Photo Comparison: F30 BMW 3 Series vs. E90 3 Series

3-Series, Featured Posts | October 14th, 2011 by 49
F30 vs e90 3 series comparison 5 750x500

A trend started by BMWBLOG years ago continues today with a new episode. With the launch of a new BMW, we take the time to …

A trend started by BMWBLOG years ago continues today with a new episode. With the launch of a new BMW, we take the time to compare it against the outgoing model.

Today, we are giving you a photo comparison between the all-new F30 BMW 3 Series and the E90 3 Series Sedan.

The sixth generation of the 3 Series has grown moderately in size compared to its predecessor, with its wide track (front + 37 mm/1.46 in., rear + 47 mm/1.85 in.) particularly prominent, and the car’s length (+ 93 mm/3.66 in.) and wheelbase (+ 50 mm/1.96 in.) also accentuates its sporting allure.

F30 vs e90 3 series comparison 655x268
F30 vs e90 3 series comparison 1 655x271

Design wise, the styling of the F30 3 Series is an evolution of the outgoing model. The lines follow the design language seen in the new 5 Series, with concave and convex shapes providing a sporty stance and image. The flanks of the car are shaped by an eye-catching double character line running alongside each other.

At the front, the headlights have been completely redesigned. For the first time, the lights end directly in the kidney grille, providing a 3D look. The kidney grille also inherits the 3D aspect as seen on the new 6 Series.

The rear lights continue the BMW L-shaped design positioned at the outer edges of the rear – accentuate the broad face of the wheels and wide track of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan.

Inside, the level of luxury of the new 3 Series moves up a notch. A BMW core value, the driver-focused cockpit, is even more emphasized in the F30 3 Series. The cockpit is angled towards the driver by seven degrees. The materials used inside the car resemble the ones found in the 5 Series Sedan, with small changes for each one of the lines: Sport, Modern and Luxury.

The cockpit’s four circular dials (fuel gauge, speedometer, tachometer and oil temperature gauge) come with a black panel display.

The car’s larger dimensions ensure rear passengers are welcomed by 0.71 in. /18 mm of extra legroom inside the doors as they climb aboard. Behind the fully contoured front seats, 0.6 in / 15 mm of additional knee room and 0.31in. / 8 mm of extra headroom further enhance the passengers’ comfort on the road.

A more details design analysis will be up shortly on BMWBLOG, but in the mean time, please tell us which design do you prefer most.

[poll id=”81″]

49 responses to “Photo Comparison: F30 BMW 3 Series vs. E90 3 Series”

  1. Joe_black_1977 says:

    beautiful, but it’s just a restyling, not a new model!

    • Mateo says:

      not true, is’t brand new model, new engines, gearbox, platform, technologies – it’s new car, golf 5 and golf 6 are restyling

      • Jeremy Clarkson says:

        your example is incorrect, there were new engines for golf 6, new gearbox, new technologies (Dynamic Chassis Control exp) , the cockpit is redesigned.. yes the platform is the same but that does not mean that golf 6 is not a new car, if what you say is true than golf 5 seat leon audi a4 golf 6 skoda octavia are all the exact same car.. why then do they all drive and feel different?

  2. a r says:

    back to dash towards driver, huge plus; sport line definitely takes it out of bangle’s ideas, again huge plus.
    engines are for sure fine, curious if the handling and overall driving feel will be a bigger leap.

    but glad to see that we’re back on the right mix of elements that make it so good :)

  3. Audayh says:

    More Elegant and more stylish on all angles IMO. The interior is beyond improvement, it brings back the slop of the E46 versus the vertical all of the E90. Seeing the whole car  in person will give a much better idea.

    Curious to see how the coupe will look like.

    • scooternva says:

      Haven’t you heard? There won’t be a 2-door couple in the 3-series anymore… the 2-door will be a 4-series so that BMW can justify charging a premium price. Bleh.

  4. Me says:

    Interior is much better but again, a safe conservative move on the exterior.   Like F10, I worry that this car may bore me

  5. DM says:

    somewhat conservative….. not different enough in terms of styling from the outgoing model… obviously an overall better looking car… but I also fear it might bore me quickly… I was expecting (hoping) for more radial styling…. I know it’s a new model…. but it looks like a face lift only…. 

    • Alex says:

      Radical designs tend to be well received and flashy at first, but they fade into obscurity very fast. BMW is known for their timeless designs that are not well received at first, but htey age extremely well, and even 10 year-old cars look modern. Trust me, like with every other model, this design language will be copied and copied, until everyone realizes that the original was a gem.

  6. Malosmani92 says:

    i dont like the tachometer’s :S

  7. Pon says:

    E46 still rocks!

    • Alex says:

      That is very true. But that doesn’t mean that F30 doesn’t. Its a very solid car and it can only get better. Sadly E46 is not getting any better (I own E43 M3 Coupe).

  8. Guest says:

    What’s with the new headlights design? Elongated toward the kidney grill and somewhat confusing….

