The one that we love to drive

Celle qu’on aime conduire

This is a new 3 Series that BMW offers drivers who like to drive. And as for the model it replaces, this sporty sedan offers performance that is exciting and a high quality construction.

A new 3 Series made its debut at BMW in march 2019. For lovers of sporty driving, it was great news, because cars of this manufacturer are of the kind that we love to drive again and again ! The M340i xDrive, which we test, is no exception to this rule.

This is the version most luxurious and the most powerful of the 3 Series, a range that, for 2020, boils down to three variants of the sedan : the M340i, the 330i, entry-level, and the 330th in rechargeable hybrid drivetrain.

Let us recall, moreover, that, since 2014, the coupe and convertible models that share the architecture of these sedans have their own name : the Series 4. To add a little confusion to all of this, the range of this other series has its own sedan : the Gran Coupe, the roof is more arched in its rear part, to the way a Mercedes-Benz CLS.

THE SPORTS SEDAN PAR EXCELLENCE

The silhouette of the new 3 Series recalls
undeniably the previous versions.
Although elegant, this shape starts to date.

When the 3 Series was the successor to the BMW 2002 in North America, in 1976, the concept of the compact sedan sports has taken a phenomenal extent. Over the first six generations of this model, its popularity has soared. With the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Audi A4, the 3 Series has developed a niche focused on the luxury and performance that continues to be important today. A niche that these three models rivals still dominate elsewhere.

It must be admitted, however, that this Series 3, seventh-generation is no longer the “cash cow” of BMW as it was in the past in the country. In 2009, nearly 13,000 Canadians have bought in a while, last year, the combined sales of the models of Series 3 and 4 have exceeded just over 8,000 units. This decline of 30 % reflects the growing appetite of Canadians for the SUV, a phenomenon that is also expressed by the multiplication of models of the type in BMW : in 2009, there were 3, so that there are now 7 !

But there is obviously enough fans of pure driving to justify the continuance of the 3 Series in our market. It is enough to drive one of these cars to be seduced ! These sedans have a weight distribution ideal (53 % front and 47 % rear for the M340i that we conduct), and a very rigid structure. Its rigidity has increased by 25 % overall and up to 50 % in some areas, we learned the manufacturer ; gains which have a direct influence on the dynamics of this car.

Compared to the model of the earlier generation, the new 3 Series retains a familiar silhouette and dimensions are very close. It can be recognized by its door-to-false short and elegant shape, which starts from however. In addition, this new sedan measures 74 mm longer than its predecessor, 15 mm more in width and 13 mm in height. The wheelbase of the chassis has won 41 mm, and the width of lanes was increased from 43 mm at the front and 20 mm at the rear, of the gains which would have a positive influence on the stability and agility of this car.

POWERFUL ENGINES

The low-profile tyres to
run-flat makes the
ride rather firm.

The M340i is powered by a 6-cylinder in-line 3.0 L tested. Paired to an automatic transmission to 8 reports very flexible, this turbocharged engine delivers 382 hp to all four wheels equipped with all-wheel drive xDrive. Since it is possible to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4 s, and the dust, BMW has provided powerful disc brakes in which the action, sadly, is not progressive at all. This is in addition to low-profile tyres to run flat with the sides very hard to make the ride particularly firm. On a beautiful highway with smooth asphalt, the ride is enjoyable. It is much less on our “beautiful” roads in quebec side bumpy…

The sedan’s entry-330i, for its part, a 4-cylinder turbo 2.0 L that delivers 258 hp. This engine, which shares the same 8-speed transmissions, adds only a brief second as the acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h, a peculiarity that makes this version all the more appealing, as it shows a base price of 12 750 $ less !

As for the other models of the brand, the company offers a host of options and accessories to customize the 3-Series. However, this equipment can inflate the initial price considerably.

The design of the table of
edge of the 3-Series is
modern, but the use
its commands
requires a certain
acclimation period.

The interior is distinguished by a perfect finishing and high quality materials. However, the layout of the dashboard and the operation of the various controls require a long acclimation period, the less when it is not a regular customer of the brand more than it would with a Lexus or an Infiniti, for example.

The bucket seats provide a great comfort and a keeping copy. However, the rear bench should be just at kids, especially when large people take their place in front. The vault, finally, has a useful volume important, and its loading surface can be extended by lowering the folders pull-down the rear seat. However, the upper threshold of the safe proves to be annoying.

