2019 BMW 3 Series Review
2019 BMW 3 Series Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Dan spent many years covering the go-fast, look-good, get-loud corners of the automotive universe. First, he served as editor of enthusiast magazines AutoSound and Honda Tuning, then as executive editor at SEMA News, the publishing arm of the trade group that produces the annual SEMA Show (yes, that show). As a contributor to Edmunds, he now likes to keep the volume low and the speed limit legal, providing expert car-shopping advice to drivers looking for the perfect match.
- 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
- The 3 Series sedan has been redesigned for 2019
- Part of the seventh 3 Series generation introduced for 2019
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.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2019 BMW 3 Series 330i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $4.32 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$177/mo for 3 Series 330i
3 Series 330i
Avg. Midsize Car
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.
Edmunds' Expert Rating7.6 / 10
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).
|Overall||7.6 / 10|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 & vibration8.5
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.
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.
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 use6.5
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 out8.0
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 accommodation8.0
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.
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 & navigation7.5
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jump to:Related 2019 3 Series articles
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
1 out of 5 stars
Car got on fire. Very disappointed!
Armen O., 01/04/2021
2018 BMW 3 Series 330i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
In December of 2017, we had leased a brand new 2018 BMW 330i from Rusnak BMW in Thousand Oaks, CA. All regular maintenance services were included in our lease deal. Therefore, all necessary services were performed at an authorized BWM dealer when it was due. On July 12, 2020, around 11:15 p.m., while my son was driving home, the car got on fire with no apparent reason. The entire front … of the car was charred! Fire Department was called immediately and they put out the fire. Fire Department report shows that cause of ignition is “Failure of equipment or heat source”. Luckily, my son noticed the flame right away and left the car on the side of the road. If this incident would have happened on the freeway, my son’s life could have been jeopardized big time! Even though my insurance company paid the residual value of the car (less my deductable amount) to BMW financials, they still demanded to get paid my deductable amount immediately. They had their collection department call & harass us once every two weeks for this payment. Needless to say, we were furious and called Betsy Hohmann, the Executive Customer Care of BMW of North America in Westwood, NJ to explain our disappointment on our car fire and handling of issues we were confronting with their collection department. In order to find out the cause of fire, Betsy wanted to inspect the car which was held by my insurance company for 30 days only. Since Betsy’s group was unorganized and didn’t make an appointment on time to inspect the car, our BMW was sold by my insurance company. Considering that car wasn’t available for inspection anymore, Betsy offered to give us $3500 loyalty fee if we purchased a new BMW and pay off our insurance deductable in the amount of $2500 as well. Per Betsy's offer, we ended up purchasing a new BMW from an authorized dealer in San Antonio, Texas. Per Betsy’s request, the dealer and us, forwarded proof of purchase to Betsy so we can get paid and settle our differences. Unfortunately, Betsy wouldn’t accept our provided proof of purchase, regardless of what we and the dealer provided. She kept giving us excuse why our provided documents were not sufficient. After 4 months of communications and due to Betsy’s empty promises I filed a law suit against the BMW of North America and Rusank BMW to settle our differences in court. Within 10 days of my law suit filing, Betsy responded via email that she’ll issue a check in the amount of $6k . Unfortunately, due to my law suit, I finally got the check from Betsy after so many months of aggravation dealing with an extremely unprofessional way of handling a simple case which could have turned deadly and caused loss of my son’s life. Frankly, I’ve owned numerous BMWs for over 25 years and never confronted such a horrible ordeal like our BMW 330i. I will never buy another BMW for as long as Betsy Hohmann remains an Executive Customer Care of BMW North America. Shame on BMW of North America who hires employees like Betsy who give hell to their loyal customers like me!!!
5 out of 5 stars
Compact, solid and feels right
2018 BMW 3 Series 320i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
Bought our 320i xdrive used with only 5K. At the price we purchased it at we feel it’s a steal. Handling is second to none and the AWD system maintains traction in all conditions. Solid chassis with a balanced ride. Very quiet interior with plenty of sound deadening materials. Audio quality is excellent and the ambient lighting package is a nice touch. Standard LED headlights are bright … as heck. With the pass through option, our trunk cargo space opens up tremendously. Maintenance is going to be more expensive than your average Civic so one needs to be mindful of that. Power is adequate and borders on sporty in sport-mode. But you won’t win any drag races against a Subaru WRX or Tesla Model 3. Seating position is a bit low for my taste but that’s a small gripe. No spare tire is also a negative. The sensatec leatherette used for the seating surfaces seems durable and not too plasticky. Overall a great buy if you can snag a pre-owned one with low mileage. Would I pay $42K for this car new (MSRP with options)? Probably not. But as a used vehicle, the value is really great.
