2019 BMW 330i M-Sport

Last month, we spent some quality time with the latest incarnation of the BMW 3 series. First launched in 1975, it’s a car that has a reputation for combining performance and aesthetics. So, does this reputation hold true with this new model 44 years later? Well, we’re happy to report that this new sports sedan offers exactly what the 3 series is all about, a strong dose of style, mixed with practicality and pure enjoyment behind the wheel.

So how does this new seventh generation 3 Series drive? Our tester was the entry-level 330i, which came equipped with a 2.0-liter twin-scroll single-turbo which has gained 7 horsepower (to 255hp) and a whopping 37 lb-ft of torque (to 295 lb-ft) more than its predecessor. The 8-speed sport automatic transmission is smooth and fast, impressing at both low and high speeds and performed without breaking a sweat when pulling onto the highway while at the same time letting out a nice little purr. Though some might confuse the new 3-series to a 5 series since its bigger than the older model, in reality, It’s actually much lighter than the previous generation thanks to increased use of aluminium and high-strengthened steels. A critical development for the 3 Series to note, is its new hydraulic lift-damper suspension tech, which comes standard on every model. It essentially adds an additional, narrower valve that prevents the shock from hitting the bump stop by adding additional hydraulic resistance at the limit of the suspension’s travel. On the front axle, the system works on the rebound stroke, while at the rear it works on compression adding as much as 50 percent additional damping force to slow body movement and adds more compliment to its 50:50 weight distribution.

Inside, the new 3 Series comes with a posh-feeling cabin which has plenty of high-tech equipment as you’d expect. Personally, it doesn’t look as eye-catching as the stylish interior you get in the Mercedes C-Class but much better than what you find in an Audi A4. This is thanks to its more dramatic swooping dash design and raised center console which makes you feel cocooned like you’re sitting in a low-riding sports car. When it comes to infotainment, few can match the amount of tech packed into the BMW 3 series. Unlike the Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4, every model comes with a pair of screens as standard, a 9-inch unit on the dashboard and a 5.7-inch display which replaces the conventional analogue dials. The 9-inch unit is controlled using the touchscreen or the rotary iDrive controller on the center console while the latter has its own dedicated buttons on the steering wheels. Overall, everything inside is as great as you’d expect from the Bavarians.

Standard dynamic cruise control, lane-departure warning and forward collision warning is now augmented by an active Driving Assistant system that comprises active cruise control with stop and go, Narrow Passage Support (which can help navigate the car through tight and other nail-biting spots), side collision protection and much more. There’s more tech-stuff for us to write, but here’s betting you won’t get bored driving BMW’s latest rendition of its Ultimate Driving Machine. We didn’t.  So it’s fair to say that this new BMW 3-er is far better than the car it replaces, while still maintaining the sporty character of every version that has come before. 

In conclusion, the new BMW 3 Series leads the way in the premium executive class. Its primary appeal is in the way it drives and handles which will definitely put a smile on your face. Its also well equipped with the best infotainment system in its segment. It’s roomy too, so it ticks all the positives of having a proper fun-filled practical four-door sedan and proves why it’s one the world’s best-selling sporty luxury car.

 

 

 

Categories: Cars TEST DRIVE

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