The BMW 3-Series sedan has been hanging tough in a world quickly being conquered by utility vehicles.
The compact car is the brand’s second-best selling vehicle in the United States, just behind the X3 SUV, and that’s not counting the 4-Series coupes that are based on it, which would push it way out in front of they still shared the 3-Series name.
This despite the fact that the latest generation has been on sale since 2012, but that changes next year.
BMW has unveiled an all-new 3-Series at the Paris Motor Show that’s larger, lighter, more powerful and filled with some interesting new tech.
The four-door’s styling resembles a shrunken version of the latest 5-Series sedan inside and out. At launch, it will be available in 330i and M340i trim levels, the former with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo with 255 hp and the latter powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6-cylinder rated at 382 hp.
Both will be available with a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system and equipped with 8-speed automatic transmissions. For now, no manual is being offered, so the iconic Ultimate Driving Machine will be doing more of the driving for you.
That includes getting into and out of parallel and perpendicular parking spaces, which it can do on its own. It also has a new back-up assistant that records steering inputs at speeds under 22 mph, and can recreate them in reverse to help you navigate out of a tight space, but only as fast as 5.5 mph. Nevertheless, it’s a pretty neat trick.
Along with that, there’s the expected array of 360-degree cameras, automatic emergency brakes, lane-departure assist and adaptive cruise control available. A hybrid version is slated to follow in 2020.
BMW held the line on pricing for the new model, which will start at $41,245 when it goes on sale next spring.