary for each trim and getting the more expensive models will get you better, fancier materials.

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For instance, the standard Sport Line model features trim strips in high-gloss black and sports seats for both the driver and front passenger. The Luxury Line comes with Vernasca leather trim, Sensatec dashboard and door trim, and fine wood trim strips in high-gloss Ash Grey Brown. Opt for the M Sport variant, and you get a sportier layout with sports seats in M-specific upholstery, an M leather steering wheel, anthracite-colored BMW Individual headliner, and trim strips in Aluminum Tetragon.

Each model comes with a rain sensor, automatic headlights, a hands-free phone system, and three-zone automatic climate control with independent control of the temperature and ventilation settings for the driver, front passenger and rear passengers as standard.

There are more cool things to consider in the technology department, starting with the standard hi-fi audio system with ten speakers and a 205-watt amplifier. If that’s not enough for the audiophile in you, you can select the optional Harman Kardon surround sound system, which upgrades the system to 16 speakers and a digital seven-channel amplifier generating 464 watts.

BMW also added the new dynamic interior light function that emits pulsating light signals in specific situations. These appear on the inner trim of an open door when the engine is running and on the instrument panel for an incoming phone call. It also includes the Welcome Light Carpet, which illuminates the approach to the doors when they are unlocked using the central locking system or when a door is opened.

Driving the 3 Series is now easier thanks to the brand-new Intelligent Personal Assistant.

This feature is similar to Mercedes’ smart MBUX system and is able to answer several questions, like “How does the High Beam Assistant work?”, “Is the oil level okay?” and “What warning messages do I have?”. It also remembers the driver’s favorite settings and can activate a combination of them in certain situations. For instance, “Hey BMW, I feel tired” triggers a vitality program that adjusts the lighting mood, music, and temperature, among other things, in order to make the driver feel more awake.

SHMEE Gives Us the Full Walkaround for the 2019 BMW 330i M Sport
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Finally, BMW claims the new 3 Series offers extra room for rear passengers. Actual figures aren’t yet available, but it makes sense given that the sedan is a big bigger now. The four-door also boasts a larger trunk, now able to swallow up to 17 cubic-feet of luggage. That’s an extra 1.2 cubic-feet over the outgoing model. It’s also more than what you get from the competition. The Jaguar XE is the only compact sedan that comes close at 15.9 cubic-feet, as both the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4 fall behind at 12.6 and 13 cubic-feet, respectively. A further 1.3 cubic-feet are available through separate storage compartments throughout the cabin.

Trunk volume
BMW 3 Series 17 ft³
Mercedes-Benz C-Class 12.6 ft³
Audi A4 13 ft³
Jaguar XE 15.9 ft³

2019 BMW 3 Series Drivetrain

  • Upgraded engines
  • 330i model with 255 horsepower
  • M340i version with 382 horsepower
  • 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds
  • New Steptronic transmission
  • Optional all-wheel drive
  • Diesel and hybrids underway
2019 BMW 3 Series
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Just like its predecessor, the new 3 Series will offer a selection of the company’s updated four- and six-cylinder engines. If you live in Europe, you’ll also be able to purchase diesel models. For now, though, BMW offers only two engines.

First up, the 330i trim comes with the familiar 2.0-liter four-cylinder under the hood.

Upgraded with a revised turbocharging system, high-precision injection, and a fully variable valve timing, the mill cranks out 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, or an extra seven horses and 37 pound-foot over its predecessor.

Mated to an improved eight-speed Sport Steptronic transmission with wider gear spread and a Launch Control function for optimized acceleration, the sedan needs only 5.6 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start.

Next up, the performance-oriented M340i variant hides a beefed-up 3.0-liter six-cylinder under the hood. Also equipped with a wide range of upgrades compared to the old engine, the turbo-six generates a whopping 382 horsepower and 369 pound-feet. That’s only 43 horsepower short from the old M3. You’ll need only 4.2 seconds to hit 60 mph in this sedan, which is only two tenths slower than the outgoing M3. Not bad!

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Besides the extra oomph, the new 3 Series is better in just about any department.

The car’s intelligent connectivity features enable the automatic transmission to adapt its shift strategy according to the route and driving situation. When equipped with the optional Navigation system, the eight-speed gearbox uses data from this system and from the Active Cruise Control radar sensor to avoid unnecessary gear changes when negotiating a series of fast corners. When approaching a vehicle ahead, the transmission will shift down early in order to use the engine braking to reduce speed.

The optional xDrive AWD system features BMW’s latest software to split drive torque between the front and rear wheels more efficiently. The fully variable power transfer ensures maximum traction and stability in all road and weather conditions, while also promoting sportier handling. The system has the same rear-biased setup, so you still get some of BMW’s traditional setup for spirited driving.

Optionally, you can add Auto Start-Stop and coasting functions for more efficient driving.

2019 BMW 3 Series - specifications

Engine 1,998 cm³ four-cylinder
Engine power 255 HP @ 5,000 – 6,500 RPM
Engine torque 295 LB-FT @ 1,550 – 4,400 RPM
Transmission type 8-speed automatic
0-60 mph 5.6 seconds
Top speed (optional w/perf. tires) 130 (155) mph

2019 BMW 3 Series Chassis, Suspension, and Brakes

  • Low center of gravity
  • 50:50 weight distribution
  • Stiffer chassis
  • Optional M Sport suspension
  • Optional differential
  • Bigger brakes
  • Option M Sport brakes
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Of course, a new 3 Series wouldn’t be complete without proper chassis upgrades. For this model, BMW aimed to obtain the lowest center of gravity yet, as well as a perfect 50:50 weight distribution. Both settings provide agile handling and high-precision steering.

The sedan now rides on a stiffer chassis, while overall body rigidity was improved by 25 percent.

In some areas, the new 3 Series is as much as 50 percent stiffer. The increased rigidity of the body and suspension system enables the optional M Sport suspension and Adaptive M suspension to work in the most efficient way possible and give the 3 Series proper race-track capability.

This is further enhanced by the lift-related dampers, a feature used for the first time in a BMW. Part of the car’s standard chassis setup, it makes a major contribution to the 3 Series balance of sportiness and comfort. It enables the handling and steering dynamics to be fine-tuned with a series of precisely matched chassis setting and reduces body movement, smoothing out vibrations caused by bumpy road surfaces and during dynamic cornering. The system is continuously variable and adjusts the damper firmness progressively according to the changing spring travel.

