Strengths: Great to drive (it’s a BMW after all), good space inside and excellent infotainment system
Weakness: Styling not liked by everybody and the below RM200k model (318) is no longer available. Activating Apple CarPlay costs you RM513 each year.
Our view: Our German friends have hit the nail on the head with this 3-series, introduced in 2019. the car won the Carwow 2019 overall Family Car of the Year award and though there’re more of these awards than petrol stations in Malaysia, it still means somebody bothered to compare a bunch of great cars, with the Beemer coming out on top. Styling doesn’t have everybody off their feet, though you can’t say the car doesn’t look elegant with is nice smooth lines. For the more sporty among us, you can opt for the higher-spec car, giving you the faster looks.
Once inside the car, you will straight away notice the large infotainment screens. These are certainly a step forward from the proviso model and look much slicker than the Audi A4’s free-standing unit. Furthermore, you can now get smartphone mirroring for both Apple and Android phones. Unfortunately for BMW, its navigation system requires TMC to be active so it will not guide you into a jam, and this isn’t the case in Malaysia. So for route guidance, we are better off using our phones, but make sure you link them to the beautiful screen, which is not possible.
Which model to go for?
Again, that choice has been made easy for us, since BMW only offers 2 models, the 320i Sport (RM243,800) and the 330I M Sport (RM288,800), so nothing under RM200k anymore. A shame as that under RM200k price allowed people to move up from an Accord, Passat or Camry for only a limited sum of money, which if you buy the car with a long term loan, only adds a few RM10’s to your monthly expense… No such thing now. On the flip side, the 330i M Sport has come down in price by a whopping RM40k, entirely the effect of making the car locally versus a full CBU import as the spec has not changed.
To make a long story short, the BMW 3 Series is better in every way than the car it replaces, while still maintaining the sporty character of every version that has come before. If you’re looking for a practical, premium sedan that you’ll enjoy driving – it’s the one to beat. The competition is Audi’s A4 and Mercedes C-Class, but despite the few issues we see, our German friends from Munich have excelled themselves, again.
Anything you need to know?
A five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, a five-year free maintenance package and a two-year tyre warranty is included.
AppleCarPlay is available through a subscription package at RM513?! Who thought of that strategy? This amount is a lot more than the road tax for this car! Completely nuts. This is the kind of small things that put potential buyers off…in particular considering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on many cheaper cars.
So come over to the BMW dealership or contact any of the friendly sales advisors to get more info. Alternatively, why not make use of the Free Concierge Service from Motor2U and let us help you in every step of the way? Contact us now!