  9. r56 says:

    i think the hood of the f30 is to long

  10. teo greece says:

    my 320i E46 m-sport 6 cylinder much better…

    • Iemand12 says:

      I think they went more conservative because of the criticism the e90 got when it was launched, i also think the bonnet is a bit too long, but i think it was quite difficult do give this car a pushing nose, whilst having to meet the EU pedestrian safety regulation, but seriously, everytime you look at it, it just looks better than before, it might even be the return of the e46

  11. Pacha says:

    If I had the money to move from my e90 335xi, I would only do it to the new e30 m3. So, I will wait for a couple of year more ;)

  12. Guest says:

    *sigh* why do they have to make it bigger….  In a few years the 7 is as long as a lorry!

  13. vag says:

    I think the bump on the bonnet of the new F30 is very ugly looking. Surely there must have been better designs to conform with latest pedestrian regs.

  14. Mohammed Ali says:

    Big bmw fan here but not a fan of the styling. I hope the coupe looks better. Si far best interior on 3 seriese is E36 IMO and E46 takes exterior.
    The new car is a bit lighter and the interior is not bad so not all is bad.

  15. Hi
    everybody, I think the design of new F30 is a bit disappointing in terms of expectation…
    The auto market is reshaping and getting into new era and this design is saying
    more about past but not about future!)

  16. Viper says:

    lookslike a better facelift.

  17. Youssef_hourani says:

    mmm whts meaning the that the new  7, 5,3, series r same back why ??/ i dont like adrian vnhdk desine  bangel is the masterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  18. Efoza says:

    no wonder BMW is losing sales to Audi and Benz. This is such a boring looking new 3 series. Come on BMW you can do a lot better. I am great fan of BMWs but have recently been disappointed with how boring they all are looking.

  19. ed says:

    I like the most of the updates and retained that BMW masculine fierced looking headlights although it’s subdued. I like it except the hump on the hood. Regardlless of the changes, F30 is going to be the nest platform for the future BMW design.  A work of art and so many choices to contend with, awesome cars!!!

  20. Dave - Canada says:

    The F30 will raise the bar with the standard screen, iDrive, Bluetooth
    and Smartphone integration.  Calendars, phone
    lists, images and music (along with navigation and internet access – lower
    cost options due to the screen being standard) are standard on every
    F30 built.

    The fact that the screen folds into the dash makes for a distraction
    free cockpit.  Radio and A/C controls stay on the dash.

    Standard turbo.  Excellent.  Worth the wait.

    • Bsksarawak says:

      i own a e90 M Sport ’98, and i must say this new F30 is totally diffrent in term of the look, the hood is a bit longer and the bck is much longer as well..and its good for people whos tall like me. the interior of course the best 3 series ever had..so i really think BMW has done a good job for the latest 3 series. cant wait to trade in my M Sport for the new 320 Turbo F30. JOB WELL DONE.  

  21. Bean says:

    With my budget i’ll be happy to buy an E90 because to the untrained eye NOBODY would know the difference. love the inside of the F30 though

  22. Ggg says:

    driver oriented interior and much better overall styling. compared between the two i say f30 takes the cake. a man can now drive it with pure confidence. time will tell if its as good as the e30 or 2002, for this era*

  23. Henry says:

    The f30 is a great car. Technologys advanced to much they really need to just start makeing more classic rear wheel drive no technology crap.And bmws done that.The classic way is the best lasting and you never get outdated.rwd IS THE BOSS.

  24. Kam_cing says:

    All best cars are in one BMW 3 series…look forward to see a smaller engine yet powerful like merc does..

  25. R4tlgfrl says:

    I prefer E90 LCI.

  26. KDS says:

    Overall, a HUGE improvement over the the E90, but I still think that the E46 is the best of the three. The nose of the F30 looks like it was grafted on from another car; it just doesn’t fit. The headlights and grille sit too low relative to the other elements on the car. 
    I was hoping for a smaller, sportier version of the F10 5 Series. Now THAT’S a perfectly proportioned car. 

  27. Brandic2020 says:

    Wait until the chinks in China try to copy this. How much more inferior can they get? The U.S. should pay its debts to China in counterfeit copies of the Yuan.

  28. Lohkitming says:

    Tested f30 328i just now… Spectacular even fully occupied by 5adults..great car in this class

  29. Joss says:

    I wont talk about style (everyone has their own opinion on that).
    I’ve driven an E90 for several months, until I got the new F30 a few weeks ago.
    The plus of F30: increased seat comfort, better adjustable suspensions, beaks a bit more precise, handling easier (lighter), cockpit simpler to read with separated displays, electronic gear stick is more pleasant than the mecanical one of the E90
    The minus of F30: it’s both larger & longer, so it becomes quite tricky in European public (underground) parkings, the GPS navigation display has no cover so when sun shines on it you don’t see as well as on E90 and its orientation is also not adjustable
    Bottom line: overall I’d say the new F30 is a bit more fun and easier to drive; I just wish the external dimensions hadn’t increased (if I wanted a larger car I would go for a 5 or 7 series, I want my 3 series to remain reasonably sized)

  30. Wally Walnuts says:

    It would help if you stated which pictures corresonds to which model.

  31. Jimmy says:

    E90 LCI much better than F30.

  32. aditya prihandy says:

    f30’s cockpit has the same design with E46

  33. Nuno says:

    E90 – much more “agressive” front look
    F30 – more luxury look

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