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.
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.
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.