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The 3 Series continues to ride on the proven double-joint spring strut front suspension and five-link rear suspension, but many components have been upgraded.

New features include aluminum swivel bearings and control arms for the front axle and aluminum wheel mounts and a new generation of wheel bearings for the rear axle, both reducing unsprung mass.

BMW offers the M Sport differential for the rear axle as an option for the BMW 330i in combination with M Sport suspension or Adaptive M suspension. The electronically controlled, fully variable locking function in the rear differential helps to enhance traction and cornering, as well as improve stability and agility.

Stopping power comes from new, bigger brakes with grey cast iron friction ring and an aluminum brake disc chamber. It offers higher performance than before, combined with reduced weight.

The M Sport upgrade provides better braking performance by combining a sportier set-up with short pedal travel and a distinct pressure point.

2019 BMW 3 Series Driver Assistance Features

While the old 3 Series has fallen behind the competition as far as driver assistance features go, the new-generation compact is packed with modern tech. But you’ll have to pay extra to get the ultimate in comfort and safety, as the Driving Assistant Professional package is optional.

Underpinned by a trifocal camera co-developed with Mobileye, it works in conjunction with a front-facing radar to keep you safe in all driving situations. It includes Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, Steering and Lane Keeping Assistant, and Active Side Collision Avoidance.

The Extended Traffic Jam Assistant kicks in during stop and go traffic.

Designed to operate on at speeds up to 37 mph, this system integrates Lane Keeping Assistant, Active Cruise Control with Stop and Go and a driver attention monitoring camera that removes the need to touch the steering wheel. However, it only works if you’re attention is clearly on the road ahead.

Next up is Parking Assistant. As the name suggests, it helps you enter and exit parking spots, while the Back-Up Assistant automatically reverses the car in confined spaces. The system can back the car up at a maximum 5.5 mph. The parking Assistant Package also includes a rear view camera, as well as Panorama View and remote 3D Top View. The latter sends three-dimensional live images of the vehicle and its immediate surroundings on your smartphone.

2019 BMW 3 Series Prices

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Pricing for the 330i model starts from $40,250 in the U.S. The sticker doesn’t include the $995 shipping fee. Add xDrive AWD, and pricing jumps to $42,250 plus shipping. Somewhat surprisingly, the new 330i costs just as much as the outgoing model.

2019 BMW 3 Series Competition

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
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The classic 3 Series rival has to be the C-Class. Not only does it offer the usual lineup of turbo four-cylinders and six-cylinders, but speed lovers can also opt up to a boosted V-8 if desired. Updated for the 2018 model year, the C-Class comes in C300 guise in the U.S., sporting a 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet under the hood. The sprint to 60 mph takes 5.7 seconds. If you want more oomph, you need to go with the AMG C43 model. Powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 that delivers 362 horsepower, it charges to 60 mph in 4.6 clicks. Pricing for the C300 starts from $41,400, while the AMG C43 version comes in at $53,400 before options.

Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Audi A4

2016 - 2018 Audi A4 High Resolution Exterior
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Audi A4

The A4 is yet another classic competitor for the 3 Series. The latest-generation A4 dates back to 2015, when Audi gave the sedan a makeover using its most recent styling language. Sportier thanks to more angular design cues but also more elegant overall, the A4 benefits from a range of gasoline and diesel engines globally. However, the U.S. version features only the 2.0-liter TFSI unit, available in two flavors. The base model cranks out 190 horsepower, while the more powerful version delivers 252 horses. You can order the German sedan with either a manual or an automatic transmission. Opt for the S4 and the 3.0-liter V-6 engine pumps out 354 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, pushing the sedan from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. The A4 retails from $36,000, while the S4 version starts from $51,400.

Read our full review of the 2018 Audi A4.

Jaguar XE

2017 Jaguar XE High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The XE is a direct response to the 3 Series, offering all the looks, elegance, and performance as the Bimmer, but with a decidedly British style. The options are there too, with a nice variety of drivetrains and equipment levels to choose from. Aluminum is used prodigiously to cut weight, and an eight-speed automatic gearbox routes the power. Speaking of power, the sedan comes with a 2.0-liter four-pot rated at 240 horsepower 251 pound-feet, a diesel 2.0-liter with 180 ponies and 318 pound-feet, and a supercharged, 3.0-liter V-6 good for 340 horses and 332 pound-feet. Both RWD and AWD are on the table. Pricing starts at $36,995.

Read our full review on the Jaguar XE.

Conclusion

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All in all, there’s nothing here that you could consider as totally revolutionary or groundbreaking. The 2019 3 Series looks to epitomize the next steps of the segment, but in some ways, that’s a good thing. Competition here is at an all-time high, and that pressure to perform is great for consumers. It could be argued that BMW grew slightly complacent in its dominance, and now, that sort of thing just won’t fly. Time to bring in the big guns.

As a performance enthusiast, the larger exterior dimensions for the 3 Series certainly raises an eyebrow. The volume seller here is a luxury sedan with sporting elements, not a sports sedan with luxury elements. Fortunately, BMW managed to keep the car’s curb weight down, and this should become more evident in the M3 model. Arguably the biggest step forward here is the technological upgrade, as the 3 Series finally has the tools to tackle both the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Audi A4.

It’s still too early to make any definitive conclusions, but so far, things are looking up.

  • Leave it
    • Huge competition
    • Optional features and packages can get very expensive
    • Evolutionary, not revolutionary

Further reading

2016 BMW 3 Series High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the previous generation BMW 3 Series F30.

2009 BMW 3-Series
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Read our full review on the BMW 3 Series E90.

1999 - 2005 BMW E46
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Read our full review on the BMW 3 Series E46.

Today, BMW proudly introduces the seventh generation of the iconic sports sedan, the BMW 3 Series. Over the past 40 years, no single model has embodied the concept of the Ultimate Driving Machine better than the BMW 3 Series Sedan. Modern design, agile handling, exceptional efficiency and innovative equipment features, all signature characteristics of a BMW, have been raised to a higher level through tireless engineering and testing. The new 2019 BMW 3 Series sedan represents not only the core of the BMW 3 Series range (of which over 15 million units have been sold worldwide) but also the heart and passion of the BMW brand.