The display of the dial
digital behind the wheel
is spectacular !

A SERIES ELECTRIFIED THIS SPRING

The range of the 3 Series will be a version of “green” this spring. It is a 330th improved, a sedan with a hybrid rechargeable.

The combination of a 4-cylinder 2.0 L supercharged producing 184 hp and an electric motor of 50 kW (68 hp) he will have a net power of 252 hp, enough power to propel it from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.9 s. In addition, a new lithium-ion battery of 12 kWh will allow him to travel up to 60 km in electric propulsion. This is more than double the battery life of the old 330th, who could do no better than 23 km, in the best conditions.

At the time of writing these lines, the price of the 3 Series electrified remains unknown. However, if the manufacturer applies to its range 2020 a price range similar to the range in 2018, we can expect that the new 330th xDrive is available to approximately 56 000 $, that is, a price that would be about $ 5,000 to $ 6,000 higher than that of 330i xDrive. This would make it a 3-Series.

A 3-Series with a mexican flavour

At a special ceremony in June 2019, and emphasized the start of production at the BMW plant in San Luis Potosí, Mexico.

Since August 2019, a portion of the 3-Series sold in Canada no longer comes from Germany. They are assembled in an ultramodern factory located in San Luis Potosí, a city of 740 000 inhabitants located in the north-west of Mexico city.

Like several other major automakers, BMW has installed in Mexico to “optimize” the production is destined for u.s. markets.

BMW is investing nearly a billion dollars in the construction of this new manufacturing complex, which, thanks to renewable energy sources, enjoys a supply of electricity 100 % zero carbon.

The factory of San Luis Potosí will be able to produce up to 175,000 vehicles and it employs 2500 people.

BMW now has 31 factories in 14 countries. In addition, the 3 Series is still produced at the factory of Regensburg, in Germany, but also in China, India, Indonesia and Thailand.

TECHNICAL DATA SHEET

Base price

  • 49 350 $ (330i) ; 62 100 $ (M340i) ; N / a (330th).

Transport and preparation

  • 2480 $

Powertrain

330th) L4 turbo DOHC 2.0 L + electric motor ; 252 hp (net power), 350 lb-ft at 1450-3600 tr/min ; (330i) L4 turbo DOHC 2.0 L ; 258 hp at 5000-6500 rpm, 294 lb-ft at 1550-4400 tr/min ; (M340i) L6 turbo DOHC 3.0 L ; 382 hp at 5800-6500 rpm, 369 lb-ft 1800-5000 rpm. Automatic transmission with 8 reports. All-wheel drive.

Features

Four-wheel independent Suspension. Disc brakes to all four wheels. Anti-lock braking system series. Tires : 225/45R18 (front) and 255/40R18 (rear).

Ratings

Wheelbase : 2851 mm ; length : 4718 mm ; width : 1827 mm ; height : 1440 mm. Weight : 1800 kg. Volume of trunk : 480 L. towing Capacity : 750-1800 kg. Tank Volume : 59 L. average Consumption (Energuide) : 10,0 L/100 km.

Competition

  • Acura TLX
  • Alfa Romeo Giulia
  • Audi A4
  • BMW 3 Series
  • Buick Regal
  • Cadillac CT4
  • Genesis G70
  • Infiniti Q50
  • Jaguar XE
  • Lexus IS
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Volkswagen Arteon
  • Volvo Series 60

Strengths

  • Ideal driving Position
  • Performance engines and flexible
  • All-wheel-drive series

Weak Points

  • Rolling farm caused by the tires
  • High threshold of safety
  • Lack of progressiveness of the braking

RATINGS OF The AUTHOR

  • Rating overall: 8/10
  • Consumption: 6/10
  • Equipment: 8/10
  • Price: 7/10
  • Appearance: 7/10
  • Front comfort: 8/10
  • Comfort in the back: 6/10
  • Behavior: 8/10
  • Performance: 8/10
  • Storage: 7/10

It will have to wait before we see the Mustang of new generation

The manufacturer has posted a job offer. He seeks several engineers to work on the control of noise and air leaks within the program “Ford 2023 Mustang S650″ at the factory in Flat Rock, Michigan. Later in the job offer, it is written that ” the S650 will be launched in 2022 as a model 2023. “We guess that it is question of the successor to the current Mustang, which bears the code name” S550 “.

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