We’ve got our hands on the all-new BMW 3-series saloon (F30) and first impressions suggest that it’s a big improvement in almost every area. BMW has never evolved the styling of its 3-series too much in an attempt to safeguard the success of its bread-and-butter model. However, the new 3-series now gets a stretched kidney grille and headlights, the bonnet is considerably more muscular and, with two bold swage lines running across the flanks, the new car looks much more athletic. The lower half of the chin gets vertical air intakes in the bumper that allow a curtain of air to flow around the front wheels. The rear is typically BMW, and the wider bootlid makes it easy to confuse this car with a 5-series from the rear.
The new 3-series is now longer by 93mm, the wheelbase is stretched by 50mm and the front and rear tracks are wider too. The use of more exotic raw materials means that the new car is 40kg lighter and 10 percent more rigid. The new 3 borrows bits and pieces from everywhere; the electrically-assisted steering and double-wishbone front suspension are from the 5-series and the rear suspension is from the earlier 3-series. BMW’s obsession with weight distribution has been carried over too — this car boasts a 50:50 front-rear balance.
Watch video review here
On the inside, BMW has tilted the dash in towards the driver and a variety of textured surfaces give it a ‘layered’ 3D effect. The 328i’s 'Sport' trim also includes a bright red stripe running across from one side to the other. A widescreen infotainment display sits above the central console, the new iDrive system is even more intuitive, and you can switch from Comfort to Sport in a second by using the ‘Drive Performance Control’ switch.
The longer wheelbase offers much more legroom in the rear, backed by fantastic thigh support and an accommodating backrest. And unlike the earlier car, there’s plenty of room for your feet as well. Even more comfortable are the big front seats, which offer tremendous shoulder and lateral support.
Price Range (in lakhs)*
Chassis & Body
Acceleration in gear
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Issue: 165 | May 2013
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