When the first BMW 3 Series arrived on U.S. shores in 1976 as a successor to the iconic BMW 2002, it built upon the sport sedan foundation pioneered by that model and launched a new name: the BMW 3 Series that would become BMW’s most successful model – a status it retains to this day. Over the course of six model generations, the BMW 3 Series has ranked as the world’s biggest-selling premium car, led the way for high-performance powertrain and chassis technology and earned a reputation as a pioneer of technological innovations in its segment. The latest edition of the car sees BMW building on the sporting tradition of the 3 Series, whose exploits in race competition have earned it many accolades. The seventh generation of the sports sedan moves the game on once again in terms of driving dynamics, not to mention premium quality and innovation, in its segment.

BMW 330i: more power and torque

Boasting numerous detail upgrades, the new 2.0-liter, inline 4-cylinder powering the new 2019 BMW 330i unit delivers 255 hp between 5,000 and 6,500 rpm and a peak torque of 295 lb-ft from 1,550 to 4,400 rpm. The 7 hp increase in output and the extra 37 lb-ft of torque compared with the predecessor engine are the result of the focused optimization of the BMW TwinPower Turbo system – which is made up a twin-scroll turbocharger, High Precision Injection direct petrol injection, VALVETRONIC fully variable valve timing and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing. The High Precision Injection system ensures precise fuel metering and particularly clean combustion, its new fuel pump generating maximum pressure of 350 bar compared with the 200 bar of the previous version. The improved direct injection system enables optimal fuel flow through the combustion chambers with atomized fuel delivered by multi-hole injectors. Other characteristics of this engine include a lighter crankshaft, reduced internal friction, optimized heat management and a new digital engine management system. An impressive 0 to 60 mph time of 5.6 seconds belies the enhanced efficiency of the new BMW 330i Sedan.

The 2019 BMW 330i arrives in March 2019 with a starting price of $40,250 plus $995 destination. The 330i xDrive sedan will start at $42,250 plus $995 destination.

In addition to the 4 cylinder 330i, the line-up will expand further to include a BMW M Performance version with extremely sporting characteristics and a BMW iPerformance model with the latest plug-in hybrid drive technology.

BMW M340i and M340i xDrive M Performance

Spring of 2019 will see the arrival of the BMW M340i and M340i xDrive Sedans. The new BMW M Performance model will showcase the full dynamic potential of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan. An updated six-cylinder in-line gasoline engine, M Performance chassis tuning, optional xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive and the standard M Sport rear differential will deliver performance attributes that will impress any driver.

The new version of the straight-six engine developed for the BMW M340i xDrive Sedan will produce 382 hp and peak torque of 369 lb-ft. A 0–60 mph time of 4.2 seconds (provisional figure) takes the BMW M Performance model into performance territory inhabited by high-caliber sports cars.

8-speed Sport Steptronic transmission: improvement and greater integration

The new 2019 BMW 330i and 330i xDrive Sedans are equipped with the 8-speed Sport Steptronic transmission as standard. The latest upgrade of this sport automatic transmission sees a wider gear spread (from 7.8 to 8.2 and also increases internal efficiency and improves vibration suppression. There is a new control unit and further enhanced gearshift dynamics. In addition to the optimized hydraulic control system, the shorter gearing for the lower ratios boosts the acceleration capability of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan. The 8HP 8-speed Sport Steptronic transmission delivers even shorter shift times and a Launch Control function for highly dynamic, traction optimized acceleration off the line than previous versions. Shift paddles on the steering wheel allow manual gear selection.

Intelligent connectivity enables the sport automatic transmission to adapt its shift strategy according to the route and driving situation. With the optional Navigation system, the 8-speed Sport Steptronic transmission uses data from this system and from the Active Cruise Control system’s radar sensor. This makes it possible for the transmission to avoid unnecessary gear changes when negotiating a series of fast corners and, when approaching a vehicle ahead, for example, to shift down early in order to use the engine braking to scrub off speed.

The Auto Start Stop function and the coasting function available in conjunction with the 8-speed Steptronic transmission in the new BMW 3 Series Sedan also use data supplied by the optional navigation system with data from the standard Active Guard driving assistance systems’ front camera. In this way, inefficient engine shutdown – for example when stopping briefly at junctions or roundabouts – can be prevented. Movement of vehicles ahead is registered in order to determine the ideal moment for the Auto Start Stop function to stop and start the engine. The coasting function is now available when either ECO Pro or COMFORT mode is selected using the Driving Experience Control switch between 9 and 99 mph. The efficiency-enhancing decoupling of the powertrain only takes place in driving situations where performance and comfort are not compromised. If the driver suddenly lifts off the accelerator, the powertrain stays connected so that engine braking can be used to support deceleration. For the same reason, powertrain disconnection is also prevented when approaching a junction or a vehicle ahead.

BMW xDrive: fully variable and more efficient.

The latest version of the intelligent all-wheel-drive system splits drive torque between the front and rear wheels more efficiently than in the previous 3 Series model. The fully variable power transfer ensures maximum traction and directional stability in all road and weather conditions while also promoting sportier handling. This functionality comes courtesy of the electronically controlled multi-plate clutch in the transfer case which links up with the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system and constantly adjusts power transmission – precisely and in a fraction of a second – in response to the driving situation. In this way, any tendency of the vehicle to oversteer or understeer greatly reduced.

The system’s rear-biased set-up helps ensure the new BMW 3 Series Sedan retains the exhilarating driving experience drivers expect from a BMW. Sending more drive power to the rear wheels under normal driving increases agility when cornering. In situations which do not require all-wheel drive, the efficiency of BMW xDrive is increased by directing all the engine’s torque to the rear wheels. The weight of the system has also been reduced, while optimized oil supply increases internal efficiency.

Chassis Technology: Sportiness and comfort

When developing the body structure and chassis technology of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan, a number of clear priorities were used: enhanced driving dynamics, agile handling characteristics, high-precision steering and superior braking performance. The foundations for these attributes are provided by weight optimization, a low center of gravity, a perfect 50:50 front/rear weight distribution and, above all, by the increase in the front and rear track compared with the predecessor model, significantly increased camber values for the front wheels and the substantial increase in the stiffness of the body structure and suspension mountings. Overall body rigidity is up 25 percent, rising to as much as a 50 percent improvement in certain areas. The increased rigidity of the body and suspension mountings enables the M Sport suspension and Adaptive M suspension to go about their work in the most efficient way possible allowing for suspension spring rates to be increased by 20 percent over the previous-generation BMW 3 Series Sedan without loss of comfort.

