The all-new 2019 BMW 3 Series sits on a new platform and features more power and new safety tech as well as more performance goodies for the M340i. Compared to its predecessor, the new generation 3 Series has a lower drag coefficient and weighs up to 121 pounds lighter. A plug-in hybrid variant will join the lineup as a 2020 model.
The 2019 BMW 3 Series is a compact luxury sports sedan that slots below the larger 5 Series and above the smaller 2 Series. Rear-wheel drive is standard while all-wheel drive is optional. The 3 Series Gran Turismo and Sports Wagon carry over from the previous generation for the 2019 model year. With the new sedans, 330i and 330i xDrive models are available this model year. The M340i will arrive in summer 2019.
330i Sport Line: The Sport line comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, power-folding side mirrors, leatherette upholstery, 14-way power front seats, a 10-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, a USB port, BMW's iDrive interface with an 8.8-inch touchscreen, a rearview camera, three-zone climate control, a sunroof, and keyless entry/start.
330i Luxury Line: Moving up to the Luxury line gets you similar standard features as the Sport line but adds leather upholstery, ambient lighting, and chrome exterior accents.
330i M Sport: The sporty M Sport grade adds performance run-flat tires, 19-inch alloy wheels, a unique body kit, and an M Sport suspension.
M340i and M340i xDrive: The M340i is a performance-oriented model that comes with an adjustable exhaust, a more powerful engine, a retuned eight-speed automatic, M Sport differential, M Sport brakes, and M Sport suspension.
Options include adaptive headlights, adaptive suspension, M Sport brakes, an M sport differential (330i and 330i xDrive), a surround-view camera system, parking sensors, parking assistant, heated front and rear seats, a head-up display, navigation, Apple CarPlay, a power-operated trunk, wireless charging, a Harman Kardon audio system, and remote start.
The 3 Series Sports Wagon and Gran Turismo, both of which are based on the outgoing 3 Series, have similar trims as the sedan but with less standard equipment:
Sport Line: Standard features include LED headlights and fog lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, 10-way power adjustable front seats, leatherette upholstery, a nine-speaker audio system, BMW's iDrive interface with a 6.5-inch screen, a rearview camera, keyless start, a panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, Bluetooth and a USB port.
Luxury Design: The Luxury Line adds chrome on the window surrounds, lower front fascia accents, grille, and exhaust tip.
Shadow Sport Edition Design: The special Shadow Sport Edition Design gets a black kidney grille, black window surrounds, black headlight and air dam accents, darkened taillights, black exhaust tips, and two-tone 18-inch alloy wheels.
M Sport Design: The M Sport Design gets its own unique body kit, an M Sport suspension, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The Convenience tier adds keyless entry, lumbar support and satellite radio. Moving up to the Premium tier gets you a head-up display, navigation, Apple CarPlay, heated front seats, speed limit info and real time traffic information. Opting for the Executive tier adds the parking assistant, automatic high beams, a digital instrument cluster, a surround-view camera system, and adaptive headlights.
The 2019 BMW 3 Series sedan is available with two engines a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque in the 330i and 330i xDrive or a 3.0-liter turbo I-6 with 382 hp and 369 lb-ft. The 3 Series Gran Turismo feature a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 248 hp and 258 lb-ft in the 330i xDrive and a 3.0-liter turbo I-6 with 320 hp and 330 lb-ft in the 340i xDrive. The wagon is powered exclusively by the same 2.0-liter turbo-four in the 330i xDrive Gran Turismo. All models use an eight-speed automatic.
EPA fuel economy ratings for the 2019 BMW 3 Series sedan are 26/36 mpg city/highway for the 330i and 25/34 mpg for the 330i xDrive. The 2019 330i xDrive Gran Turismo and Sports Wagon are rated at 23/33 mpg while the 340i xDrive Gran Turismo checks in at 20/29 mpg.
The 3 Series Gran Turismo and Sports Wagon received a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars).
Standard active safety tech includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and cyclist detection (optional on the Sports Wagon and Gran Turismo). The Active Driving Assistant is optional and bundles lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear automatic emergency braking. You can also upgrade to the Active Driving Assistant Pro, which adds adaptive cruise control with a stop and go function, lane keeping assist, side collision avoidance, rear pedestrian detection, traffic jam assist, steering assist, and evasion assist.
The 2019 3 Series sedan has a 17-cubic foot trunk that can be expanded via the standard 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats. For additional practicality, the 3 Series Gran Turismo can accommodate 24.6 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 56.8 cubic feet with them down. The most practical model is the 3 Series Sports Wagon, offering 27.5 cubic feet with the rear seats in place and 61.5 cubic feet with them folded.
In a 2019 First Drive, we were impressed with the 3 Series sedan's return to form. The car feels planted and precise; however, the brakes on the 330i M Sport ended up smoking when pushed too hard on a winding road. Over sharp bumps, the firm suspension causes hard jolts in Sport mode. BMW's lane keeping assist is insistent and will snap you back into your lane if you get close to the lines. The Intelligent Personal Assist also needs improvement as it had a hard time recognizing your voice commands. It would also self-activate every time someone mentioned "BMW."
The utilitarian 3 Series Gran Turismo offers more passenger space and a generous cargo capacity in package with better driving dynamics than your average crossover. In a 2014 First Test, we liked the 3 Series Gran Turismo's ride and handling balance when equipped with the adaptive suspension. However, the eight-speed automatic could be more responsive when driving in a spirited fashion.
For the best utility without sacrificing drivability, the 3 Series Sports Wagon is a solid option. BMW's 2.0-liter turbo-four has plenty of power on tap and turbo lag is minimal. Handling is similar to the outgoing 3 Series sedan with crisp turn-in and solid cornering. Rear seat space, like in the 3 Series Gran Turismo is excellent, as we noted in a 2013 First Drive.
The U.S.-spec M340i is more powerful than the European-spec model because of stricter emissions regulations in Europe.