Big Motoring World reviews the 2018 version and compares with the new 2015 model of the BMW 3-Series, codenamed the G20.

Last week BMW marked the 40th anniversary of the 3-Series with a national campaign, featuring six generations of the popular model including the new facelifted version. Details have now also been released for the next model – due to be released in three years!

Design

The current 3-series is aerodynamically efficient and cleverly packaged; a traditional yet next-gen BMW.  The overall design has moved on, reflecting the changing times and much sportier look. More adventurous ranges have been suggested, to compete with Audi’s new range of models. The flexible Cluster Architecture (CLAR) helps to set the precedent for rear-wheel drive BMWs of the future.

Quality

The luxury car market is currently highly competitive within Germany, with Mercedes and Audi as BMW’s closest rivals. BMW aim to compete with this model promoting its character, craftsmanship and visual quality, and most importantly its substance.

BMW will invest in top-of-the-range materials, enhanced specification and higher-quality details such as carpets, rubber seals and sill covers which solidify its place at the top of the luxury car market. While ‘G20’ will offer a choice of equipment packs, it’s safe to expect more extras, variety and value.

Efficiency

High efficiency comes as a standard with a BMW model, as we already know. The ‘G20’ 3-series is set to undercut the 100g/km CO2 emission mark of the current model. While the new 316i will be powered by the 136bhp 1.5-litre unit we know from the 218i, the 316d shares its 122bhp diesel with the Mini Cooper D. The modular 2.0-litre hopes to hold the lion’s share of future 3-series sales.

As far as electro-mobility goes, we should see at least two plug-in hybrids – a 1.5-litre version with a 60kW e-motor, good for a 30-mile range, and a 2.0-litre model with a 90kW e-motor permitting a 50-mile radius.

Ergonomics and dynamics

As far as assistance systems go, the new 7-Series sets the template for the new BMW models. Remarkably, this car will park itself via remote control, stay in lane, overtake by itself, brake when required, monitor turns and crossroads and navigate through in stop-start traffic at up to 40mph.

Although the interior is similar to that of older models, it boasts a variety of fresh TV quality instrument graphics, gesture control and voice activation with the good old iDrive hand wheel. All that, and it’s efficient at the same time!

Stronger brakes are on the agenda – always welcome to a car of such power. Reduced-friction wheel bearings and track and camber modulation are also set to feature. While xDrive is a box to be ticked by the new 420bhp M350i MPA (M Performance Automobiles) model, the M3 and M4 will stick with two-wheel drive.

Verdict

Nicola Green, brand and launch communications manager, BMW UK, told thedrum.com: “The 3 Series is at the heart of our brand and has been a true representation of The Ultimate Driving Machine over the last 40 years. There is a continued improvement of each generation and the significance of the innovations within the cars, as well as the powerful affection that has developed for the 3 Series in the UK”.

This year’s 3-Series is impressive, but it looks as though the next-gen car looks to be raising the standards to a whole new level. We look forward to this release, which could change the driving experience forever.

Big Motoring World

Big Motoring World is the largest independent seller of used BMWs and Mercedes-Benz in the UK. Based in London and Kent, Big Motoring World hold over 1000 cars so we are sure to have the perfect car for you.