2019 BMW 3 Series Review

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Pros & Cons

  • Balances sharp handling with comfortable ride quality
  • Revised four-cylinder engine offers more power
  • Interior is upscale and spacious with logical, easy-to-use controls
  • More trunk space than before
  • New iDrive system is more convoluted to use than before
  • The ride with M Sport package's suspension is overly harsh
  • Unrefined operation of some driver assist safety aids
  • Manual transmission is no longer offered
List Price Range
$30,999 - $39,900

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Which 3 Series does Edmunds recommend?

For the 2019 model year, you can have any 3 Series sedan you like, as long as it's the 330i. Should you wait for the more performance-oriented M340i? That depends on how much you love horsepower. But if you decide on a 330i, we say get either the Premium or the Executive package. The Driving Assistance or Driving Assistance Plus packages are also worthy additions.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

7.6 / 10

Few cars own their segment quite like the BMW 3 Series. Arguably the first "compact" luxury sport sedan, the 3 Series continues to be one of the best choices for drivers who expect a car to seamlessly blend comfort, performance and prestige.

The 2019 BMW 3 Series kicks off the model's seventh generation with mild design and structural changes. More important are the improvements in power, handling and technology. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine carries over from the last generation, but it gains slightly more horsepower and noticeably more low-end torque. The chassis is wider and stiffer, which, along with a retuned suspension, promises refinements to the 3 Series' already lauded handling performance. BMW also revised the steering for more road feel.

The new 3 Series is slightly longer, which helps increase trunk space. Combined with the standard 40/20/40-split folding rear seats and a hands-free opening/closing trunklid, the BMW also offers excellent sedan utility. The new model maintains the 3 Series hallmark of interior comfort and quality with sporty, form-fitting seats, impressive touchscreen displays and infotainment, and finer details such as ambient cabin lighting and oak, maple and aluminum accents.

If there's any complaint about the 3 Series, it may just be that its competence overwhelms exhilaration. Its Audi A4 rival has a more modern and tech-oriented flair, and its primary Mercedes competitor leans into luxury more than performance (at least in its non-AMG trims). Plus, newer competitors such as the Genesis G70 and the Alfa Romeo Giulia are worth a look for drivers seeking something a little different.

Notably, we picked the 2019 BMW 3 Series as one of Edmunds' Best All-Wheel-Drive Sedans for this year.

2019 BMW 3 Series models

The 2019 BMW 3 Series is available in sedan and wagon body styles. Only the sedan is new for 2019; the wagon carries over unchanged. (The 3 Series Gran Turismo hatchback is reviewed separately, as are coupe and convertible models collectively known as the BMW 4 Series.)

For the 2019 model year, the 3 Series sedan is only available in the 330i trim level. A higher-performance M340i variant goes on sale later in 2019 (but for the 2020 model year).

The 330i comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (255 horsepower, 295 lb-ft of torque), an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive (known as xDrive) is optional.

Standard features include 18-inch wheels, automatic wipers, a sunroof, simulated leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power-adjustable front seats, an 8.8-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, a USB input and a 10-speaker audio system.

Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and BMW Assist emergency communications are among the driver assistance features that come standard.

The 330i offers several option packages and stand-alone features. Chief among them are the Convenience, Premium and Executive packages.

Opting for the Convenience package gets you keyless entry, LED headlights, satellite radio and active blind-spot monitoring. The Premium package adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a head-up display, a navigation system, a 10.25-inch display screen, Apple CarPlay (subscription-based), and BMW's Connected Package Professional, which combines remote and concierge services with real-time traffic information.

The Executive package adds upgraded adaptive LED headlights with automatic high-beam control, side- and top-view parking cameras, a self-parking system, and gesture control functions for the infotainment system.

Sport-minded drivers can add the Track Handling package, which includes an electronically locking rear differential, upgraded brakes and a sport-tuned suspension. There's also an M Sport package with 19-inch wheels, performance tires, sport-tuned suspension and steering, special exterior and interior trim details, and the features from the Convenience package.

Additional safety can be had by way of the Driving Assistance Professional package, which bundles adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and active front cross-traffic alert.

Some of the above features are available as stand-alone options. Other notable options include leather upholstery, heated rear seats, wireless device charging, a Wi-Fi hotspot, a full digital gauge cluster display, and an upgraded 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the BMW 330i xDrive w/ M Sport Package (turbo 2.0L inline-4 | 8-speed automatic | AWD).

Driving

8.0
The new generation 3 Series proves it's on form with solid dynamics across the board and sufficient power even with the base engine under the hood. The experience still may not be as authentic as BMWs of yore, but it's still more engaging than many other players in this segment.

Acceleration

8.0
Thrust from the 3 Series' base engine is perfectly sufficient. The turbo four-cylinder makes good torque down low and doesn't need much wind-up time before it delivers. The engine is responsive, especially in Sport mode, and works seamlessly with the eight-speed automatic transmission. It reached 60 mph in 5.6 seconds in our testing, keeping pace with segment front-runners.

Braking

8.5
The brakes in the 330i are solid all around and one of the highlights of this car. The pedal is smooth and easy to modulate in casual driving but strong, stable and confident in hard use. And quiet, too! In Edmunds 60-0 mph panic stop test, our 330i stopped in an admirable 108 feet, which is among the top in class against rivals also equipped with summer performance tires.

Steering

8.0
In Comfort mode, the steering is light and easy to wield but lacks a sense of connection. This changes in Sport where the steering builds effort progressively and naturally off-center and better communicates things happening with the front tires. Effort in Sport is spot-on, and the thick-rimmed steering wheel feels really nice in hand, too.

Handling

8.0
The all-wheel-drive 330i behaves a lot like a buttoned-down rear-wheel-drive car. It's agile and inspires plenty of driver confidence. With the M Sport package, the 330i's body motions are well-controlled. Experienced drivers may find themselves wanting a little more playfulness, but nonetheless this is a luxury sedan that's easy to drive quickly.

Drivability

8.5
The engine stop-start system is occasionally slow to restart, but otherwise drivability is very refined. The transmission shifts quickly and complements the surprisingly flexible power of the four-cylinder turbo engine. It's very smooth-shifting when crawling along in traffic and picks the best gear to give you ample thrust when you really need to move.

Comfort

7.0
Our test 330i suffered from a surprisingly harsh ride quality. We suspect the cause to be our test car's optional sport suspension and possibly the rough-riding tires as well. Otherwise, the 3 Series boasts supportive and comfortable seats and a cabin that does an excellent job of keeping unwanted sounds out.

Seat comfort

8.0
The front seats are supportive and have firm yet comfortable cushions. There's lots of front seat adjustments, including those for lateral, lumbar and thigh support. The rear seat cushions are decent and all armrests are well-padded. But the non-perforated leather upholstery doesn't breathe very well.

Ride comfort

5.5
Our test car had a curiously stiff-legged and busy ride. The optional M Sport suspension and low-profile run-flat tires may have handling benefits, but living with this tire and suspension setup would be a challenge on most days. The ride is busy on rough pavement and downright harsh on large impacts. We'd suggest getting a 330i without the M Sport package.

Noise & vibration

8.5
The 330i has an exceptionally quiet cabin. The low rumble of road noise that comes through is pretty mild, and wind noise is muted. The four-cylinder engine can be heard to some degree. Its sound isn't offensive, but it isn't inspiring either.

Climate control

7.5
The climate system is capable but also operationally puzzling at times. The controls are straightforward, but some functions are odd — "max cool" has a button, for instance, but syncing zones must be done through the touchscreen. Also, the system won't really adjust fan speed when in auto mode, so you'll have to do that yourself. On a more positive note, the cabin preconditioning and automatic heated seats are useful features. The seats heat up quickly, too.

Interior

7.5
BMW's modern iDrive interface looks pretty but seems to have taken a step back in usability with the new menu structure. It's clear that BMW put a lot of thought into the front cabin comfort and design. The rear seat, however, isn't any more comfortable than those in other small luxury sedans.

Ease of use

6.5
The iDrive infotainment menu flow and logic leave something to be desired. Functions are extensive but are hard to locate in the convoluted maze of screens. The layout of physical buttons and controls is generally comprehensible, but the flat buttons on the console require regularly looking down. Owners will eventually become accustomed to the 3 Series' control setup, but it will take some time.

Getting in/getting out

8.0
There's ample doorway head clearance front and rear, although your foot might get caught up on the slightly bulging door pocket on the way in or out. Otherwise, most people shouldn't have any issues. The door grabs and handles are well-placed and easy to use.

Driving position

8.5
The driving position is excellent thanks to plenty of adjustment. The steering wheel tilts and telescopes to a wide degree, and most people won't have any issue finding a comfortable position. The cupholders are forward of the gearshift and away from controls, but they block the wireless charger when drinks are in them.

Roominess

7.5
The 3 Series is spacious as small sedans go. The front cabin is roomy, although backseat legroom and headroom is more typical. The rear seat is best suited for two — the center tunnel eats up most the foot space. There's a lot of rear toe room under the front seats, at least.

Visibility

7.5
The front roof pillars are not especially thin, and they have tweeter speakers mounted in the door corners. They aren't obstructive, but the overall view out the front isn't great either. The rear headrests are generally out of the way, and blind spots when looking over your shoulder are minimal. A plethora of cameras, although optional, give plenty of viewing angle options.

Quality

8.5
Expectations for a BMW are high, and this one delivers. This is the best 3 Series interior to date — all materials look and feel of quality even if they still don't have the flair of an Audi or a Mercedes-Benz. Fit is solid and there's a luxury heft to the controls. We wish the electronics performed as well as they looked.

Utility

8.0
This 3 Series generation is larger than the outgoing model, which pays dividends in cargo space. By the numbers there's just a smidge more rear legroom, which may help with car-seat loading. Trunk space is above average.

Small-item storage

7.5
The center armrest bin will hold a solid amount of stuff and has a high-amp USB-C port inside. A wireless charger sits ahead of the shifter and doubles as storage. The door pockets are large and will fit a standard water bottle along with a few other things.

Cargo space

8.5
The trunk is sizable, and the lid hinges are shrouded so they won't crush cargo when the lid comes down. The rear seatbacks are split 40/20/40, and they fold and lay nearly flat when down.

Child safety seat accommodation

8.0
A solid showing among compact sedans. Isofix anchors are clearly marked and easily accessible under flip-up lids. The anchor points are also not very deep, easing access. There's enough space to fit a larger rear-facing car seat behind all but the tallest drivers.

Technology

7.0
BMW's new Live Cockpit and iDrive 7 are advances that follow in Audi's and Mercedes' footsteps but are far less effective. The menus are convoluted, the cloud-based voice recognition isn't well-sorted, and certain driver aids aren't aids at all. There's no lack of features here, just a surprising lack of refinement.

Audio & navigation

7.5
BMW's native navigation works well and the touchscreen supports pinch and swipe gestures. The secondary map in the gauge cluster lacks street names, making it rather useless. The navigation system falls short of Mercedes' new augmented reality or Audi's Virtual Cockpit execution. The optional Harman Kardon audio system delivers rich, clean sound up front, but our rear passengers were less impressed.

Smartphone integration

6.0
BMW includes one year of wireless Apple CarPlay (logical with the wireless charging), and after that it's a fee-based subscription. To date, BMW is the only manufacturer with a subscription model. There's still no Android Auto. CarPlay was difficult to set up initially but worked well for all other phone connections after that. Some of our test team encountered iPhone issues while connected to CarPlay as well.

Driver aids

7.0
The 3 Series has many driving aids, but their effectiveness is hit or miss. The adaptive cruise is quite effective in stop-and-go traffic and at speed, but the lane keeping assist can ping-pong within the lane and doesn't handle curves well. It'll also follow and track the car in front without lane guidance, but we didn't find this feature to be particularly effective either. Additionally, the high-tech exterior 3D parking camera system offers a lot of angles to play around with, but manipulating the image requires using BMW's clunky gesture control interface.

Voice control

7.0
The voice controls support natural language better than run-of-the-mill systems but Mercedes' new MBUX system is still superior. You can now activate voice controls by saying "BMW" or another wake word of your choosing, followed by a command. In theory it'll control things such as climate and navigation, but we were often misunderstood. And to top it off, it won't tell you a joke, unlike MBUX.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall7.6 / 10
Driving8.0
Comfort7.0
Interior7.5
Utility8.0
Technology7.0

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2019 BMW 3 Series.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Feels (Almost) Like of BMWs of Years Past
Drew,09/01/2019
330i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
This is my 3rd BMW; I had 2007 E90 generation and a 2015 F30 generation car. The 2007 was an amazing car with excellent handling and power; there was a reason it was ranked as one of the best luxury cars by Edmunds and other rankings back in those days. 2015 was a huge disappointment, with a lethargic turbo engine, imprecise and light steering, and a bouncy suspension that felt more like a Lexus ES. Fortunately, the 2019 G20 BMW 3 series feels a lot more like my old 2007 than the 2015. The standard suspension feels taut, but not too firm. The 330i's engine is more refined, even though it's still a turbo 4-cylinder. The power delivery feels more consistent with no perceivable lag, just like a non-turbo 6-cylinder engine of decades past. The steering is still a bit too light for my taste, but is definitely more precise and transmits decent road feel. Also, the car does feel bigger than my old 2007 and perhaps not as "tossable" in curves. But for a bigger car, it's still a competent sports sedan. I personally disagree with Edmunds' review when it comes to iDrive. I feel iDrive is a huge improvement in the 2019, with your choice of both touchscreen or knob interfaces. The larger touchscreen is very handy when used with Apple CarPlay, while the knob can also come in handy to zoom a map while driving. The digital gauges does take a bit getting used to, and I do hope BMW will implement an ability to change the gauge design from the odd shape it is now to more traditional circular gauges. The driving aid tools are ok, but they can be a bit intrusive. Lane keep assist is the one thing I found extremely annoying and ended up turning off, especially as I drive a lot on roads that are under construction and have temporary shifted lane markings which confused the system. Finally, I love the interior design, quality and materials of the 2019. Absolutely improved over the past BMWs and makes the car feel luxurious now and worth the price point.
Money well spent!
Stuart Webb,06/01/2019
330i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
The 2019 is far superior in every way to the outgoing model. Hands down the best car I have ever driven and a perfect balance between comfort and sport. You even get 34 highway and still have plenty of torque. Only have had the car for a week...I will update if needed, but I doubt I will need to. Get one!
'19 330 a vast improvement over '16 328
Dave L,09/20/2019
330i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
Didn't expect the new generation to be this much better than the previous. Everything from perceived power to the interior options has improved. The new iDrive is definitely more complicated than before but it's a touch screen now. Wireless Apple Carplay is great but it's flaky and will randomly disconnect. The HUD is great. Rims are way more low profile than before and overall, I think the car looks sharper. Mediterranean blue is an awesome color... looks black at night and blue during the day. I'm enjoying this leased car way more than I expected.
No longer a sport sedan
Peter Tucket,07/29/2019
330i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
I recently traded in a 2010 328i for a 2019 330xi with the M package. The new car is more than sufficiently powerful, the steering is precise, the trunk is usefully larger, and it seems very well made. Also, the new tech has some real advantages. That said, in comparison with the old car, it is lumbering rather than agile..the suspension is less supple, I miss the manual transmission, and the sweet sound of the non-turbo six cylinders. Another issue is the sport seats, which I find constrict my legs so as to excite my sciatica. In short I think that if BMW produced the old cars with some added electronics, they would sell like hotcakes...

Safety

Our experts like the 3 Series models:

Driving Assistance Professional Package
Enhances the 3 Series' standard safety features with upgrades such as lane keeping assist.
Active Blind-Spot Detection
Alerts you with in-mirror lights when a vehicle is in a blind spot, followed by steering wheel vibration if you attempt to change lanes.
Side and Top View Camera
Offers a top-down, 360-degree view of the car and surroundings to monitor approaching traffic and aid in maneuvering tight spaces.
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2019 BMW 3 Series

Used 2019 BMW 3 Series Overview

The Used 2019 BMW 3 Series is offered in the following submodels: 3 Series Sedan, 3 Series Wagon. Available styles include 330i xDrive 4dr Wagon AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), 330i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), and 330i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A).

What's a good price on a Used 2019 BMW 3 Series?

Price comparisons for Used 2019 BMW 3 Series trim styles:

  • The Used 2019 BMW 3 Series 330i xDrive is priced between $30,999 and$39,900 with odometer readings between 4977 and25978 miles.

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Should I lease or buy a 2019 BMW 3 Series?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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