2019 Vs 2020 BMW 3 Series. the BMW 3 series is a legendary nameplate it's probably the name that. you think of when you're thinking of a luxury sport sedan however the past few. years had not been kind to the three series in 2013 it won our luxury sports sedan. a challenge well we did that challenge again in 2017 this slipped all the way. to sixth place out of seven competitors now there are a few reasons for that. drop a big one being that there's new competition in this segment in the form. of the Jaguar XE, the Alfa Romeo Giulia and now the Genesis g70 our car of the. year but also the three series it was getting old, and it was simply just not. that fun to drive; however, this is the new three series it's what's called the g20. generation and with this BMW is a chance to fix some of the problems that plagued.
the previous three BMW did offer a 340i variant of the previous generation of. Three series but the new three series is the m340i and. it earns that M designation through a litany of suspension upgrades but also a. lot more power under the hood so a turbocharged 3-liter 6-cylinder engine. makes 380 horsepower and 369 pounds heater torque that is up 62 horsepower. and 39 pounds to torque over the previous model and that's a huge jump. it's enough to get that car to go from zero to 60 in 4.2 seconds driving on the. track this morning gave that powertrain chance to shine the cars that. we drove also came with all-wheel-drive and had electronic rear differentials. pretty aggressive setup and the M340i it puts down power coming out of a. corner better than any three series that I've driven before. it is immediate, and the engine works very very well with the 8-speed. automatic transmission now I know that some people will say I wish that BMW was. still going to offer a manual and BMW announced that you know the 8-speed. automatic is going to be the only transmission on the 3-series going. forward to those who are saying that the lack of a manual might cause them to not. consider the 3-series I would say to give the automatic a chance it's a very. good one not only does it shift quickly but the. programming is very very good for aggressive driving, so on the track this.
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The morning I didn't use manual shifting at all I just kind of put the. car in the sport plus its most aggressive drive mode bumps the shifter. over into s and it did an excellent job of not only holding years but also down. shifting so when you brake hard into a corner, the engine you can hear. it is shifting down to not only give you engine braking but also to put you in. the right gear on exit so it helped me put down the power, and it gave me. one less thing to worry about on the track which was always nice I was just. able to focus on keeping this good smooth line and accelerating coming out. of the corners at the right place the other thing that impressed me on the. a track about the mp40 I was its balance the new car has nearly perfect 50:50. weight distribution and BMW also engineered a new series of dampers on. the vehicle as well so it does a very very good job of controlling the cars. weight whether you're braking whether you're turning it remains pretty. flat and planted the whole time more so than the previous three series the m340i is. very close to being a perfect sports sedan but the track on this morning did. also, expose one area in which I think that it falls a little bit short and. that is steering feedback now that's different than the steering itself the. the steering has plenty of weight, and it's accurate it's easy enough to put. the car where you want it on the track, but it doesn't give you enough feedback. and by that what I mean is when you're driving hard, and you're driving at the. limit you want more feedback from the car you want to know what the front. tires are doing you want to know how the weight is moving around, and you want to. know where the limit of your grip is, and the M340i has this weird sensation. whereas you push it harder, there becomes a point where it becomes a. a little bit vague and I'm not sure if that's entire because of the steering. it could also be because of all the suspension stuff going on underneath you. but there's a moment where it's hard to detect how much grip you have left and. you're not getting much feedback from the wheel I can't tell what. the front wheels are doing, and so you have to kind of dial it back and that. vagueness isn't there and a few of the competitors for the m340i most notably. the G70 and the Giulia have excellent steering that I like more so the M340i. ultimately comes very close on the track to being the equal of those cars but it. falls short in that one area after driving the M340i on the track this
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the morning I got to drive the 330i on the street in the afternoon, and that is the. second of the two variants that BMW has so far announced of the new 3-series. now the 330i a little bit less power but no slouch in its own right has a. turbocharged 2-liter 4-cylinder that makes 255 horsepower but 295 pound-feet. of torque and that's an impressive torque number coming out of this engine. it's also a big gain over last year's model it's a gain of 37 pounds-feet. torque and the strength of the powertrain are readily apparent much like. the m340i from this morning the engine and transmission worked very well in. the concert also has an 8-speed automatic, and it's telepathic in the same. the way that the m340i was this morning it's generally in the right gear shifts. quickly and it also downs just quickly when you're trying to pass people or for. quick merges I did find that I enjoyed the steering one of the 330 guys that I. did in the m340i, and that might be due to a difference in the environment the m340i. we were testing it on a track and a track you're pushing a car to kind of. with the edge, you're trying to kind of see where the car falls short and away. but on an on a public road on a mountain road like some of the ones that they. have here in Palm Springs the 330i approved is capable and there's a. strong initial bike to the steering on turn in that I didn't like it with the. m340i that I got in this vehicle the 330i that I'm driving right now is a. rear-wheel drive so that might be a part of that, but I enjoyed the. strength of the initial turn-in and since I wasn't pushing the car too. the edge of where it could go the lack of feedback didn't bother me as much I. still think that they're competitors in the segment that do handling better than. the 3-series that Giulia comes to mind and again the. G70 but this 3-series is much improved although. one and it does go a long way towards making it more fun to drive. also worth highlighting on the new 3-series are improvements to the. the interior especially in the area of technology so we're running me two large. screens one here in the instrument panel and a very high-resolution bright screen. up here for the multimedia system, this is all powered by BMWs iDrive system and. when iDrive debuted, to be frank, it wasn't perfect, but BMW has released. new versions of the system updated the menus made better screens, to be honest. and then now the system is I think one of the easier wants to use in this. segment the screen is easy to reach as well from the driver's seat. seal the option of using it as a touchscreen or using the multimedia. controller down here there is one couch of the system, and that is it doesn't. have Android auto but since the system is so good as an Android user. the omission of Android auto doesn't bother me as much as it normally would. there's also a new HUD, and the HUD is unique in that you can use move a lot of. the information that would normally go on the instrument panel here up. into the HUD so for example if you use this scroll wheel on the steering wheel. you can scroll through the different radio stations on the. satellite radio up in the HUD, so it just keeps things higher up in your field of. the vision he's gotten less time looking down which means less distracted driving.
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initial returns for the new 3-series are very positive the improvements and. drivability thanks to excellent powertrains and suspension updates as. well as improvements in technology and a leap forward in cabin quality will serve. the new 3-series very well I think going forward now I can't say where exactly I. think it would finish if we were to redo a luxury sedan challenge this year, but I. can say that I'm pretty sure that it would do much better than sixth I'm excited. to spend more time in the 3-series to do a deeper dive on that technology. updates as well check out a few of the new safety features including a. low-speed autonomous feature that BMW added to the new three series the 330i. started just over 41,000 dollars, including destination charges and it. it hits dealerships this summer.