The G20 BMW 3 Series is surprisingly larger than many older BMWs

3 Series, News | October 6th, 2018 by 39
2019 BMW 3 Series exterior interior 7 830x553

It’s been about two years since I tragically sold my E36 3 Series. Yet, I still remember how small, nimble and tight it felt on the road. Like a leather-lined go-kart. It was a wonderful feeling. In this current market, though, my BMW 3 Series would be considered a subcompact at this point, competing with the Volkswagen Up! and Ford Fiesta. That’s because modern cars have become positively enormous and the new BMW 3 Series is bigger than a surprising amount of older BMWs.

One of the main aspects of the new G20 3 Series that BMW stressed from the beginning was its size and weight. It’s longer, wider and ever-so-slightly taller than the car it replaces but it’s also a bit lighter. However, it’s not just larger than older 3 Series’. It’s larger than a lot of older BMWs.

For instance, the new 3 Series, a model that was always relatively small, is now larger than the E53 BMW X5. More specifically, it’s longer than than the E53 X5. So this new 3er is longer than what was once considered a large SUV. That’s crazy.

bmw e53 x5 d 750x625

It’s also wider than an E39 BMW 5 Series. Sure, the E39 is a tough longer but the G20 is actually wider, allowing for more lateral passenger space.

Speaking of interior space, headroom is typically something that luxury cars brag about. Luxury cars like the 7 Series are constantly boasting large interior space figures. Guess which car has more headroom than the E32 7 Series? That’s right, the G20 3 Series.

BMW E32 7 Series Romania 20 830x553

Basically, what we’re saying is that the new 3er is big as hell for a 3 Series. But it’s not just the 3er, as every other car in the segment is huge now. I test drove a B9-generation Audi A4, the current-gen, and it was significantly longer and wider than a friend’s B7-gen A4, which is just over ten years old. So it’s not just the G20 but it’s still wild to see just how much longer, wider and taller it is than past generations of BMWs that were always typically longer than the 3 Series.

[Source: Car Throttle]

39 responses to “The G20 BMW 3 Series is surprisingly larger than many older BMWs”

  1. disqus_N2EdJql2v3 says:

    Isn’t the current Civic larger than the 1st Accord? Sedan has more doors.

  2. jason bourne says:

    Why should anyone be surprised? The 3-Series has been gaining size like your typical middle-aged man in his 40’s.

  3. Johan Mo says:

    So while parking spots get smaller and smaller (at least here in Europe) the cars get bigger and bigger :(

  4. Giom says:

    I think the media has a little to do with this. It always annoys me when they rate a ‘smaller’ segment car, like the 1 series, or even the 3 in the past, and comments on how cramped they are in the back.

    It was stupid, because you’re reviewing a smaller car, tell the viewer, if he wants more rear leg room, get a 5. So, now the competitors started boasting about best leg room in segment… So the cars end up growing in size because apparently, ppl don’t want to upgrade to a higher level car, they want a bigger small car.

    And there you go, cars grow in size.

    • Chuck Fickens says:

      It’s an endless dimensions war. Merc will make the next C bigger than the G20 and then Audi will make the next A4 bigger than that, until before long we’ll have an E65 sized 3 and the 7 will be as big as your house!

    • disqus_N2EdJql2v3 says:

      Also, uprising increases revenues, bigger vehicle = bigger costs. Just something as basic & obvious as tires.

  5. Thaal Rasha says:

    did the roads get any wider ? (i mean a lot of european B road are already tight)

  6. Jeremy Trentham says:

    I’m sure others may have pointed this out but you comment on the G20 being larger than an E32, but that’s a picture of an E23 7 series under that remark…..

  7. Fergus Brown says:

    You do realise the new 3 series is shorter than the f30?

  8. Taylor Hinds says:

    My 228 has the same dimensions as an E46 sedan. Cars are just getting bigger all around.