In addition to these measures, new shock absorber technology has been developed for the new BMW 3 Series Sedan. Used for the first time in a BMW model, the lift-related dampers are part of the car’s standard chassis and make a major contribution to the unique balance of sportiness and comfort – unrivalled by any other manufacturer – which defines the character of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan. The car’s handling and steering dynamics can be fine-tuned with a series of precisely matched chassis options. The functionally coordinated interplay of suspension, steering, tires, brake system and differential lock makes sport driving an effortlessly enjoyable experience.

Lightweight construction and increased rigidity deliver greater agility.

The rigorous testing and development of the new chassis design enhances the agility of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan in a number of ways. Many details of the proven double-joint spring strut front suspension and five-link rear suspension have been upgraded. Along with the sportier handling, the car’s ride comfort and acoustics have both been improved. Aluminum swivel bearings and control arms for the front axle, aluminum wheel mounts and a new generation of wheel bearings for the rear axle significantly reduce unsprung mass. The front axle – with its increased level of component rigidity, the shear panels used to connect the axle to the body and its specially tuned kinematics – enhances both steering precision and cornering dynamics. Factors contributing to the high level of comfort provided by the sedan include a hydraulically damped torque strut bearing, which eliminates vibration and oscillation. At the rear axle, extremely rigid control arms and axle sub-frames along with the use of thrust arms for the body mounting ensure very precise wheel location.

Body weight reduced by as much as 121 lbs., drag coefficient as low as 0.26.

As with the individual chassis components, the weight of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan’s body construction has been reduced. The progress achieved through BMW efficient lightweight measures is rooted in an intelligent material mix including increased use of high-strength steels and aluminum. The body-in-white is 44 lbs. lighter than the outgoing model and the front spring struts and engine sub-frame of the BMW 3 Series Sedan are now made of aluminum. This reduces the weight of the body structure by some 16.5 lbs. compared with the predecessor model. A further weight saving of almost 33 lbs. is achieved through the use of aluminum for the hood and front fenders.

The optimization of its aerodynamic characteristics benefits not only the efficiency of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan, but also its performance. The drag coefficient (Cd) of the BMW 3 Series sedan has been reduced to a low 0.26, a reduction of .03 Cd over the previous BMW 3 Series. Factors responsible for the new segment-leading figures include the almost completely sealed underbody, aerodynamically optimized wheels, the use of Air Curtains at the front of the car and the latest generation of active air flap control, which extends across the BMW kidney grille and lower air intake.

Premiere for lift-related dampers.

A newly developed suspension and damping system contributes to the beautifully balanced handling of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan. The introduction of lift-related damper control reduces body movement perceptibly smoothing out vibrations caused by bumpy road surfaces and dynamic cornering, which paves the way for sporty, authoritative handling. The system adds extra hydraulic damping at the front axle and a compression limiting system at the rear. It is continuously variable and adjusts the damper firmness progressively according to the changing spring travel. This prevents excessive body dive when driving over large bumps and so avoids uncomfortable, nervous damping response.

At the front axle, the first line of defense against body vibrations is an additional element within the inner sleeve of the damper. Only when greater loads are encountered does the entire damper become active. The rear dampers adapt continuously to the driving situation. Even when the vehicle is carrying heavier loads, they provide the ideal degree of hydraulic damping for the situation at hand. Lift-related damping is an active element of the suspension set-up and is designed specifically to optimize the balance between sportiness and comfort. The positive effect of progressive suspension adjustment can also be felt in less demanding circumstances; even small bumps can trigger damper lift, which makes a noticeable difference in enhancing passenger comfort.

The new BMW 3 Series Sedan benefits from lift-related damping on both the standard and optional M Sport suspensions. With kinematics and elastokinematics clearly tuned for dynamic driving, the M Sport suspension features more rigid bearings and additional body struts, firmer springs and anti-roll bars, and an even higher degree of wheel camber.

During fast compression and rebound, the damping forces are some 20 percent greater than the values with the standard suspension. This means that the difference between the two suspension options is about twice as great as on the predecessor model. Another element of the M Sport suspension – which now also applies to the all-wheel-drive model variants of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan – is a 0.4 inch lower ride height.

Adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled dampers.

As an alternative to the suspension variants with standard damper technology, customers can also specify Adaptive M suspension. This combines the characteristics of M Sport suspension with electronically controlled dampers. Able to deliver damping force to each wheel separately via continuously adjustable valves, it is both the sportiest and most comfortable suspension variant available for the new BMW 3 Series Sedan. The latest version of this damping system operates with new valves and an optimized control algorithm, which now also enables load-dependent control of the damping forces. In addition, switching between the different modes using the Driving Experience Control switch now results in a much more perceptible variation in the damping characteristics. In COMFORT mode, the electronically controlled dampers provide well-balanced long distance comfort, whereas in SPORT mode they encourage a much more dynamic driving style. As well as modifying the damper configuration, each setting also influences the steering, accelerator response and the shift dynamics of the Steptronic transmission. ADAPTIVE mode is now also available. With this setting selected, the car automatically adjusts its responses to the driving style and, depending on the equipment specified, to the route profile. The control system responds to accelerator and steering inputs and the position of the selector lever to make the powertrain and suspension characteristics sportier or more comfort-oriented. The map data supplied by the optional Navigation system Professional is also used to prepare the car for an upcoming junction or bend.

Variable sport steering: More direct, precise and agile

The Electric Power Steering of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan comes standard with Servotronic speed-sensitive power assistance. Variable sport steering is part of the M Sport suspension and Adaptive M Sport suspension. With its variable ratio, which adjusts to changes in the steering angle, it is as adept at keeping the new BMW 3 Series Sedan effortlessly in a straight line as at maximizing cornering agility or turning and maneuvering comfort. In its latest form, the variable sport steering is more direct in its responses, even when only a slight steering input is applied. Cornering is precise and responsive, while the wheel angles required for parking maneuvers are achieved with less steering wheel input required.

