BMW 3 Series Is More Threatened Than Ever

3-Series | June 12th, 2015 by 13
2015 bmw 335i m sport 2017 jaguar xe s front end in motion 750x500

Recently, Motor Trend did a Head-to-Head test between the BMW 335i M Sport and all-new Jaguar XE S. This might be a bit of a …

Recently, Motor Trend did a Head-to-Head test between the BMW 335i M Sport and all-new Jaguar XE S. This might be a bit of a spoiler, but the folks over at Motor Trend seemed to like the new Jag just a bit more than the Bimmer, claiming it to feel just a little bit sportier of the two. Now, in fairness, they did mention that the Bimmer was aging a bit compared to the fresh-out-of-the-box Jag and that a refreshed LCI version was coming soon to give the XE S a more fair fight. However, they still felt that this Jag was the better sport sedan of the two.

2015 bmw 335i m sport 2017 jaguar xe s promo 750x498

I’m not here to dispute their findings or opinions. Without having driven the XE S, I can’t say whether or not their claims are untrue. Actually, having been in the new XE S at the NYIAS, I can attest for the superb interior quality and style. So I’m not particularly surprised that this new Jag gave BMW a run for its money. But what I’m really here to talk about is just how many newcomers are taking shots at the BMW 3 Series’ crown.

BMW 3er F30 LCI Sport Line Mediterran Blau 340i 03 750x497

The 3 Series has held the title of the best luxury sport sedan on the market for decades. It’s had little to no threats at that title for as long as I can remember. However, within the past few years, a number of surprising automakers have been taking some well-aimed shots at the Bavarian brand. The usual contenders, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, haven’t been BMW’s biggest threats. Instead it’s been Cadillac, Lexus and now Jaguar. All three of those brands were considered jokes in the 3 Series dominated segment, right up until the new ATS, IS350 F-Sport and XE S debuted.

With all of these newcomers making such great cars, the Mercedes’ C Class becoming probably the finest luxury car in the segment and Audi readying a new A4, how much longer can BMW keep the 3 Series at the top?

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BMW claims that the LCI F30 3 Series will be better in almost every single way than the pre-LCI version. It’s said to have chassis and steering modifications, improved interior quality and better engines. But will it be enough though? The F30 3 Series is probably the most controversial 3 Series of all time, having received more mixed reviews than any before it. So will these improvements be enough to stave off the increasingly aggressive competition?

I actually think so. Despite what so many publications might say about BMW, it’s still a company that knows how to make proper sports car and has been doing it longer than its competition. I think BMW may have gotten a bit complacent from sitting at the top for so long, but with the increasing competition, I think BMW knows what it needs to do to make the 3 Series great again. I think this LCI will land the 3 Series back in contention for the segment crown.

13 responses to “BMW 3 Series Is More Threatened Than Ever”

  1. Tony says:

    in seeing what they have done to the suspension/engine design, I would say that this new LCI 3-series is a big step forward and will put down any others that have nipped at the heels of the current 3-series. in talking to bmw technicians at work, the changes might not seem like much but are going to provide a vastly different feel to the car. I cannot wait for it

  2. Kaisuke971 says:

    Even if they waited for the 340i, i have the feeling that the XE-S would still have won. Jaguar is now a very competitive carmaker: they have their own british design personality, which i love (only Maserati can compete), they of course put a lot of effort in the quality of their cars, and more importantly i’ve heard that recently they have very reliable product.
    In their “modern” era, i don’t see something really wrong coming out of their factory. The XJ is a very elegant car ( the now classic Jaguar but still beatiful front but with what is for me the best rear on the market, for a sedan), the XJR is a beast. The XF feels above the A6/5s/E-Class to me. It’s a pity the XFR-S wasn’t just a little bit more performant to go against the big Germans (dat Supercharged V8 doe). But then they didn’t stop here: they came with the F-Type which is one hell of a car, adding to all their quality the performance (the F-Type R is really, really fast).
    But when they really shine is with the XE, because they’ve made a mix of all their models to go on the most competitive segment, and it’s a success. This car looks really good, feels again a bit more upmarket, and the S Version is the best in its class. Forget S4, C450 AMG-Sport, 340i M-Sport: XE-S is the thing ! It offers the Jaguar quality for a “reasonable” price (you can have it without bankrupt, if you work enough), adding to it, like a bonus, what is to me best Sounding V6 on the market (Jaguar’s V6 holly moly). Well in fact it might be the best sounding 6 cylinder on the market if i’m not wrong (M3 sounds good but not quite as much).
    But hey, they’ve made only half of the work: they still have to present the new XFR and maybe XF SVR, the XE SVR, and the F-Type SVR. The XJR already is a beast, maybe they can make an SVA or something like that, but it’s fine.
    Their biggest problem is the tech: they don’t have quite a lot. Their cars have bad mpg, no real technological revolution (especially in their highest segment: only Maserati is at their level), and maybe their design will start to look a bit dated…

    • Tom says:

      “Their biggest problem is the tech: they don’t have quite a lot. Their cars have bad mpg, no real technological revolution (especially in their highest segment: only Maserati is at their level), and maybe their design will start to look a bit dated…”

      So what do they have left? Nothing for me that could be an argument to buy one!
      You mentioned so many big reasons against it! People want either tech, good mpg, nice design or maybe prestige.

  3. seancorr says:

    The XE after what I’ve read form various reviews is a fine car but I’m not digging its interior design nor is the F30’s interior any better when compared to the W205.

    BMW has said that the LCI has addressed the pre-LCI’s main issue – handling and I think they will just pull through with whatever extras they did with the LCI model but its gonna be a close shave and yes the competitors are closing the gap if not being on par with BMW now.

    The head honchos at Munich better start cracking the whip and make the next generation G20 a car that will be above the rest of the pack again if they want to maintain the crown…that is if the crown is still with them now that there are rival models which are damn fine.

  4. Speedy Gonzales says:

    How can you say the Mercedes C class is a great car ? It’s true it looks great but it has one of the highest return rate for one year old cars. People just don’t like the ride,handling and interior.

  5. jason bourne says:

    This is what BMW gets for resting on its laurels.

  6. DSC OFF says:

    Jaguar is definitely stepping up their game but the Jag website makes it appear that there will be no manual transmission available. That would make my decision easy. How do design a small sports sedan, try to compete with BMW and then NOT offer a manual?

  7. Mike Vella says:

    This is how I look at it – Lucky drivers!
    Having all these great cars to choose from is pretty sweet.
    Also slightly off topic – the current 3/4 series is awesome.
    I have a loaner right now – 2011 335 – while my X3 is getting serviced. I know there are a lot of people look fondly back at the E90 (and of course the E46) and all that, but.. the current 3/4 kills. It’s great. The ride and the handling is stellar and more nimble than the previous. The interior is super sorted (and has frigging cup holders) and clean. And i-drive rules.
    YES, I get it about the steering. But honestly, my wife’s 2008 GTI we used to have felt best overall in that regard. IMO.

  8. joseph_rma says:

    I’m not in mood to write novels :) but, yes, Jaguar is rising very well under its new owners. Jag has some real competitive premium sporty products, and obviously their target when developing the new XE was 3 series. They are also using more German approach with design of their new models which resemble each other

  9. RealityCheck says:

    “All three of those brands were considered jokes in the 3 Series dominated segment”

    Said the obviously bias reviewer who’s clearly a “Bimmer” (never heard that before, maybe he means beamer?) fanboy. Don’t think any of those brands have been considered “jokes”. Even the worst performing cars made by each are still streets ahead of most brands.

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