  9. emulajavi says:

    The car might be bigger but the interior space is for sure smaller.

  10. disqus_N2EdJql2v3 says:

    Post-’70’s gas crisis, Detroit downsized & went fwd., even their full-size sedans. In response the market moved to pick-ups, minivans & SUVs, which were mostly still large rwd. Plus the aging demographic went from pony cars to crossovers, they want space, elevated ride height, visibility, versatility. BMW were among the 1st to respond with tall wagon X models & are returning to smaller vehicles with fwd. UKL. But people still living in the 20th century are resistant to change, autonomous BEV iNext will probably kill them.

  11. V 12 says:

    So what ? Everyone just complains “cars are getting bigger” without stating reason why this is bad ? Bigger means safer, more space for everyone. how often do you take your family to test the handling limits of the new 3 series and complain that the car 20 years ago felt differently because it was 8.53545cm shorter?
    If you don’t like it there are plenty of choices. Cars are getting bigger, but cars have 1500000 new classes since 20 years ago. You had 3, 5 and 7 series now you have 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. Choose one and stop complaining. If you dont want to buy the old one and keep the money for maintenance. Simple.

    • expat says:

      Cars are getting bigger, but roads and parking spaces are not….that´s the point!

      • disqus_N2EdJql2v3 says:

        Not to worry. Soon our cars will be driving us. Different meaning to “Ultimate Driving Machine”.

      • V 12 says:

        Parking spaces are the same… Did you measure them from 20 years ago ? The solution is simple, learn to park and stop complaining. I have no problem parking 5 meter mercedes anywhere.

  12. Arunabh says:

    I think it has attained a perfect size now and it should not grow any further in upcoming generations. Till last gen it felt a touch smaller than the competition. However, BMW 3 series always had the best seat in the business in that segment.

    • Arunabh says:

      *back seat.

    • hans wee says:

      I have a b9 a4 right now which is still about a half inch longer than the g20. Had an F30 before. For the driver it doesnt matter, but friends have commented that the back seat is roomier in the audi (and i’d imagine the g20 since its also bigger). Its a sedan, Its supposed to be comfortable, I’d rather it not grow much more, but it lost weight and is more comfortable for 4 , i’m pretty ok with it as well

      • disqus_N2EdJql2v3 says:

        Since Audi are the fwd. brand they should have a space advantage, even though they keep moving mechanicals around in pursuit of rwd. performance.

    • expat says:

      You missed the point. R3, as far as the size goes, was previously fine. If someone needed a bigger car, he had an option to go for R5. Doesn´t it makes sense?

  13. Wook says:

    People are generally getting fatter, also new can’t just be better engineered, it has to be BIGGER FASTER with More CUP HOLDERS and custom DOUGHNUT HOLDERS…… SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY

    • Chuck Fickens says:

      I remember I was in the US around 2000 and read a car magazine, and the E39 was seriously marked down for it’s too few/too flimsy cupholders. I honestly thought they were joking, but no, I came to realise just how deadly serious they are about that shit! Before long, the market will be demanding holders for family chicken buckets!!

  14. phinn says:

    It’s really terrible the direction BMW has gone. The 3 series is now just a massive, heavy, automatic only sedan. It should be capped at 180″. It’s nothing more than a rebadged 5 series now.

    That’s why my new car is a Mk7 GTI Manual. Love it.

  15. BMW JEDI says:

    Unfortunately, all aotomakes have followed this trend – Which is why (for example) the only BMW era MINI I would ever have is the R53 (Gen I Coooper S) – EVerything new is longer, wider, taller…. I do not like anything about it!

  16. BMW JEDI says:

    I am frequently reminded fo this when, for example, I see an older 7 series (E38) in a parking lot, besides newer ‘compact’ and ‘mid-size’ cars, and think, “wow, I remember that 740i being so much bigger when they were new!” – now they are dwarfed! and the E38 was a large luxurious car in its day!

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