M Sport brakes:

High-performance lightweight brakes play a very important part in the sporty handling characteristics of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan. The model-specific brake discs consist of a grey cast iron friction ring with an aluminum brake disc chamber to offer high performance combined with reduced weight. The M Sport brakes provide excellent braking performance and intuitive feel, whether negotiating city streets or driving around a circuit on a track day. Combining an extremely sporty set-up - with short pedal travel and a distinct pressure point – with outstanding thermal resistance, they provide lasting and effective stopping power. The M Sport brakes achieve this with a more direct ratio as well as a different hydraulic configuration including four piston fixed calipers at the front and single-piston floating calipers at the rear.

All the brake calipers are painted blue and display the M logo.

The functions provided by the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system include not only anti-lock braking (ABS) and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), but also a variety of stabilizing functions and the Start-Off Assistant. The standard Performance Control heightens the agility of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan by distributing the power to the rear wheels as the situation allows. In order to optimize directional stability during heavy braking on surfaces with differing levels of grip for the right-hand and left-hand wheels, a steering impulse is applied to help the driver correct the car’s line. The functioning of the electromechanical parking brake is integrated into the rear brake calipers by means of the DSC system.

M Sport differential optimizes traction, agility, stability and cornering dynamics.

The M Sport differential for the rear axle is available as an option for the BMW 330i in combination with M Sport suspension or Adaptive M suspension. The electronically controlled, fully variable locking function in the rear differential helps to appreciably enhance traction and cornering. The active differential lock also has a positive effect on directional stability and agility.

Using the DSC system to precisely limit rotational speed equalization between the inside and outside rear wheel when cornering optimizes the transfer of power to the road in all driving situations. The locking effect produced by an electric motor allows as much as 1,106 lb-ft of torque to be redirected from the faster-turning wheel to the slower-turning one. This means that, during rapid cornering, for example, any tendency to understeer can be countered effectively. Here, the engine’s power, which cannot be transferred to the road by the unloaded wheel on the inside of a turn, is deliberately shifted to the wheel on the outside of the turn rather than applying the brakes to neutralize its effect. This draws the car into the bend allows and allows the new BMW 3 Series Sedan to accelerate out of the bend with grip and speed.

The effect of the M Sport differential will be equally noticeable in a series of fast bends. The distribution of power to each individual wheel prevents the tendency to oversteer in situations involving multiple changes of direction and load. Here, the transfer of more power to whichever wheel is on the inside of the bend enables the driver to stick to the chosen course with increased stability and confidence. Similarly, when the driver changes lanes and brakes at the same time, directional stability is optimized through the transfer of power between the right and left-hand rear wheels.

Exterior design: an expression of sporting prowess.

The exterior design of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan uses a combination of precisely drawn lines and strikingly contoured surfaces to create a modern interpretation of the sporting aesthetic. Its new design language provides a clear showcase for the athletic character of the car. The new 3 Series Sedan is 2.9 inches longer than its predecessor, 0.6 inches wider and 0.5 inches taller. These dimensions lend the latest-generation model dynamically stretched proportions and a muscular stature. The car’s 1.6 inch longer wheelbase and increased track widths of +1.7 inches front and +0.8 inches rear, meanwhile, have a direct and positive influence on its poise and agility.

In keeping with the sporting theme, the front end of the BMW 3 Series Sedan cuts a wide, low-slung and aggressive figure. The large BMW kidney grill elements are framed by a single surround and split up by wide bars that link to the headlight units. A technically sophisticated and visually smaller interpretation of the customary BMW twin headlights gives them a road-focused stare. Their familiar two-way split is emphasized by an eye-catching notch in the front bumper that rises up into the headlight contour. Full-LED headlights come as standard, while LED headlights with extended features and U-shaped daytime driving lights are available as an option. The optional Adaptive LED headlights with BMW Laserlight stand apart with their hexagonal daytime driving light rings and blue, L-shaped elements in the inner and outer light sources.

The hood is shaped by four contour lines flowing towards the BMW kidney grill. At its leading edge, it sits flush with the upper edge of the headlights and kidney grill. Below it, the front bumper has large surfacing and a modern look. Both the optional front fog lamps and the Air Curtains are integrated into the outer air intakes, which are inserted into the front bumper in a horizontal T shape on Sport Line and Luxury Line models. This design was originally developed by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) for the intake air in jet engines and later became a feature on racing cars.

The car’s hood, long wheelbase, short overhangs and elegantly flowing roofline accentuate its sporting profile when viewed from the side. A pair of character lines, which rise up to the rear of the car at door-handle level, strengthen the visual impact made by the forward-surging body. A contour line near the side skirts guides the eye to the sculpted rear wheel arches.

Another feature treated to a striking new look is the Hofmeister kink – the familiar counter-swing at the trailing edge of the side window graphic. A BMW hallmark, this element of the window frame is now integrated into the C-pillar, giving the rear doors a “freestanding” glass edge. The new design language majors on clear forms and precise lines, and this approach is also visible in the transition of the flanks into the car’s rear end. Surface contours flow stylistically into the rear bumper from the side skirts and extend in an upwards movement via the rear lights up to the spoiler lip on the trunk lid. Horizontal lines and the slim, stylishly darkened light units housing L-shaped LED taillights give the rear a wide and athletic stance. The T-shaped trim elements in the outer edges of the rear bumper – which also include a light function in the form of reflectors – mimic the design of the front air intakes on cars with standard specification and on Sport Line and Luxury Line models. The exhaust system’s 80 or 90-millimeter (depending on the model variant) twin tailpipes play a role in the car’s arrestingly sporty appearance.

From launch, customers can choose from two non-metallic colors and ten metallic shades for the exterior of their new BMW 3 Series Sedan, including the new Portimao Blue metallic and Vermont Bronze metallic.

Interior: a classy route to sporting flair.

The brand’s new design language brings a clear arrangement of surfaces to the interior of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan. This accentuates the increased spaciousness of the cabin and, together with the cockpit’s focus on the driver, enhances their focus on the road ahead. The instrument panel has a modern, light look, and its horizontal lines, high-quality electroplated trim strips and contours extending into the doors lend themselves to a feeling of width and elegance. The coordinated design of the door trim, instrument panel and center console create an all-round feeling of space and a sporting aura. With their dynamic lines and clasp-style door openers, the front and rear door trim panels create a neatly coherent impression. The newly designed instrument cluster and Control Display form a large surfaced screen grouping, while the controls not included in these units are clustered into clearly structured function panels. In the center of the instrument panel, the displays and buttons for the air conditioning and the central air vents form a sharply designed unit, while the light functions are operated from a panel of buttons next to the steering wheel. The start/stop button for the engine is now positioned in a classy control panel in the center 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 electromechanical parking brake.