4 out of 5 stars
Wonderful in summer, less so in winter
2018 BMW 3 Series 340i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
Update after three years - In my 40-odd years of driving I think this must be one of the best cars for summer driving I have ever come across. The 340i xDrive is stink fast (I have the speeding tickets to prove it) and handles gorgeously. If you want a city driver for day to day errands it will happily burble along. If you want to floor it, the car will go like a rocket ship. But the … challenge is, it’s pretty light, and that doesn’t really work in a place with plenty of snow. It is also low off the ground which means you can get stuck in drifts. So very reluctantly I will be handing it back when the lease runs out so I can look for something bigger. This is a gorgeous car, an amazing vehicle to drive; the engine growl is throughly addictive and I sometimes drive around slowly with the windows down just to listen to the noise, a big smile plastered on my face. The 340i takes off like a rocket ship and yet is also perfectly suited for longer distance drives. The seats are the most comfortable of any BMW I've driven (this is my family's fifth) and the new version of the iDrive is intuitive and quick. I sprang for the upgraded Harman and Kardon sound system and can report the quality is superb. My one reservation is the braking system, which sadly is not great. I did not spring for the upgraded brakes and that in hindsight was a mistake, since if you're trying to slow down quickly it can be a battle.
5 out of 5 stars
Still a Terrific Family Cruiser
Sheldon B., 05/01/2018
2018 BMW 3 Series 330i xDrive 4dr Wagon AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
Thinking of getting an CUV? This is a more satisfying alternative for anyone who enjoys driving. The M Sport version is quick, and the the steering & suspension can be adjusted to "just right" firm in sport mode. Plenty of room and fantastic on the open road. It was a great choice for our family, and capable of taking all four of us and all of our week-long luggage (and food) up to and … all around the mountains.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2019 BMW 3 Series, so we've included reviews for other years of the 3 Series since its last redesign.
2019 BMW 3 Series videos
[MUSIC PLAYING] SPEAKER: The BMW 3 Series used to be praised by critics like myself as the best driving and thus most desirable luxury sports sedan you could buy. Things have changed though. It's gotten bigger and heavier and more insulated. And now there are upstarts like the Tesla Model 3. These two particular cars are pretty different, so a direct comparison doesn't really play here. But think about how these two cars are similar. They're about the same money. They're about the same size. They have about the same power. Now, you can go on and on debating the merits of each vehicle's respective propulsion systems-- whether you like the familiarity and infrastructure that comes with an internal combustion engine or whether your lifestyle and commute permits an EV. We're not really concerned with that. What we care about in this video is the thing that these vehicles have to do best, and that's driving, of course. Which one drives better? [MUSIC PLAYING] Here we are in the new BMW 3 Series. It's a 330i. I've dialed it up to sport mode because we're going to be driving in a sporty manner. The 3 Series, at least the last generation, wasn't as successful, in terms of driving engagement and performance, as we would have liked it. BMW has heard our complaints, and driving dynamics was a focus of this new generation of the car. Now, when it comes to overall feel and how this drives, this is representing the classical sense of driving. We have, of course, an internal combustion engine. We have a transmission-- one with eight speeds. We have that characteristic. You role on the accelerator. You roll on the gas. We can call it a gas pedal. And the engine races towards red line-- it's either 6 or 7,000 RPM. This digital gauge cluster isn't very clear. And when you're doing that, you can feel the character of the power band change. There's a sound. There's a bunch of sounds. There's a sensation as power grows. And I think we'll find as when we get in the Tesla, it's very different-- and for obvious reasons. Now, the character of this particular two liter, four cylinder, it's fine. We've got about 255 horsepower-- about 300 pound feet of torque. That's a solid amount in this day and age for your average sedan. But is it an exciting package? I'd say the engine responds welcomingly. It's nice. The delivery is there. The power from the turbocharger, the way it comes on, feels generally pleasant. I'll say the sound-- not as good as the old six-cylinder BMWs used to sound. I used to have an E36 with the straight six cylinder. That thing sounded wonderful even if it was nowhere near as potent as these modern turbocharged four cylinders. The eight-speed transmission-- I've set it to sport-- and it's doing a pretty admirable job of choosing gears for fast driving. I'm not going for a lap time here, but I am trying to explore the vehicle's limits. Now, ride and handling-- this does not have adaptive dampers. And it is set up rather firm. That's to help give it some performance feel when tackling through some of these corners. I'm not sure if it's worth it. The ride is somewhat less luxurious than-- let's say-- than I'd expect for a commuter. And I think that's due to the fact that we're on 19 inch wheels-- performance-oriented run-flat tires. There's a lot of stiffness there that we're going to deal with when it comes to comfort. I think one of the downsides of the constant improvement of technology is how insulated these interiors have become where the feel of everything has to be simulated instead of just being organic. But you do lose a bit of the charm that comes with hydraulic steering-- that comes with a throttle cable and so on. These are things that have long since died out. So do these simulations capture the charm of those things? They do an OK job. I think this car, generally, overall-- I'm going to say feels bigger than it should-- if you're