As with so many significant redesigns, the 2019 BMW 3 Series promises better handling and more power than its predecessor, which was introduced as a 2012 model.
One of the most significant changes, according to BMW, is a new standard suspension setup that uses “lift-related dampers” (dampers being synonymous with shock absorbers) to provide the brand’s trademark sharp handling without sacrificing ride comfort.
According to BMW, few buyers of the outgoing car opted for the high-tech adaptive suspension, and by the sound of it, the new arrangement obviates the need for such an option (though one will be offered because it ain’t a BMW without expensive options).
Some of the car’s other dirty bits are more familiar: starting in Canada in March 2019, entry-level 330i trims will once again be powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but one that makes 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque (up seven and 37 respectively).
Then, in summer 2019 BMW will roll out the 340i and M340i, which will share a turbo inline six good for as much as 382 hp and 369 lb-ft in the M340i.
Both 330i and 340i variants will come standard with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission with quicker shift times and shorter ratios for the lower gears to boost acceleration. In cars specified with navigation, that system’s GPS will communicate with the transmission to avoid unnecessary gear changes in advance of fast corners or when approaching a stopped vehicle ahead.
In the cabin, BMW promises more shoulder and headroom for all occupants, while rear-seat passengers get more legroom and improved comfort. New technology includes the BMW intelligent personal assistant, which responds to the “Hey BMW” command to adjust settings such as the climate control. There’s also a new iDrive infotainment control interface and a larger optional head-up display.
Later in 2019, BMW plans to launch an M Performance variant of the new 3 Series, and 2020 will bring an iPerformance model with plug-in hybrid powertrain technology.