The BMW 3 Series debuted more than 40 years ago. Although we spent some time in the new G20 generation 330i earlier this year, it was not until this week’s Paris Motor Show that we got the full lowdown on the 2019 model. After months of teasers, spy shots and camouflaged prototypes, we also have our first real look at the car as well as details on both the 330i and M340i, pricing and an on-sale date of March 2019.
The 2019 BMW 330i starts at $41,195, $50 less than the outgoing model. At $43,245, the base MSRP for the all-wheel drive 330i xDrive doesn’t change at all. Both cars are powered by an updated 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four making 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. That’s 7 horsepower and 37 pound-feet more than the current model. BMW says the turbo, direct-injection system and variable camshaft timing system have all been updated. The car gets a new higher-flow fuel system and a lighter crankshaft, too. BMW rates the 0 to 60 mph time at 5.3 seconds.
Next spring, the 330i will be joined by the six-cylinder M340i and M340i xDrive. The 330e plug-in hybrid will arrive sometime in 2020. The M340i xDrive’s turbo inline-six makes 382 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, up significantly over the outgoing model. It can hit 60 mph in an estimated 4.2 seconds. BMW hasn’t gone into many details on the updated inline-six, so expect more news on that engine closer to launch.
Body rigidity is up 25 percent, and the 2019 still maintains a 50:50 weight distribution. Spring rates on both the M Sport suspension and Adaptive M suspension are up 20 percent. A 3 Series with M Sport suspension, including those with all-wheel drive, sits 0.4 inches lower than other models. An M Sport differential is standard on the M340i and optional on the 330i.
Visually, the new model is an evolution of the current car, taking a few notes from the larger 5 and 7 Series BMWs. The twin kidney grille is much larger than before and features sharp creases in place of the rounded shape on the current car. The two elements are closer together, too, with just a small strip of chrome separating the two inlets. The rest of the bodywork features similar creases, especially the hood. LED lighting is standard, though there are options to add adaptive headlights and LED driving lights.
Like the exterior, the new 3 Series interior adds creases where there used to be curves. It still has a wide, driver-focused feel, though everything is sharper than before. Even the digital instrument cluster drops the round dial surrounds for a more angled look. Three trim levels — Sport, Luxury and M Sport — will be available at launch. The packages adjust things like the suspension as well as the bumpers and interior trim. Other interior features include an updated version of BMW’s iDrive infotainment system and more smartphone connectivity.