The range of standard and optional interior trim elements available for the instrument panel and center console has been almost fully replaced. As well as elegant open-pore fine wood options, customers can choose from finishes including Aluminum Mesh Effect.

Distinctive style: Sport Line, Luxury Line and M Sport

The equipment lines offered as an alternative to standard Sport Line specification for the new BMW 3 Series Sedan enable further individualization of the car’s appearance. Carefully coordinated design and equipment features for the exterior and interior allow the Sport Line model, Luxury Line model and M Sport model to focus more intently on either the dynamic driving experience or luxurious elegance of the four-door car. As well as a line-specific front- and rear bumper design, they also come with exclusive light-alloy wheels in 18-inch formats, bespoke door sill strips and LED front fog lamps.

The standard Sport Line model interior, includes trim strips in high-gloss black and sports seats for the driver and front passenger. The Luxury Line uses chrome applications for the BMW kidney grille, front air intakes and rear apron to bring out the car’s elegant side even more prominently. Vernasca leather trim, Sensatec instrument panel and door trim, and fine wood interior trim strips in high-gloss Ash grey brown enhance the interior’s premium ambience.

The M Sport model variant of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan is all about the complementing the car’s handling and appearance. The Line’s standard M Sport Suspension or optional Adaptive M Suspensions are enhanced by Variable Sport steering. This variant features larger air intakes in the front end and an equally distinctive design for the side skirts and rear bumper. These elements are joined by BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line trim, kidney grille bars in High-gloss Black, air intake trim in High-gloss Black and a rear diffuser in Dark Shadow. The design of the interior is also focused one-hundred per cent on the car’s sporty driving experience, thanks – among other things – to sports seats with M-specific upholstery, an M leather steering wheel, an anthracite-colored BMW Individual headliner and interior trim strips in Aluminum Tetragon.

Interior and equipment: Refined premium ambiance and innovative options.

The cabin of the new 2019 BMW 3 Series Sedan was designed to offer a modern space with a focus on driving enjoyment. The driver, the front passenger and those travelling in the three rear seats will appreciate the extra space over the predecessor model, not just on long distance journeys but in everyday driving too. Higher quality materials, precise build quality and numerous meticulously crafted details set the tone for the refined premium character of the four-door sedan.

The standard sports seats provide very good lateral support and have an even greater range of adjustment. The new Vernasca leather upholstery available as an option has an exceptionally high quality feel. It comes in a choice of five colors and includes special decorative quilting and seam patterns, which vary according to the equipment line.

Shoulder room in the front of the cabin has increased while passengers in the rear benefit from more legroom, and all occupants now enjoy more headroom than in the new BMW 3 Series Sedan’s predecessor. Seating comfort in the rear has been improved significantly, and long journeys are now a more comfortable experience for the passenger in the middle of the three rear seats.

Getting in and out of the car is now easier for the rear passengers in the new car, as the modified roof edge and side skirt contouring has increased the height of the door aperture, while the distance between the front and rear seats has been extended by 0.4 inches. The rear compartment can accommodate a row of three child seats, two of which can be locked into place using ISOFIX anchor points. This is now an easier process, as the bars in question are positioned further to either side.

Optimized all-round visibility, glass roof with far larger surface area.

The slender A-pillar trim, the new location of the Control Display and the rearview mirror’s ultra-slim frame all serve to optimize the view through the windscreen at the same time as adding to the interior’s more spacious feel. The view to the rear has also been significantly improved. Customers opting for the glass roof, will be greeted by a larger glass area that can be better enjoyed by rear seat passengers.

The new BMW 3 Series Sedan’s trunk capacity has been increased from 15.8 to 17.0 cubic feet, and its new partitioning into primary luggage compartment and separate storage compartments has created an additional 1.3 cubic feet of space. The optional Storage package adds features such as extra storage areas, partition nets on both sides of the trunk, bag hooks, and a 12V socket. The standard 40:20:40 split-folding rear backrest makes it easy to transport particularly large and bulky items. If the Comfort Access option is specified, the car will automatically unlock when the keyfob is detected in its immediate vicinity and lock again when it moves out of range. This feature’s functionality includes hands-free opening and closing of the trunk lid. A new movement sensor in the key permanently monitors whether the key is being carried (and therefore is always transmitting) or has been put down on a table, for example, allowing it to switch into standby mode with the transmit function deactivated.

Ambient lighting: an atmospheric interior mood

The standard lighting for the cabin of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan is composed entirely of LEDs. This includes the reading and interior lights in the front and rear, as well as the lighting for the glove compartment, the storage compartment under the center armrest, the footwells, the mirrors in the sun visors and the boot, plus the courtesy lights in the doors. The optional ambient lighting results in atmospherically rich illumination of the cabin, which can also be adjusted as desired. The additional indirect lighting of the contour lines running along the instrument panel and the door paneling uses precisely positioned LED fiber-optic light guides to create a dynamic, exclusive mood. A total of six light colors and eleven combinations of brightness, light distribution and color scheme for all light sources in the interior can be selected from the iDrive menu. In addition, the Dynamic interior light function emits pulsating light signals in specific situations. These signals appear on the inner trim of an open door when the engine is running and on the instrument panel in response to an incoming phone call. Another of the optional ambient lighting’s functions is the Welcome Light Carpet, which illuminates the approach to the doors when they are unlocked using the central locking or a door is opened.

Adaptive LED headlights with BMW Laserlight.

In standard specification, the task of illuminating the road ahead falls to full-LED headlights that use LED units not just for low beam and high beam, but also for the daytime driving lights and direction indicators. The optional LED headlights with extended features include a dynamic cornering light function, and employ U-shaped LED units in the inner and outer headlights as daytime driving lights. Automatic High Beams are available as an additional option in conjunction with both headlight variants. The LED fog lamps (also optionally available) are horizontal in form and integrated into the outer air intakes.

For even better visibility when driving at night, customers can opt for the Adaptive LED headlights with BMW Laserlight, which offer variable illumination of the road ahead and a non-dazzling high beam. Blue, L-shaped accents inside the signature twin headlights reveal the presence of this highly sophisticated lighting technology.

