2020 BMW 3-Series

Reviews

BMW finally came around to including Apple CarPlay as standard equipment, and Android Auto will be available for the first time by mid-2020. That’s worth a point on our scale, as is the overall value of standard equipment, the bounty of options, and a solid infotainment system. Yet, it doesn’t include the 12.3-inch digital cluster or iDrive 7.0.

We give it an 8 for features. 

The starting price of the 2020 3-Series is up $500 over the 2019 model to $41,745, and the extra cost adds navigation to Live Cockpit Plus. But the dynamic digital instrument cluster of Live Cockpit Pro with iDrive 7.0 is the one you’ll want, and it’s not standard on the 330i.

The 2020 330i comes with the usual power features, 18-inch wheels with all-season run-flat 225/45 tires, three-zone climate control, a sunroof, a 40/20/40-split folding rear seat, 14-way power-adjustable front seats, cruise control, ambient lighting, wood or aluminum trim, and AM/FM/HD radio with Bluetooth connectivity, and, finally, Apple CarPlay compatibility. It also has standard forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, and lane-departure warnings.

Standard equipment on the $54,995 M340i includes Live Cockpit Pro, which we get into under the infotainment subhed, HD Radio, one year of Sirius XM radio, and all the M badging you could want. Most of the $13,000 upcharge on the M340i is in the performance parts. 

All-wheel drive, which BMW calls xDrive, adds $2,000 to both models. 

Then come the options. BMW offers them by the ream. The most significant one for 330i shoppers is the $5,900 Executive package, which includes Live Cockpit Pro, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, lumbar support, high beam assist, and adaptive LED headlights. 

It’s a bit much. We’d go piecemeal for Live Cockpit Pro ($1,100), heated front seats ($500), and heated steering wheel ($190). Other piecemeal options include remote start, heated front seats and steering wheel, parking sensors, Harman Kardon sound, adaptive cruise control, wireless smartphone charging, and more.

Performance options abound, too, if you can’t justify the jump to the M340i. The $2,450 Track Handling package adds the M Sport differential, brakes, and adaptive M suspension, which is an extra $700 even on the M340i. It also upgrades to 19-inch black wheels (225/40 front, 255/35 rear) with performance run-flat tires. 

Infotainment

BMW’s layered infotainment system has been criticized for being unnecessarily complex, but the latest iteration, iDrive 7.0, simplifies that somewhat. The system still offers every imaginable way to access vehicle info, from excellent voice commands to ridiculous gesture controls. 

The 330i gets the old iDrive 6.0 with a 5.7-inch digital display in the dash paired to an 8.8-inch touchscreen with navigation on the center stack. For $1,100 more, 330i shoppers can get the Live Cockpit Pro that comes standard on the M340i. It uses a 12.3-inch digital display that doubles as a  speedometer and tachometer. In the center is the navigation map, much like Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, though not as bright or detailed, yet still cool. That is paired to a wider 10.3-inch touchscreen atop the center stack, and the controller in the console doubles as a touchpad. It includes two USB ports, and head-up display. The newest iteration of iDrive understands normal speech, can read emails, adjust cabin climate, and even lets you give it a pet name, if that’s your thing. 

It also provides over-the-air updates for map data four times a year, but with Apple CarPlay standard, that might not be as essential. Still, it’s a lot of content and well worth the $1,100 so your new car doesn’t feel like an old car.

Review continues below

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