BMW has finally released the 2019 version of the car at the at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. The facelift now sits on the same underpinnings as its more advanced siblings like the 5 Series and 7 Series. It means that you can now own a bigger, lighter and safer sedan at the 3-series price range. The new car has premium interiors and better insulation so that the external road noise does not disturb the peace of the riders. BMW also released a new limited edition version to the already popular Prestige (base) and Luxury Line (top-spec) models and named it 3 Series Sports Shadow Edition. The manufacturers announced a 5.5 per cent price hike across all the trims, so now the base price starts at INR 37.80 lakhs (ex-showroom pan-India). In November 2018 there is news of the launch of the latest plug-in hybrid configuration-BMW 330e which would be 30 per cent faster, less polluting, and have 50 per cent more electric-only range. However, it will not be available in the Indian market now.
The outer surface of 3-Series does not offer many surprises and is similar to all the other sedans in the BMW family. It is elegantly crafted and bears a sleek design. You can find the signature kidney grille with black finish on the slats, smoked LED headlamps with two open circles in the Shadow edition. The fog lamps below the headlights offer an executive look to the sedan. The rear portion also has the wraparound tail lamps with smoked effect and dual exhausts in black chrome. You can avail the 3-Series in nine brilliant colours. Mediterranean Blue, Black Sapphire, Imperial Blue Brilliant Effect, Melbourne Red, Alpine White, Sunset Orange are sought-after shades.
The luxurious interiors of the car come with ergonomically designed top quality brown leather seats, and straightforward and easy to use the central console. The seats have manually adjustable thigh support and ample head and knee room. The materials used in the interiors are of premium quality, and you get the hard plastics only in the extremities of the ar. The visibility of this sedan is also excellent thanks to relatively thin windscreen pillars. An 8.8-inch display with the BMW’s latest iDrive system takes care of the infotainment system. You can enhance the screen size up to 10.25-inches on demand.
Under the hood, you get a 2-Litres Twin Power Turbo 4-Cylinder Engine in both the Diesel and Petrol configuration which is mated out to an 8-speed automatic transmission gearbox. The diesel engine churns out a maximum power of 188 bhp@4000 rpm at peak torque of 400 Nm@1750-2500 rpm. The petrol engine offers better values at 248 bhp@5200 rpm and 350 Nm@1450-4800 rpm. It can accelerate from 0 to 100 Kmph is just 5.8 seconds. However, the diesel engine has an excellent mileage of 22.69 Kmpl.
There are several advantages to driving a BMW 3-series.
• The sedan has a silky smooth petrol engine which offers pleasurable riding experience. The gearshifts are also lightning quick. • The interiors are done with premium quality materials keeping in mind the comfort of the occupants. • The 8.8-Inch infotainment system with an integrated iDrive app is one of the best in the segment, and you can further enhance it to 10.25-inch screen size. • Though the driver and the other front seat have good legroom and headroom, we cannot say the same thing about the rear seats. • The boot space of 480 Litres does not match the specification of a premium vehicle. On top of that, the presence of the spare wheel eats up the space of a medium-size suitcase.
Finally, we can say that at below INR 50 lakhs BMW 3-Series is worth considering. However, Mercedes-Benz C-class, Jaguar XE, and Audi A4 are also good options to explore in this segment.