It wasn’t all that long ago when the BMW 3-Series was the undisputed leader of its class. It’s been so synonymous with the sport luxury sedan sector that every new competitor is compared to the 3-series as a matter of course.
The problem, however, is that it seems like the folks at BMW have been sitting on their laurels. It’s a cardinal sin to slow down in a car race, as the cars behind you are all speeding up to try to overtake you. That’s what happened to the BMW 3-series as just about every other car in the sector has become much better. In one recent comparison test, the BMW 3-series actually ranked 7th among 8 participants.
The good news is that a new BMW 3-series is forthcoming, and it’s expected to be available as a 2019 model. So what do the experts expect with this next generation 3-series? Here are some improvements that should arrive as well:
The 340i right now has a turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine, which gives you 320 hp along with 330 lb-ft of torque. The new 340i for 2019 is expected to match the output of the X3, which means 355 horses and 369 lb-ft of torque.
BMW says that its 2016 340i can get to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds with manual transmission. That goes down a bit to 4.8 seconds with the automatic transmission. With the new engine in the forthcoming 340i, getting to 60 mph will probably only take about 4.5 seconds.
It’s not only most ordinary Americans who can stand to lose a few pounds. So can all the BMW vehicles, and that’s actually likely to happen in the near future. That’s because BMW is switching to a more flexible KLAR architecture, which is already evident in the new X3 crossover.
Availability of Manual
Most people who prefer to get a sport luxury sedan tend to prefer an automatic transmission. Why not? After all, it’s easier on your nerves and it launches the car much more effectively than you can ever do on a manual.
Still, there are some old-school drivers who still go for the stick shift, and BMW doesn’t mind catering to your whims. That’s why you have a manual transmission option for the M3, 340i, 330i, and the 320i. You’ll also get probably get a manual option for at least one or two variants in the upcoming lineup for the 3-series.
You should, however, seriously consider using the 8-speed manual transmission that BMW uses for its 3-series. They’re seriously excellent. The transmission programming is spot on, the linear acceleration is great, and you get minimal turbo lag.
Interior Design Upgrades
A large part of the reason why consumers and experts are rating other sports luxury sedans higher than the 3-series is that the interiors of those cars look modern compared to the dated cabins in the 3-series. It seems like BMW wasn’t really using high quality materials for its cabins.
But that should change in the near future for the 3 series. That’s indicated by the interior upgrade seen in the new 2018 X3. While the previous version of the X3 had a cabin that felt cheap, in the latest version the interior felt like premium and luxurious. You probably will have an option to get a digital instrument cluster display along with a 10-inch central screen.
Most BMW fans hope that the 3-series cars don’t get any bigger. Such fears were fanned by the discovery that the 2018 X3 was longer and wider than before. But the 3-series is already known for providing interior comfort, while its rear seats are also big enough too.
What Kind of Vehicles Will Be in the 3-Series Lineup?
It’s expected that in 2019, there will be a 3-series sedan along with a wagon. It’s possible that there will also be a 3-series Gran Turismo, with greater cargo capacity.
There won’t be any radical new change to the look of the 3-series, to the relief of most fans. It will bear a distinct resemblance to its 5-series and 7-series siblings, but it will have a look of its own as well. It will definitely still look like a 3-series.
Most experts expect a return to what made the 3-series such a phenomenon in the first place. It should be quite fun to drive, it ought to be fast, and it should still be fuel-efficient. At the same time, it shouldn’t be too firm in its drive to be sporty, so that drivers and passengers won’t have to suffer the bumps on the road.
In other words, people are expecting a much better mix of sport and luxury in the upcoming BMW 3-series.
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