BMW reveals 2019 3 Series 04 | 10 | 2018

    BMW HAS REVEALED what is one of the most important cars of the year; the 2019 3 Series. Unveiled at this week’s Paris Motor Show, the car will go on-sale at Scottish dealerships next year with prices starting at  £33,610 for the entry-level 320d. Orders for the seventh generation of the German firm’s compact saloon can be placed from March. The more practical Touring estate variant will follow in the autumn. (Related: BMW i3 upgraded with more range)

    In the UK, buyers will have the choice from three specifications: SE, Sport and M Sport. All models are fitted with LED headlights, a reversing camera, three-zone air-con and alloy wheels as standard.

    Built on a new platform, the latest model features advanced on-board tech and a new, more efficient plug-in hybrid powertrain. (Related: Scots dealer is UK No1)


    Tipping the scales 55kg lighter than the previous generation, the new 3 Series — which goes head-to-head with the likes of the Audi A4 —  is built on BMW’s new CLAR architecture, which also underpins the larger 5 Series saloon.

    Larger than its predecessor, the latest model is 4709mm long (slightly shorter than an A4), 1827mm wide and 1442mm tall. And while the bootspace is still quoted as 480-litre, which is the same as the outgoing model, it’s worth highlighting that this included storage beneath the boot floor. So the reality is the 2019 model actually enjoys an extra 36 litres of visible bootspace.


    Not surprisingly, the new model still looks like a 3 Series: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Looks carefully though and you’ll spot aspects of  BMW new ‘Precision and Poetry’ design language. In essence that means sharper panels and lines on the bodywork, aimed at helping to differentiate it from the larger 5 Series.

    Inside the cabin, the designers have focused on one of the main negative points raised by owners of the current model; namely the dash and centre console design. The result is a new simplified design which sees the car’s main functions clustered below the dash-mounted screen and around the gear selector.


    Access to BMW’s latest iDrive 7.0 infotainment system is accessed through a new 10.3-inch touchscreen display. And in a first for the 3 Series, it’s paired with a 12.3-inch digital cockpit. The system can also be operated via the iDrive wheel on the centre console, or through voice or gesture commands. There’s a  smaller 8.8-inch display and analogue dials fitted to lesser specced models.

    As for engines, at launch buyers will have the choice of a single petrol engine and two diesels,;all of them are turbocharged four-cylinder units.


    The entry-level 320d is a 187bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit which develops 400Nm of torque and is fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. BMW quotes 0-62mph in 7.1 seconds and fuel economy of 67.3mpg. There will also be a four-wheel-drive 320d xDrive, mated to an eight-speed auto as standard.

    The only petrol at launch is the rear-wheel drive 330i, powered by a 2.0-litre powerplant developing 255bhp and 400Nm of torque and mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It’ll hit 62mph from standstill in 5.8s and return 48.7mpg, according to BMW.


    The range will be further supplemented by the addition of a 263bhp six-cylinder 3.0-litre 330d which will produce 580Nm of torque. Perhaps more importantly, next autumn will see the arrival of a 330e plug-in hybrid. It’s expected this will combine a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and 87bhp electric motor. It’s also understood it will have an all-electric range of around 37 miles, plus CO2 emissions of less than 40g/km.


    Performance models — including the likes of M40i and M40d — will then follow, with the flagship M3 scheduled for 2020.

    The latest 3 Series will also be fitted with a raft of new safety equipment and driver assistance systems. While standard equipment will include collision and pedestrian warning with automatic braking, the options list will allow buyers to add side collision alert,  adaptive cruise control with stop & go function, plus steering and lane control assist.


    Rather spookily, the new 3 Series will include another first for BMW; something it calls ‘intelligent personal assistant’. Apparently the system has the ability to learn and recognise regular habits and behaviours of drivers and adjust the car automatically.

    And this is where it gets rather uncanny. If, for example, your regular route takes you on to a toll road, not only will the car disable the stop/start system, it’ll automatically lower the driver’s window at the right moment.

    The system will also react to driver commands. Tell it “I’m tired”, and the car will automatically lower the cabin temperature and begin to play upbeat music.

    Related: New Mini dealership for Scotland

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    Jim McGill

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