Innovative technology is employed for cleaning the windshield too. The wiper arms with integral spray nozzles specially developed for the new BMW 3 Series Sedan allow the washer fluid to be distributed in a very even manner, ensuring it does not impair the view through the windscreen at whatever speed the car is travelling.

Optimized acoustics: climate control, A-pillars, windscreen and doors

The new BMW 3 Series Sedan comes standard with a rain sensor, automatic headlights, a hands-free phone system and three-zone automatic climate control with independent control of the temperature and ventilation settings for the driver, front passenger and rear passengers. The acoustic properties of both systems have been improved. The air ducts and outlets have been redesigned and pressure losses reduced, leading to a perceptible decrease in flow noise when the ventilation, heating or air conditioning are operating.

Body improvements to divert wind noise further boost acoustic comfort, while the structural foam used to fill the A-pillars lessens the amount of wind noise that reaches the interior. Acoustic glass for the windscreen is part of standard specification for the new BMW 3 Series Sedan. This type of glass is available as an option for the side door windows.

Audio and sound

The BMW Live Cockpit infotainment system with the standard hi-fi audio features ten speakers and an amplifier with 205 watts of output. Those looking to bring the ultimate in audio quality to the new BMW 3 Series Sedan, can select the optional Harman Kardon surround sound system, which upgrades the system to 16 speakers and a digital seven-channel amplifier generating output of 464 watts.

Driver Assistance Systems

The new BMW 3 Series Sedan takes the exciting driving experience to new heights. But it also assumes a pioneering role when it comes to assistance systems designed to ease the driver’s workload in monotonous driving conditions – such as traffic jams – and lends a helping hand in awkward maneuvering situations. The new model generation offers a far wider choice of standard and optionally available systems which enhance specific aspects of comfort and safety. This array of advanced driver assistance systems takes the new BMW 3 Series Sedan further along the road to automated driving than any of its rivals.

Camera images and the data gathered by radar and ultrasonic sensors are used to monitor the vehicle’s surrounding area and either alert the driver to hazards or minimize the risk of an accident by means of corrective braking and steering. The optional Active Cruise Control with Stop and Go braking function helps to make life easier on long-distance journeys by automatically accelerating or slowing down the car to maintain the desired speed set by the driver. The set speed can be imported directly from the optional traffic sign recognition system’s display. The Active Cruise Control system with Stop & Go function goes even further to help the driver by not just maintaining the chosen cruising speed but also keeping a safe distance from vehicles travelling ahead. The system is operational in a speed range from 0 – 130 mph and is able to brake the vehicle to a standstill, if necessary. The maximum length of time that can pass before the car starts off again automatically has been extended to 30 seconds. In order to determine the ideal moment to pull away, the system’s sensors now register not only the vehicle immediately ahead, but the one in front of that as well.

The new BMW 3 Series Sedan comes standard with the Active Guard Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, the latest version of which also alerts the driver when a cyclist is detected. Depending on the situation, the system can bring the vehicle to a halt to either avoid a collision or minimize its consequences. The optional Driving Assistant includes Lane Departure Warning and Blind Spot Detection systems, which operate from 44 – 130 mph and from 12 mph to the car’s top speed respectively, and help the driver to guide the car back onto the correct path with a steering input. The Driving Assistant’s remaining functions also include Rear Collision Protection and Cross-Traffic Alert, thereby reducing the risk of a collision when reversing into roads that are obstructed from the driver’s view. To help it keep an eye on what’s happening behind the car, Cross-Traffic Alert is able to employ both the radar sensors in the rear apron and the rear view camera.

Driving Assistant Professional: the ultimate in comfort and safety

The optional Driving Assistant Professional offers the full complement of assistance systems for comfortable and safe motoring. Underpinning it all is a trifocal camera co-developed with Mobileye, working in conjunction with a front facing radar. This complete package makes its systems available in an exceptionally wide range of situations. In addition to all the components of the Driving Assistant and the Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, it also includes the Steering and Lane Keeping Assistant, which takes its cues from road markings and vehicles driving ahead and works together with the driver to help keep the vehicle in the detected lane. A dedicated button on the steering wheel’s left-hand spoke ensures the systems are easy to operate. Pushing it once activates both the Active Cruise Control and the Steering and Lane Keeping Assistant.

The Driving Assistant Professional also features the Lane Keeping Assistant with active side collision avoidance. As well as emitting visual warning signals and causing the steering wheel to vibrate, active side collision avoidance also uses a steering input to help avoid collisions. Rounding off the Driving Assistant Professional’s extensive list of functions are the evasion assistance, which now also reacts to pedestrians and Cross-Traffic Alert.

The Extended Traffic Jam Assistant is designed to help the driver during the most tedious driving environment, stop and go traffic. Designed to operate on limited access highways at speeds up to 37 mph, this system integrates Lane Keeping Assistant, Active Cruise Control with Stop and Go and a driver attention monitoring camera that removes the need to touch the steering wheel every 30-50 seconds if the driver’s attention is clearly on the road ahead.

BMW Head-Up Display: Larger projection area and optimized graphics

The optional BMW Head-Up Display helps the driver to enjoy focused and extremely safe driving in the new BMW 3 Series Sedan. It projects driving-related information directly into the driver’s field of vision on the windshield, where it can be assimilated without the need to divert their eyes from the road. The latest generation of the system boasts a projection area 70 per cent larger than in the outgoing BMW 3 Series Sedan, plus enhanced graphics and additional display readings. The information projected by the BMW Head-Up Display includes the car’s speed, speed limits and overtaking restrictions, Check Control messages, status indicators and warnings from the assistance systems, detailed route guidance and turn instructions, and telephone and entertainment lists.

Another feature activated in conjunction with the BMW Head-Up Display is distance warning, which is part of the Active Cruise Control system’s set of functions and flashes up a graphic icon to alert the driver when they get closer to the vehicle in front than the pre-set minimum distance.

Parking Assistance Package Plus with Back-Up Assistant: maneuvering with ease

Drivers of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan are also able to rely on the comprehensive support of innovative assistance systems when parking and maneuvering. The optional Park Distance Control (PDC) with sensors at both the front and rear provides visual and acoustic signals to prevent collisions with obstacles located to the side or rear of the vehicle. The optional Parking Assistance Package goes further with Automatic Parking, which automatically selects either parallel or perpendicular spaces along to the road, and maneuvering into them. The latest version of the system takes care of steering the car, accelerating, braking and automatic transmission shifting. What’s more, Automatic Parking can now also be used to automatically maneuver out of parallel parking spaces. Here, the driver first specifies the direction in which the parking space is to be exited by switching on the turn signal for the appropriate side. The system then guides the vehicle – using reversing and steering inputs – into a position from which the driver can leave the parking space with the steering turned to the same angle.

