GO
GoAutoLogo
MENU

Make / Model Search

Car reviews - BMW - 3 Series

Our Opinion

We like
Rewarding driving dynamics, punchy petrol engine, modernised interior, handsome looks, equipment levels in 330i
Room for improvement
Extensive options list can mean a pricey total, equipment disparity between diesel and petrol

BMW resets premium mid-size sedan benchmark with cracking new-generation 3 Series

BMW logo15 Mar 2019

Overview
 
PLEASANT to drive, punchy performance and premium appointments: these have been the three pillars which have made the BMW 3 Series such a success.
 
However, competition has never been more fierce, with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4 driving better than ever before, not to mention increased opposition outside Germany from the likes of the Jaguar XE and Alfa Romeo Giulia.
 
Now in its seventh-generation iteration, BMW is hoping to rise above them all with a new platform, increased technology and – maybe most importantly – engaging driving dynamics.
 
Drive impressions
 
FORGET SUVs, plug-in electric vehicles or halo sportscars, the seventh-generation 3 Series is arguably BMW's most important model launch this year.
 
Why? Well, as a flag bearer for the brand, the 3 Series has long championed engaging driving dynamics and premium packaging for which the BMW name was built on and, in a market that is increasingly becoming SUV-centric, it’s the former that has started to become a rarity.
 
Though the front-engine, rear-drive recipe remains as before, the new 3 series gains a substantial lift in technology, in-cabin refinement and driving fun in the new-generation switchover.
 
Even the entry-level 320d, with its 140kW/400Nm 2.0-litre twin-turbocharged diesel engine, is fun to push around the bends thanks to that winning formula. 
 
While the diesel engine can feel less eager to rev and be a bit slower to pick up when coming out of a corner, where it succeeds most is delivering frugal fun around town.
 
Gone are the days of rough-sounding and unrefined diesel engines, this mill is an absolute gem at low speeds and will even quietly hum along at the national speed limit.
 
Even the eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission shifts smartly and smoothly, and while we are sad to hear there will be no manual option in Australia, the two-pedal version didn’t present any problems to us.
 
Steering is well weighted and communicative, allowing drivers to tackle the bends or supermarket car park with confidence and aplomb.
 
However, settings can also be tweaked with a standard mode selector, with either Eco, Comfort or Sport on offer to soften steering or sharpen throttle response as desired.
 
Stepping up into the petrol-powered 190kW/400Nm 330i however, is where BMW really nails the sports sedan brief.
 
While the 330i is peppy around town, it’s out on the open road and long winding corners where the 2.0-litre engine can really stretch its legs and shine.
 
With more power on tap, and the same sharp steering and smart-shifting eight-speed automatic in play, the 330i carves up corners like a surgeon.
 
Tip in, square up and hit the throttle for instant thrills.
 
The added poke in the 330i means that there is enough under the bonnet to provoke the rear end with a stab of the go-pedal too, and when the back does let go, the new 3 Series delivers that wonderful feeling of the car pivoting around the driver.
 
Maybe that last part has to do with the amazing seating position that hunkers drivers down low, but the wonderfully rewarding driving sense is also likely due to the new platform switch, which also sees wider front and rear tracks for increased grip and high-speed stability.
 
With the 320d costing $67,900 and 330i priced at $70,900, it might seem like the diesel is the goer for those that just want a handsome and dynamic sedan, but equipment levels sadly vary.
 
Though the cheaper 3 Series is kitted out with goodies such as a 10.25-inch infotainment system, all-digital instrumentation and no-cost M Package that includes a bodykit, black exterior accents and lowered suspension, as well as advanced safety gear including forward collision and lane departure warning, it’s the top-tier sedan that gains appointments such as adaptive suspension and radar-guided cruise control.
 
In fact, if you were to spec up the diesel 3 Series to the same levels as the petrol, it would add around $10,000 to the cost, and for that you don’t even get the more powerful and rev-happy engine.
 
As with most BMWs though, buyers can choose from a list of individual options to personalise their vehicle, or opt for a pack that keeps costs down, but be careful what you go for as ticking a few boxes can really bring up cost.
 
Luckily, the standard equipment and in-cabin ambience is already up to scratch.
 
With a large central infotainment system now running BMW’s 7.0 operating system, menus are clean and intuitive, while the HVAC controls are made easier to use too thanks to a new readout displaying temperature and fan speed.
 
Even with just a brief taster in Victoria’s country roads, we can already tell that the new BMW 3 Series sets a new high watermark for the premium sedan segment.
 
Its proven rear-drive dynamics, updated safety and in-cabin technologies combine for what is, in our opinion, the best 3 Series for nearly two decades.
 
And one has to wonder, if the base car is this good, just imagine how much fun the high-performing M3 will be.

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

GoAuto can help you buy a new 3 Series

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires

Agreement

This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
close
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

3 Series pricing

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here