THERE’S still a handful of production cars left that is holding on to the title of all-time bestsellers. Anyone with some passing knowledge of automobiles will tell you these bona fide daily drivers, be it Volkswagen golf, Mini Cooper, Toyota Corolla, or BMW 3 series, are renowned for their consistency in performance and reliability.
While they may not be the typical “poster car” material like the Ferrari GTO or Lamborghini Aventador (which are smugly plastered on every garage wall) and likely won’t get your adrenaline pumping too much, they are the go-to models for your everyday use. Think of them as your neighbourhood Starbucks, always one around the corner for your caffeine fix.
However, no longer content being typecast as a predictable and reliable ride, the folks at Bavarian automaker BMW has upped the ante for the new BMW 3-Series premium midsize model. From styling and comfort, to performance and intelligent features, the latest fleet of the best-sellers delivers above its class.
At a Glance
The new exterior with its striking contour measures 76 millimetres longer than the previous model. Its longer (41-millimetre) and wider (16 millimetres) wheelbase improves its poise and aid in agility.
The large BMW kidney grille and the adaptive, full-LED headlights still dominate the front bumper, while the dynamic side view has taut character lines along the sides, and sharp creases that draw attention to the bonnet over the wheels. From the back view, the stylishly darkened LED lights give the rear a wide and muscular stance.
Step into the cabin, and you immediately get a modern and sporty feel. This is thanks to the new screen layout of the Control Display and instrument cluster with the centre console, as well as the coordinated design of the light, modern instrument panel and door panel trim.
The start/stop button for the engine has been re-positioned in the newly designed control panel in the centre console. The gearshift lever or newly designed selector lever is joined by the iDrive Controller, and buttons for the Driving Experience Control switch unit and electromechanical parking brake.
Matching the new sporty persona is a two-litre, four-cylinder unit that delivers a maximum output of 258 hp. The 6 hp increase in output and the extra 50 Nm of torque compared with the predecessor are a result of the optimisation of the BMW TwinPower Turbo system. The outcome is a top speed of 250 km/h with an acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h at 5.8 seconds.
One of the highlights from the new release is the new BMW Operating System 7.0. The new setup optimises control and the display system with modern, digital functions that are geared precisely to the needs of the driver. The standard BMW Live Cockpit Professional with a fully-digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster and 10.25-inch Control Display allow the user to customise displays for easy accessibility.
For intuitive operation, the driver can choose from the Control Display’s touch control, the iDrive Controller, the steering wheel buttons, gesture control (optional) and voice control.
Also, making its debut in the all-new 4-door midsize is the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant that responds to the prompt “Hey BMW”. If you like, you can even name your digital assistant. “He/She” is like a co-driver that can assist you with information on functions, as well as perform other tasks such as enhancing productivity and onboard entertainment.