The BMW 3 Series is widely regarded as the benchmark in the compact luxury segment, mainly because of its exceptional driving dynamics and remarkable levels of technology. The seventh generation, introduced for 2019, raises the bar to unprecedented heights.
We put the car to the test a few weeks ago and were mostly impressed with the judicious calibration of the chassis and suspension, the sharp and responsive steering, as well as the strong and surprisingly efficient four-cylinder engine in the base 330i xDrive model, starting at $51,100. Mark our words: the 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque are rewarding enough in most situations (a 382-horsepower, six-cylinder M340i xDrive can also be specified).
That being said, we can’t wait to see just how good the next M3 is going to be. One thing is for sure: it will offer a manual transmission, something that’s unfortunately missing in the regular 3 Series.
While the cabin puts on a show for technophiles, highlighted by the configurable, all-digital instrument cluster and wide centre touchscreen (powered by the latest generation of iDrive, which is a treat to use), some of the materials could be improved. Plus, Android Auto is still not available.
Take a few minutes to admire the 3 Series’ evolution from 1977 (the first model year it was sold in North America) all the way to this day in our huge photo gallery. Don’t miss our story about the upcoming plug-in hybrid variant.