2020 BMW 3 Series Hybrid MPG & Performance
2020 BMW 3 Series Review | In a world that increasingly looks at SUVs, don’t forget about sedans. Certainly, BMW has not forgotten that, despite an increasingly complete “X” range, it has wanted to renew, and not a little, a real myth. We are talking about the 3 Series, which has reached its seventh generation more than 40 years since the introduction of the first generation, in 1975. A car that has changed the habits of the market, in a sense, enough to inaugurate a segment, the D premium, which is not the name of a medicine, selling in these long years more than 15 million copies.
The three-volume has always been a car that is pleasant to look at and drive, as well as having proposed numerous innovations. The 2020 BMW 3 Series is no less so, the car born with the task of remaining, in the time to come, the faithful descendant of a very winning line. Such as? We tried to find out in our preview road test.
2020 BMW 3 Series Redesign Exterior
If the exterior design had already struck us at a first, quick glance at the Paris Motor Show, looking at it live the 2020 BMW 3 Series appears for what it is, a very well made car where light signatures, well-contoured lines, and a certain sporting approach, regardless of the layout, leave their mark. Let’s start with the luminous signature, with the standard LEDs and the Full LED, with 3D effect, at the rear, where the optical units follow the family feeling inaugurated with Serie 8 and develop horizontally, in the shape of an upside-down L. Optional (around 2,000 euros) BMW proposes Laserlights, for the first time on a D segment. They stand out thanks to the electric blue mustache and come to illuminate up to 500 meters, unlike the 250 secured by LEDs.
The new generation (G20, the seventh) also grows in size: compared to the sixth generation, it gains 85 millimeters in length (4.08 meters), 16 millimeters in width (1.82 meters) and just 1 millimeter, imperceptible, in height. A grows parallel with the length is also the wheelbase, 41 millimeters more than the old one to the advantage of the space in the passenger compartment for the occupants of the two rows. Wider track (front: +43 mm, rear: 21 mm) and, not least, the double side exhaust terminal (standard for all engines) positively influences the agility and the footprint of the new model.
Returning to the front, the double kidney is larger and, like on the latest SUVs (X4, X3, and X5) it is equipped with slats that open according to the engine cooling needs. These and other devices, such as the air intakes on the sides of the bumper, give the 2020 BMW 3 Series a record Cx: just 0.23. A sideways feature (standard 16 “and 17” wheels, optional 18 “and 19”) strikes a curious novelty: the famous Hofmeister’s elbow – the familiar counter-cut on the rear edge of the side window, BMW trademark, is integrated into the C-pillar, giving the rear doors an independent glass edge.
From the moment of launch, customers can choose between two non-metallic colors and ten metallic shades for the exterior of the 2020 BMW 3 Series Sedan, including the new metallic Portimao Blue and metallic Vermont Bronze. The BMW Individual Duravit Gray metallic paint is also available, another novelty in the color chart.
2020 BMW 3 Series Interior – the new voice assistant debuts, a space for technology and the pleasure of traveling
Let’s start with the main novelty, brought to the debut on the 2020 BMW 3 Series, the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. Clearly created to annoy those of Mercedes with their “Hey, Mercedes”, the system (standard from the Sport set-up) of the BMW school responds to the command “Hello, BMW” and the name can easily be changed at your leisure. No keys, only voice: you talk, ask for what you want or set a destination (from the pizzeria to the gym) and the navigator starts independently. All this is made possible by the new BMW Operating System 7.0 (with cloud upgrades) that is combined with the 12.3 “instrument panel and the 10.25” i-Drive wheel (like the i-Drive wheel) on the sample we tested (M Sport).
With this welcome debut removed, the 2020 BMW 3 Series sedan remains the true assistant when it comes to driving comfort. The seats are profiled to offer the best of 2.0 propeller ergonomics while the dual screen projects us into the future (the screens are slightly smaller as standard). The start button is moved to the central tunnel and the shape of the 8-speed automatic lever also changes, and we will return to it shortly.
Still, on the tunnel, we find the driving mode selector, as on the sixth generation, while the steering wheel fills with buttons (on the left cruise control, radio on the right and volume) but appears massive when you find it in your hands. For the dashboard, options are available in fine open-pore wood or, again, finishes such as the Aluminum Mesh Effect. The rain sensor, the automatic activation of the headlights, the hands-free telephone system and the automatic climate control (optional three-zone) are standard.
The soundproofing of the passenger compartment is optimized and “felt”: thanks to the acoustic glass designed for the new windscreen and the foams that fill the structure of the front uprights. Until the classic highway cruising speed, silence is assured: no rustling or engine noise, you travel in business class.
Good space for rear passengers, thanks to the lengthening of the wheelbase (two USB-C sockets at their disposal) while the trunk offers a capacity of 480 liters, making full use of the third volume.
