Just how close to perfect can BMW get with the new 3-series?
Seven generations in, BMW has inally created the irst perfect 3-series. In fact, after a sneak irst drive, we suspect it might be too good…
ON THE FACE of it, it’s just a compact saloon. And traditionally a pretty expensive one at that. But, by dusting its practicality with a little race-bred rear-wheel-drive dynamic magic, BMW’s 3-series has always added up to more than the sum of its parts. Practical yet perky, versatile but keen to oversteer, the 3’s been making late-night airport runs and early morning commutes fun since 1975. And now, to see off Alfa’s Giulia, a recently revised MercedesBenz C-Class and an unlikely challenge from those plucky Swedes, the all-new G20 3-series is here. There are no carryover parts from the old car – this is a new-from-scratch 3-series and, hearteningly, it’s put being great to drive right at the top of the to-do list. Sure, semi-autonomous driving tech and smart infotainment interfaces are present and correct, but while the 3-series is technically capable of being driven by its own ECU, it’s more interested in being driven by you. With a smile on your face.
LIGHTS ACTION The headlamps’ striking lower edges reference the E46 3-series, but it’s a new, angular take on the theme. The motif’s unique to the 3-series and won’t be used on other upcoming BMWs. ROLLING ON 19s 17-inch wheels are standard at most trim levels, with M Sport cars getting 18s. This car’s on the optional 19s – lashier 20s will also be an option. LONGER, STRONGER Upcurved crease above the sill is a neat design trick to visually shorten the car. The new 3 has grown by 85mm in length, largely due to EuroNCAP’s demand for a longer front crashstructure.
TRICK DIFFFor oversteer freaks, an electronically controlled limitedslip dierential will be an option on pokier 330i and 330d models, at a cost of around £2200.