New for 2019, the car that established the German automaker as a major player has been completely redesigned for its seventh-generation debut. BMW says the Mexico-built 3 Series’ platform is considerably more rigid, while the basic structure now weighs up to 121 pounds less. Total glass area has been increased and the thinner windshield pillars improve outward visibility. Lastly, trunk volume has been increased slightly. The more spacious interior includes a modern instrument panel and a larger (and presumably easier to use) rotary iDrive dial that operates a number of key functions, including communications and navigation. All models come with tri-zone climate control, 10-speaker sound system plus several critical active-safety technologies. At launch only two models will be available, the rear-wheel-drive 330i and all-wheel-drive 330i xDrive. Each will be fitted with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes seven more horsepower than the 2018 engine (now 255). Similarly, torque has been increased 37 pound-feet to 295. An eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters is standard (the six-speed manual gearbox is no more). The turbocharged six-cylinder M340 and M340 xDrive arrive later in the model year, followed by a new 330e hybrid that’s slated for a 2020 model-year reveal.

Commenting is limited to Times-Dispatch subscribers. To sign up, click here.
If you’re already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.