Engines: Diesel and petrol space waiting for the PHEV
The engines available at the launch of the 2020 BMW 3 Series, scheduled for early March, consist of three diesel engines and two petrol engines: the 318d (2.0 four-cylinder 150 hp), the 320d (2.0 four-cylinder 190 hp) and the 330d with its 3.0 six-cylinder in-line capable of developing 265 hp and 580 Nm of torque.
The petrol range, on the other hand, has two engines: the 320i with the 2.0 four-cylinder 184 hp and the 330i that uses the same split but with power increased to 258 hp and a 0-100 km / h that stops the clock on 5, 8 seconds (the 330d does better: 5.5 seconds).
During the summer two other interesting engines will arrive: for the purists of the guide, the M340i (not the M3 but an M Performance) will offer 378 hp with its six-cylinder in-line, while, for those who want to drive “clean”, here is the 330e PHEV, or plug-in hybrid. The latter will be able to count on a combined power of 252 hp and a zero-emission, 60-kilometer electric range.
Driving the new BMW 3 Series: with the 320d performance and fuel consumption go hand in hand
Knowing that the 320d will be the diesel engine that will be most popular, especially for company fleets, we chose this engine equipped with the 2.0 four-cylinder with variable-timing turbine and 190 HP declared (400 Nm the pair). Premise: another novelty, before setting off on the roads around Lake Como, the site of this first contact, is the Digital Key(included in the optional Comfort Access System pack), an innovation that allows you to forget about the key (you can safely leave it at home) and use your phone thanks to the app (it works even when switched off once the license has been enabled in the dealership) ). Interesting is the discourse for fleets: in terms of carpooling, up to five different devices can be connected and the usage history will allow us to draw up a complete report of the kilometers covered and much more.
Returning to the guide, how not to mention the painstaking work put in place by German engineers on the subject of chassis and chassis: 55 kilograms on the gained balance, lower center of gravity and perfect 50:50 weight distribution make the BMW Series once again 3, like all its ancestors, a pleasant car, very pleasant to drive . The car is not always soft, ok (adaptive suspensions always optional) but knows how to be ready in all situations, including the Lainate test with an M5 and its nearly 600 hp to act as a hare. Just at the limit we can appreciate the flat trim and the excellent work done on the chassis, even more when the M Sport electronic differential is mounted between the rear wheels: in that case the bar is raised and the smiles are wasted.
Back on the road every day, between ascents and descents around Lake Como, the 190 hp are more than enough to move the car with ease. The consumption remains low (declared 4.5 l / 100 km WLTP) but the actual performance is the 330i with its 258 hp and will arrive this summer, the M340i which horse will do well 378 (with six-cylinder three-liter attached). There will also be the plug-in hybrid, the 330e, with 60 km of autonomy in electric-only and 252 hp overall.
A range, therefore well structured, and careful, following the “fashions” of the moment, to safety: standard is the cruise control with brake function while the most sophisticated ADASthey are paid separately. The new Reversing Assistant is interesting, being part of the evolved Parking Assistant that the car can be equipped with. Once activated, it allows you to memorize the car parks and, once found, make the car move independently, which is able to go in reverse until reaching the desired desired place (provided you move at no more than 35 km / h). If the lane maintainer can be defined as a bit aggressive in getting you back to straight wheels, if you really want to find a fault with it, it is difficult to criticize this 2020 BMW 3 Series from the driving point of view. The new rival of our Alfa Romeo Giulia has returned to give her a hard time, always talking about the pure pleasure of driving.
The price list starts from the $43,806 of the 318d (2.0 150 hp) in the basic version. The 320d (2.0 190 hp), the one that will take a big chunk of the premium D market, starts instead from $45,900, + $5,659 for the 320d xDrive. The maximum ceiling, as a starting price, is reached by the 330d with its 265 hp of the 3.0 six-cylinder, with $56,710
Gasoline range with two engines: the 320i (184 hp) and the 330i (258 hp), with prices starting from $48,051 and $56,371 respectively. With the same number of initials, but not of power, the two 330s, the 330i and the 330d, have a delta price of 300 euros to the advantage of the more powerful Diesel version.
For the fans of the acronym M Sport, which adds character and content to all the engines, here are the prices for the individual engines:
- 318d $54,050
- 320d $56,144
- 320d xDrive $61,804
- 330d $66,954
- 320i $58,295
- 330i $66,615
It should be noted that all the “basic” versions of the individual engines will go into production later, starting in the summer.
During the summer there will be two versions at the antipodes: the 330e, the plug-in hybrid with a combined power of 252 hp, and the M340i, well 378 hp thanks to its six-cylinder, three-liter, twin-turbo. Prices still unknown.