2019 BMW 3 Series.
2019 BMW 3 Series.

BMW unveils new tech leader as motoring ditches old gear

Tu is the new battleground for luxury cars as makers struggle to gain more customers.

BMW has given details of its new 3 Series compact luxury sedan, due in showrooms in March. The German maker has beefed up the model's tech aresenal with the requisite material needed to challenge the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4.

The main weapon is the brand's new artificial intelligence personal assistant that responds to the simple phrase "Hey BMW".

However, BMW's assistant differs from other manufacturers' examples by allowing owners to give the assistant a name that it will respond to.

Styling for the 3 Series carries over the theme of previous versions.
Styling for the 3 Series carries over the theme of previous versions.

The assistant can control the climate, phone and infotainment functions. BMW claims that, over time, the tech can also learn drivers' habits and preferences.

Users can simply say "Take me home" and the car will calculate the route.

BMW has also added a digital key that is compatible with Samsung smartphones and employs near-field technology, as used in contactless payment.

Users can unlock and lock the car with the digital key and the vehicle can be started by placing the phone on the vehicle's wireless charging pad.

BMW will have diesel and petrol power in Australia from launch.
BMW will have diesel and petrol power in Australia from launch.

A 10.25-inch digital touchscreen blends with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster to bring the 3 Series up to speed with its rivals.

The standard head-up display's projection is 70 per cent larger than the previous version. Apple CarPlay is also standard.

Standard safety kit includes lane departure warning, autonomous emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert and rear collision prevention to warn drivers of cars behind of dangerous braking situations.

Technology promises to be a big selling point for the 3 Series.
Technology promises to be a big selling point for the 3 Series.

Two models will be available from launch, the petrol 330i and the diesel 320d, both rear-drivers.

The 330i costs $70,900 and is powered a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo (190kW/400Nm) matched to an eight-speed auto.

The 320d is priced from $67,900 (before on-road costs) and gets a 2.0-litre twin-turbo four (140kW/400Nm), also paired with the eight-speeder.

The all-wheel drive M340i is due later this year.

The 3 Series maintains the previous versions overall look but various nip, tucks and creases give the car a more modern and aggressive appearance. Its extended wheelbase will provide more interior space.


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