looking for a compact luxury sports sedan. But it does drive, generally, pretty well. Let's also talk about breaking. This does have the upgraded sport brakes, as BMW calls it. And they're generally good-- good feedback, good pedal modulation. You know how much performance you have available just from resting your foot on them. And, overall, as a sports sedan, does it rekindle the magic of what 3 Series used to be-- how those cars use to drive? I don't think so. But I also think that's impossible because cars today are different than what they used to be. They're saddled with so many additional requirements that you inevitably lose some of the charm and magic that cars used to have. Considering all that, this is fairly solid. And I think somebody looking at buying a traditional luxury sport compact would enjoy this purchase. But what I'm really curious to find out is how the Tesla will feel. [MUSIC PLAYING] Here we go in the Tesla Model 3. There's no sports setting to check outside of steering, which I put in sport just to keep things even. And, already, this car feels more powerful. It is slightly more powerful because Tesla recently provided an over-the-air update, which increased the power by 5%, which we've tested. But it's not just that. It's the method of power delivery. If you have been following EV news recently, you know how this works, and we're not going to rehash all the talking points. But, basically, what happens is with an internal combustion engine, when you apply the gas, you have to wait for the transmission to downshift-- if you haven't done it already. Then you have to wait for the turbocharger to spool up. Then you have to wait for the engine to start accelerating. And this all happens generally quick with modern cars but nowhere as quick as what happens when you hit the accelerator in an EV. The power delivery is just instantaneous. All the torque gets delivered as soon as the electric motor starts turning. And because it happens so quick here, the response of acceleration makes this feel more powerful. On top of that, this is a heavier car. But where all that mass is located is primarily in the batteries, which are underneath the flooring. But there's run-on benefits to that-- that effect handling, which makes this car feel a little bit more nimble, a little bit more lift, and a little bit more enjoyable. But, also, the hood line seems lower. The doors seem a little bit lower, too. Maybe the seat sits higher, but I feel like the car is smaller, overall. I don't think it is. But the sensation is what matters, not what the specs say-- at least when it comes to driving. And because of that, you get that combination of early power. And you get that combination of the handling from where the majority of the mass of this car is located. And you arrive at a car that is really fun to drive when you're going quick or when you're commuting. Now, there are shortcomings to this package. And you've probably been hearing them as I've been driving. The tires are squealing. This does not have as aggressive as a wheel and tire package as that 3 Series does. And you notice it. This thing is not going to put the same G numbers down. It's not going to break with the same capability because it doesn't have that option on it. Tesla offers it. This car just doesn't have it. But aside from that, the way the car gets positioned around it-- when you turn the wheel-- feels better. It doesn't have the same smoothness with stability control. I can't put the stability control in an intermediary setting like I can on the BMW-- or if I can, I haven't figured out how to do it the menu yet-- so calm down, Tesla fanboys. But aside from that, I gotta say, I'm enjoying driving this more. And coming to this comparison, I was not expecting that to be the outcome. We have to give criticism where it's due. And in the Tesla, that falls on the interior. This interior doesn't have the level of assembly in terms of quality or the level of materials quality that you get in that BMW. You're paying for the technology that underpins this car, not for the interior, so I get that. But you will notice it when you sit in these cars back to back. The way the power comes on-- it's just so addicting with this thing-- that you just want to keep doing it because it's so quick, and because it's so much. It really feels fun. But I think we're getting up to the edge of what these brakes were designed for. They're getting a little soft-- much like they did in the 3 Series. I'm genuinely surprised. This is more enjoyable to drive than a 3 Series. I'm shocked. I'm shocked-- sorry, BMW. [MUSIC PLAYING] We thought this was going to be a lopsided pairing, but we didn't realize in which direction. This BMW 3 Series isn't just a newer car. It's an entirely new generation of the 3 Series. And on top of that, this one had the optional sport and track handling packages that aim to improve driving engagement. Meanwhile, this Tesla Model 3 is 2 years old, has 20,000 miles on it, and isn't the sportiest configuration. And it was still way more fun to drive. From the response of the acceleration to the sense of agility provided by its lower center of gravity, the Model 3 was simply more engaging. Tesla's even done a better job with steering feel, which is amusing when you think about all the fuss around its so-called full self-driving capabilities. It's funny because in a strict fun-to-drive terms, the Tesla Model 3 beats the new BMW 3 Series. [MUSIC PLAYING]
BMW 3 Series vs. Tesla Model 3 Review & Compare -- Which Drives Better?
What's the best-driving compact luxury sedan? That's what Carlos Lago seeks to find out in this quick comparison. Representing tradition, we have a 2019 BMW 3 Series, the newest generation of the model. Up for the challenge is our long-term 2017 Tesla Model 3.
2019 3 Series Highlights
|Combined MPG||30 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$177/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||rear wheel drive|
|Warranty||4 years / 50,000 miles|
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.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestGood
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood