We analyze the keys of the new BMW 3 Series against its rivals in the premium market.
The new BMW 3 Series has just landed on the market and little by little more versions are available for sale. That is why it is a good time, now that the offer is more complete, to compare it with its main alternatives . All of them framed in a premium segment that, contrary to what you might think, has more strength in this niche than in the general one.
The new generation 3 Series is a statement of intent in terms of technology. Although its continuist design does not demonstrate a radical change of image, as it does with the Series 1, it has a new interior, capabilities and assists to place itself at the head of its competitive class. We analyze it .
The BMW 3 Series in detail
Passing over a design that practically mirrors the fees of the latest 3 Series generations, the BMW mid-size saloon grows in all its dimensions. It is 4.7 meters long, 1.82 m wide and 1.44 m high . To this is added a 2.85 m battle, also greater compared to its predecessor. This gives not only more space to passengers, especially the rear, but also more luggage: 480 liters . In addition, the familiar Touring variant returns which, with similar measures, increases the size of the cargo space to 500 liters.
Among the technological innovations, the multimedia section stands out, crowned by a central multimedia screen of up to 10.3 inches at best. It has an Internet connection, 3D navigation, access to network applications and compatibility with Apple CarPlay, but not with Android Auto. The dashboard can also be digital, with a display perhaps too simple and not very configurable. On the other hand, driving aids are numerous, starting with advanced adaptive cruise control that, together with the lane maintenance assistant, bring the 3 Series closer to semi-autonomous driving. Of course there is no shortage of blind spot control, emergency braking, signal reader or, as a novelty, lighting that can be LED and even laser.
However, one of the advantages of the 3 Series compared to some of its competitors is the wide range of mechanics it offers, adapted to almost all types of clients. It has diesel and gasoline versions , with manual or automatic transmission and even variants of rear or all-wheel drive. The new BMW 3 Series even comes with a plug-in hybrid variant named 330e with an electric range of up to 59 km. This is the BMW 3 Series Saloon range :
|318d||Diesel||Rear||150 hp||€ 39,950|
|318d Aut.||Diesel||Rear||150 hp||€ 42,398|
|320d Aut.||Diesel||Rear||190 hp||€ 45,050|
|320d xDrive Aut.||Diesel||Total||190 hp||€ 47,650|
|330d Aut.||Diesel||Rear||265 hp||€ 54,950|
|330d xDrive Aut.||Diesel||Total||265 hp||€ 57,550|
|M340d xDrive Aut.||Diesel||Total||340 hp||€ 72,100|
|320i Aut.||Gasoline||Rear||184 hp||€ 43,750|
|330i Aut.||Gasoline||Rear||258 hp||€ 48,600|
|330i xDrive Aut.||Gasoline||Total||258 hp||€ 51,200|
|330e Aut.||Petrol Hybrid||Rear||292 hp||€ 53,950|
|M340i xDrive Aut.||Gasoline||Total||374 hp||€ 71,900|
In front of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is probably its strongest rival, also recently updated, although not new generation. Between generations the design change is stronger in the case of the Stuttgart firm, and the C-Class is no exception. Especially as regards the cabin. Although it offers similar levels, the C-Class yields in the figure of a boot, with a more modest 455 liters . Of course, it is also a couple of centimeters shorter. Announces 4.68 meters . There is also a family variant called Estate that improves these figures: it achieves 460 liters of boot space.
Compared to Series 3, this C-Class has also improved its technological endowment, to a very similar level. The multimedia system reaches 10.25 inches , although it is not yet the advanced MBUX that the Class A does boast. Car. The digital dashboard also surpasses that of BMW by configuration limits, very far from what little the 3-Series system allows. In terms of assistance systems, they are matched. The Mercedes-Benz also offers semi-autonomous driving with the ability to change lanes with assistance , blind spot control or emergency braking. What it does not have is laser lighting, but it does have a matrix Multibeam LED.
The range of engines is similar to that of the 3 Series, although that of Mercedes-Benz has, a priori, better staggering. There are also gasoline or diesel models and rear or all-wheel drive. What the C-Class lacks is some variant with manual transmission. Everyone goes to an automatic change . This generation adds two plug-in hybrid variants , a Mercedes-Benz C 300 e petrol and a C 300 diesel, the latter being the only one of its kind among the premium mid-size saloons, with 56 and 53 km of zero-emission autonomy respectively. This is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class range:
|C 200 d||Diesel||Rear||160 hp||€ 42,425|
|C 220 d||Diesel||Rear||194 hp||€ 46,775|
|C 220 d 4MATIC||Diesel||Total||194 hp||€ 50,275|
|C 300 d||Diesel||Rear||245 hp||€ 52,700|
|C 300 d 4MATIC||Diesel||Total||245 hp||€ 55,250|
|C 300 of||Diesel Hybrid||Rear||306 hp||€ 55,375|
|C 180||Gasoline||Rear||156 hp||€ 41,850|
|C 200||Gasoline||Rear||184 hp||€ 45,300|
|C 300||Gasoline||Rear||258 hp||€ 50,125|
|C 300 e||Petrol Hybrid||Rear||320 hp||€ 52,900|
|AMG C 43 4MATIC||Gasoline||Total||390 hp||€ 75,175|
In front of the Audi A4
The Audi A4 is another of the rivals that has been recently renovated. It has received not only a very slight makeover, but also an update of mechanics, among which a wide offer with micro-hybridization and, consequently, with an ECO label. The 4.76 meters in length of this A4 make it a noticeably bigger car than the BMW 3 Series, although it does not mean that it offers more space. In fact, the trunk announced by the Audi is 20 liters smaller than its rival: 460 liters . Although there is also a family variant, called Avant, which minimizes the differences and stores 495 liters of luggage. Additionally, something that is not present in the others, is an A4 allroad with pretensions camperas and greater ground clearance.
The novelties of the new Audi A4 compared to the model it replaces are trivial. Hardly any detail of style. What is truly new is technology, to catch up with the last to arrive in class. Like a good Audi, it enjoys a digital dashboard, infinitely more configurable than that of the 3 Series, but also a 10.1-inch multimedia screen . Connected browsing, Internet connection and, unlike Series 3, compatibility with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay . They do not take much in terms of driving assistants, integrating already extended elements such as semi-autonomous driving. It also allows you to control some options remotely through a mobile application.
However, the best thing about the Audi A4, not only against the BMW 3 Series, but practically against any of its rivals, is the wide mechanical offer. Without going any further, all engines except the 40 TDI have a light hybridization system with which they obtain the ECO label . The A4, unlike the BMW, is front-wheel drive , although some versions opt for the characteristic quattro all-wheel drive. For its part, only the access versions can carry a manual gearbox, the rest opt for an automatic double-clutch S tronic or a torque converter tiptronic. What there is not is a plug-in hybrid version, making it impossible to buy an A4 with 0 Emissions label . By cons, yes there is an A4 withnatural gas engine also with ECO label . This is the Audi A4 range:
|30 TDI S tronic||Diesel||Lead||136 hp||€ 41,190|
|35 TDI S tronic||Diesel||Lead||163 hp||€ 42,590|
|40 TDI S tronic||Diesel||Lead||190 hp||€ 43,990|
|40 TDI quattro S tronic||Diesel||Total||190 hp||€ 49,000|
|S4 TDI||Diesel||Total||347 hp||€ 75,530|
|35 TFSI||Gasoline||Lead||150 hp||€ 38,090|
|35 TFSI S tronic||Gasoline||Lead||150 hp||€ 40,670|
|40 TFSI S tronic||Gasoline||Lead||190 hp||€ 43,690|
|45 TFSI quattro S tronic||Gasoline||Total||245 hp||€ 51,420|
In front of the Jaguar XE
Another rival model is the exclusive Jaguar XE , a mid-size saloon that took over a few years ago from the defunct X-Type. This, built on its own platform and much more advanced, exhibits a design very similar to that of its XF or F-PACE range brothers, with whom it also shares a good part of its technology. It is noticeably smaller than the BMW 3 Series, and its competition. At 4.67 meters long it is the only option in the catalog, since there is no familiar alternative as it does exist in the XF with higher segmentation. This causes it to be one of the least livable in its category, including the boot, which covers 450 liters .
Where it does, at the very least, live up to its BMW rival is in its interior quality and customization possibilities. In addition to technology. Although it is a more veteran car, the Jaguar XE was launched as one of the most advanced of its time, and maintains it. I mean your digital box or your multimedia system up to 10.2 inches . It has connected navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, Internet connection, remote application control … The security assistants are up to date, and except for a few small details, it offers almost the same as the others, including a certain level of autonomy .
Although the most interesting thing about the Jaguar XE may be its mechanical offer, very powerful. It is built on a rear wheel drive platform , but also offers all wheel drive variants. At the moment there are only automatic change versions. Its Achilles heel is likely to offer no plug-in hybrid version , but none with some kind of micro-hybridization that earns it the ECO label either. This is the Jaguar XE range:
|D180 Aut.||Diesel||Rear||180 hp||€ 45,770|
|D180 AWD Aut.||Diesel||Total||180 hp||€ 48,170|
|P250 Aut.||Gasoline||Rear||250 hp||€ 46,170|
|P300 AWD Aut.||Gasoline||Total||300 hp||€ 54,380|
In front of the Lexus IS
Perhaps the most peculiar of all the BMW 3 Series rivals is the Lexus IS . It is the only one that is offered only as a conventional hybrid , the entire range, so they all have an ECO label. It is also one of the smallest in its class, at 4.68 meters in length . As with the Jaguar, it also does not offer a family variant. No Lexus offers it and forces you to look at the SUV format. This implies that it is also the one with the least boot space: only 450 liters .
It is a car that, although it has been renovated not too long ago, participates as one of the oldest. This results both in the interior presentation, very Japanese, and in terms of technology. Here we do not find great digital control panels, nor great displays of artificial intelligence. The multimedia screen is large, up to 10.3 inches , but the use of a controversial joystick can confuse more than one. As for safety, there is the most relevant, but it lacks the latest advances especially in the field of assisted driving . Not surprisingly, it already offers adaptive cruise control, traffic signal reader or blind spot control.
Mechanically the Lexus IS is very limited compared to the BMW 3 Series and against any other rival. And it is marketed only as IS 300h. That is, with a single motorization, as I said before, hybrid. Its peculiarity is that here there are a multitude of closed finishes , so the price is contained and allows you to configure from a basic IS to another one very easily equipped for the client. Finally it is built on a rear wheel drive platform, but there is no possibility to configure all-wheel drive versions . This is the Lexus IS range:
|300h||Hybrid gasoline||Rear||223 hp||€ 35,900|
In front of the Alfa Romeo Giulia
Perhaps the closest model to the BMW 3 Series on the market is the Alfa Romeo Giulia . The resurgence of the Italian firm has a classic name and a special appeal. Not only for its design, but also for its mechanical offer and, especially, for its characteristic driving feel. This saloon is substantially smaller than its rival Series 3. In addition, with its 4.64 meters long it is the only alternative in the range. Leaving aside any variant of family aspirations as if it had its predecessor, the 159. However, it takes better advantage of the space than other rivals to offer a 480-liter boot .
Technologically, it has just been updated, precisely by carrying out a renewal of both its multimedia equipment and its list of driving assistants. In the foreground, the multimedia screen is 8.8 inches and improves the placement and intuitiveness of its menus. Add remote control via smartphone of some applications. On the other hand, it adds semi-autonomous driving to the crew of assistants, it has adaptive cruise control with a traffic jam assistant that can be combined with a lane maintenance assistant. In addition, the traffic sign reader can alter the behavior of the motor to automatically adjust the speed.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is similar to the 3 Series by design. A rear-wheel drive platform that has also been tuned to offer a very sporty feel. Additionally, Alfa Romeo offers a wide variety of gasoline and diesel mechanics. Although as with some other rivals it lacks any plug-in hybrid or micro-hybridization option . Therefore there are no options with an ECO or 0 Emissions environmental label. This is the Alfa Romeo Giulia range:
|2.2 JTD 160 Aut.||Diesel||Rear||160 hp||€ 41,190|
|2.2 JTD 190 Aut.||Diesel||Rear||190 hp||€ 42,590|
|2.2 JTD 210 Aut. AWD||Diesel||Total||210 hp||€ 43,990|
|2.0 Turbo 200 Aut.||Gasoline||Rear||200 hp||€ 49,000|
|2.0 Turbo 280 AWD Aut.||Gasoline||Total||280 hp||€ 75,530|