All-New BMW 3-Series Test Drive Review: Performance in the Lap of Luxury
The BMW brand is known to manufacture most driver-friendly cars and the new 3-Series promises the same. Here's our test drive review.
2019 BMW 3-Series. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
For the longest time, BMW has been known to make luxury cars that are fun to drive, something that no other German carmaker, or for that matter, no other luxury car maker could deliver. Now with the new BMW 3-Series, the company wants to continue this legacy. The BMW 3-Series is in its 7th-generation now and promises to add extra punch and luxury to the luxury sedan. Let’s see how successful they have been in our 2019 BMW 3-Series Test Drive Review.
The new BMW 3-Series looks visibly sportier than the previous models. The entry and most popular segment in luxury cars is where the 3-Series sits, yet it looks a segment above. The highlight of the new BMW 3-Series is the iconic kidney grille which is bigger and bolder than ever. Not only is the grille bigger, but the overall dimensions have also increased, and the new car is 76 mm longer than the previous version. As for the overall profile, since the height is identical, the 3-Series has a low slung stance making it look aggressive and sporty. However, the rest of the car remains the same as the previous model and is little subtle for my taste, especially the rear end which gets dual exhaust pipes and horizontally extended tail lights. The 17-inch alloys also look neat.
Inside the new 3-Series is a plush cabin that is more luxurious and sporty than the outgoing model, and also the competition. The luxury line model we drove has a dark them throughout the cabin with a black dashboard and brown seats. The highlight, however, is the new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster also known as Live Cockpit with a ‘two dial’ configuration and a display for a host of other information. The angular pod feels cluttered at times but adds to the tech quotient.
At the centre of the console is the 10.25-inch infotainment screen that can be controlled by BMW’s latest iDrive system with a rotary dial, touchpad, touchscreen, and voice commands. We found the touch to be intuitive. We also liked the ambient lighting in the footwell, doors, and dashboard that can be controlled through the infotainment system. Other features include reverse camera, three-zone auto climate control, sunroof, power-adjustable front seats with a memory function among others. What we missed were the rear sunshades for a country like India.
While the length of the car has increased, it doesn’t translate to additional space inside the cabin. That being said, the BMW offers nice set of seats, especially the driver seat for a sporty stance and added practicality. The rear seats get a 40-20-40 split and there’s a huge tunnel hump which can be problematic for the middle passenger. The boot size is 480-litre and isn’t the best place to keep your long holiday luggage.
The 2019 BMW 3-Series gets two engine options – 2.0-litre petrol and a 2.0-litre diesel, and the one we drove the latter that produces 190 hp and 400 Nm output. While the output is similar to the previous-gen model, it’s a new engine with Twin sequential turbos replacing a single turbo and the difference can be noticed the moment you set your foot on the accelerator.
While the previous 3’s were good, the new 3 has a stark difference and keeps you on the edge of the seat always. There's ample low-end power and mid-range torque and can even do 0-100 kmph in just 6.8 seconds. The engine has the ability to keep you excited all the times and the 8-speed gearbox supports the cause. You never feel like driving a diesel car as the NVH levels are also controlled, be it on idle or high rev zone. However, at high speeds, there’s an underlying grunt that adds to the character.
Adding to the driving dynamics is the superb ride quality with a bit stiff suspension for the sporty performance, but that behavior is limited to the low speeds only. The car eats most of the crevices with ease, however, bigger potholes can be tricky to maneuver considering the ground clearance and stiff suspension. But you need not go through these potholes as the steering is extremely competent, balanced and responsive. Not only does it feels good to hold thanks to the chunky styling, but it’s also confidence-inspiring at high speed, and at the same time agile enough for city driving.
The prices for the new BMW 3-Series start at Rs 41.40 lakh and when compared to the rivals, the 3-series is competitively priced. It has a charming design, feature-loaded cabin and everything else you need from a luxury car. But more than anything else, BMW 3-Series offers driving fun like none other and that’s why we will recommend buying one. But if you are out in the market purely for the looks or gadgets, there are other options you should give a second look.
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