The China-Only 3-Series L is Nearly As Long as the BMW 5 Series
The three proverbial “Ls” here stand for legroom, legroom and more legroomby Andrei Nedelea, on
Premium automakers give China special attention because the Chinese market is so big and lucrative that it makes a lot of financial sense for them to do so and that’s why they all have long-wheelbase versions of the sedans they sell there. The latest premium sedan to be launched is the all-new 3-Series from BMW, and it really didn’t take long for the stretched model to make its appearance.
There’s nothing particularly special about the new 3 Series L, other than the fact that it has more space for rear passengers and an extended rear door, but for China, this is apparently a big thing and, more importantly, a selling point. It’s almost even hard to spot, if you don’t know what you’re looking at, as the only giveaway are the longer rear doors.
Specifically, the car’s wheelbase is exactly 11 centimeters / 4.3 inches longer than that of the standard 3-Series, and its total length increases by 12 centimeters / 4.7 inches overall.
All that extra length has been used by engineers to create a much more spacious rear seat, one where Chinese execs will enjoy stretching out as they are chauffeured around.
The new 3-Series L will be exclusively assembled through BMW’s joint venture with local firm Brilliance and on the local Chinese market. It has a long-wheelbase competitor in the same class from all the major rival automakers - its main rivals are the Mercedes C-Class L and the Audi A4 L, but Jaguar also sells its XE sedan in long-wheelbase form in China, so it’s really quite a packed segment.
2019 BMW 3 Series U.S. 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|
Read our full review on the 2019 BMW 3 Series.
Read our full review on the 2018 BMW 3 Series.