Another of the Parking Assistant’s features is the innovative Back-Up Assistant, which helps the driver to exit parking spots or maneuver when space is limited. This system is the only one of its kind in the new BMW 3 Series Sedan’s segment. Back-Up Assistant offers the highly convenient option of automated reversing in confined spaces or situations where the driver does not have a clear view, such as narrow parking garages or entrances to courtyards. To do this, the system stores the steering movements for any section the car has just driven forward along at no more than 22 mph. The system is then able to reverse the vehicle for distances of up to 50 yards by steering it along exactly the same line it has just taken when moving forward, while all the driver has to do is operate the accelerator and brake pedals and monitor the area around the car. The Back-Up Assistant can back the car up at a maximum 5.5 mph.

The rear view camera and the functions included with the optional Parking Assistant Package provide drivers with an excellent overview of the situation when parking or exiting parking spaces. The Park View, Panorama View and Remote 3D Top View features are used to create a 360° image of the vehicle and its surroundings – from different perspectives – in the Control Display. Meanwhile, the Remote 3D View function gives drivers the ability to call up a three-dimensional live image of their vehicle and its immediate vicinity on their smartphone.

Displays and iDrive: Premier for the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant

Making its debut in the new BMW 3 Series Sedan is the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, an intelligent, digital character that responds to the prompt “Hey BMW”. The BMW Group is set to revolutionize driving pleasure with the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant and, in so doing, enter a new era in which drivers will increasingly be able to operate their car and access its functions and information simply by speaking. The range of functions and skills available will be constantly expanded as part of regular updates.

BMWs acquire a digital personality

The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant learns routines and habits, and is subsequently able to apply them in the appropriate context. He helps the driver, learns their preferences and is familiar with their favored settings – e.g. for the seat heating or the places they drive to frequently using the navigation system (“Take me home”). It is familiar with the vehicle’s functions and is able to operate them as required. Saying “Hey BMW, I’m cold” will prompt the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant to adjust the temperature inside the car accordingly. The assistant will benefit from technical upgrades and be able to learn more and more preferences and favored settings. The assistant takes further strides forward with every command given, every question asked and every setting selected.

A constant on-board companion: the digital BMW expert

The arrival of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant ensures there is always a genuine BMW professional on board. 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?”). He knows the driver’s favorite settings, and can even activate a combination of them to enhance well-being. For instance, “Hey BMW, I feel tired” triggers a vitality program that adjusts the lighting mood, music and temperature, among other things, in order to make the driver feel more awake.

The perfect driver assistant

The Intelligent Personal Assistant is, in short, the ideal co-driver and comes in particularly useful during everyday driving (“Hey BMW, what is the closest gas station on my route”). To make navigation particularly easy, drivers can give him access to their calendar and contacts, which will enable him to find parking spaces at the destination, provide information on traffic jams along the route and remind the driver when they need to set off. It also learns destinations the customer drives to frequently.

BMW Digital Key: turning the smartphone into a car key

The BMW Digital Key employs Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to allow the new BMW 3 Series Sedan to be locked and unlocked from a compatible smartphone, removing the need for a conventional car key. Holding the smartphone up to the door handle opens the car. Once inside, the engine can be started as soon as the phone has been placed in the wireless charging or smartphone tray. Accessible via the BMW Connected app, the Digital Key offers unrivalled flexibility. The BMW Digital Key is compatible for all NFC-capable Samsung Galaxy smartphones running Android 8.0 and above. Compatibility is limited to select carriers.

Connected Navigation with new digital services

“Connected Navigation” encompasses a number of digital services that are designed to turn seamless and contextual route planning both inside and outside the BMW into a more sophisticated experience. Drivers of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan will be able to send destinations from various apps straight to their car’s navigation system. The most important destinations will be stored in BMW Connected and synchronized with the car, so that the key addresses can be accessed from any device at any time. One particularly helpful new feature is the Parking Finder, which proposes various parking options to the driver before the destination is reached. This service includes providing information on parking garages as well as on street parking spaces with a particularly good chance of being available near the destination. The existing On-Street Parking Information and ParkNow services have been intelligently incorporated into the new assistant’s scope of functions.

BMW iDrive display and control: The right information at the right time

The newly designed instrument cluster/Control Display screen grouping and extended functionality take intuitive operation to the next level in the new BMW 3 Series Sedan, while helping drivers to concentrate even more effectively on the road ahead. The standard BMW Live Cockpit features iDrive 6.0 with an 8.8-inch digital touchscreen Control Display and a 5.7-inch digital instrument color display.

The optional BMW Live Cockpit Professional upgrades the interface with a 12.3-inch high-resolution digital instrument cluster display and a 10.25-inch digital touch screen Control Display featuring the all-new iDrive 7.0 Operating System. This equipment package also features the Connected Navigation system, a hard drive-based multimedia system with 20 GB of memory, Touch Controller, one USB-A and one USB-C port for data transfer, Apple CarPlay and WiFi interface.

BMW Live Cockpit Professional also brings enhanced BMW iDrive 7.0 benefits to the new BMW 3 Series Sedan. The latest generation of BMW iDrive boasts fully digital displays and is geared even more closely to the driver’s personal needs – with the aim of maximizing their attention levels. The system’s clear presentation and structuring are designed to provide drivers with the right information at the right time, aided further by the customizable and personalized displays. The redesigned information display in the middle of the instrument cluster now leaves enough room for an excerpt from the navigation map, for instance. In the main menu on the Control Display, the driver is able to configure up to ten pages, each showing two to four pads (tiles) with live content.

The intuitive multimodal interaction between driver and vehicle has undergone further improvement. The Control Display graphics adapt depending on the operating method, the voice control system (based on natural language understanding) is better than ever before and the optional BMW gesture control now works with two extra gestures, bringing the total to seven. Depending on the situation, the driver can operate the various functions using the familiar iDrive Controller, the steering wheel controls, touch control, voice control or gesture control.

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