Late last night, Tesla unveiled its latest entry into the segment that’s been dominated by the BMW 3 Series for so long, the Tesla Model 3. The Model 3 is sized, priced and equipped similarly to the BMW 3 Series. But the Model 3 is only the newest competitor to the segment, with many new ones are coming along to take down the 3 Series.
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The BMW 3 is facing an incredible amount of competition these days, more so than ever before. It used to just be the two other big Germans, the Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C Class, that really threatened the 3 Series but now the list is quite long. The most popular of 3 Series competitors these days is the Cadillac ATS, which is probably the closest car to a 3 Series that isn’t the Bavarian stalwart. But Jaguar just released its new XE, that is seriously good, and Alfa Romeo is working on its Giulia sedan, which could touch on that emotional factor that the 3 Series always did. Now the Tesla Model 3.
So which of these new cars is the 3 Series toughest competitor?
When the Cadillac ATS first jumped on the scene, it took the world by surprise, as no one had thought it would be able to genuinely take the BMW 3 Series head on. But the ATS is a great car to drive, with sharp dynamics and great performance. It lacks a bit in terms of interior quality and luxury, but it’s still an excellent choice for anyone who wants a sport sedan with sharp handling at an affordable price.
More recently, the Jaguar XE came out and did exactly what everyone had expected it to do, provide a sexier alternative to the 3 Series. While the XE isn’t as refined, as well thought-out or as well made, it looks incredible and has driving dynamics that could be at the top of its class. The XE is probably the best athlete in the segment and has a dynamite supercharged V6 engine, but it lacks a bit of the refinement that the 3 Series has and isn’t as good of an all-rounder. If all you care about is looks and driving dynamics, the Jaguar XE is really hard to pass up.
Alfa Romeo recently showed us what its new Giulia sedan will be like and it looks incredibly promising. With class-leading power, incredible technology, such as a carbon fiber driveshaft, and stunning looks, the Giulia could steal away many of the enthusiast buyers in the segment. The Giulia seems to be the car that BMW likely feared that it would be, a car that will play on the emotions of its buyers. While Alfa has never been one to boast quality or innovation, it is a brand that enthusiasts desire because of the intangibles that the brand brings with its cars. It’s a quality that BMW has also been famous for, simply feeling better than the other cars in the segment for reasons that are hard to explain.
But Tesla is the newest and most different member to this highly-contested segment. With its new Model 3, it’s the only brand with a full BEV in the segment. The Model 3 will have by far the lowest range in the class, as the others are gasoline-powered cars, but it makes up for that by using now fuel, having fantastic technology and being incredibly inexpensive. With a price of $35,000, the Model 3 is the cheapest car in its class with its specification levels and can even come down to around $25,000, depending on government incentives. So the Model 3 offers a fresh new approach to a segment of the automotive world that’s changing so quickly. The Model 3 seems like it could be the future of the segment, while the others are still stuck in the past.
So which of these cars will be the toughest competitor to the BMW 3 Series. The new Audi A4 is great, too, but it’s always been around, as has the Mercedes-Benz C Class. But the other cars are all new to the segment and offer a perspective we haven’t yet seen until their arrival. So which of these should the BMW 3 Series be most afraid of?