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.
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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.
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?
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.