The 7th generation of the BMW 3 series has been unveiled in the European market and is up for sale already, with its Indian launch looming in the background. However, the underlying question is who will the 2019 BMW 3 series directly compete against? It’s their German sibling, Audi, with the A4. In India, Audi A4 has still not been given a complete makeover as such. But the changes on the A4 have been significant over the years. It is when BMW’s 3 series launches in India, Audi will most probably reel in customers with huge discounts until their new generation of A4 makes a dash in the Indian markets. So, based on this assumption we will be comparing the European version of the 2019 BMW 320d with the current generation of A4 2.0 TDI to find out whether it is still worth investing in a slightly dated luxury sedan.
The new 2019 BMW 320d is 17mm shorter in length (4,709mm) as compared to the Audi A4 TDI, it is 15mm narrower in width (1827) than the A4, and is 8mm taller in height (1435) than the A4. Well, the wheelbase (2851) is fairly longer than the A4 by 31mm.
So to sum it up, the 3 series is shorter, narrower, taller, and has a longer wheelbase which means that it will be much more convenient to move around the city in a 3 series if we only consider the on-paper dimension figures.
Under the hood
The new 2019 BMW 320d now gets a TwinPower Turbo 4 cylinder diesel engine, which packs 188bhp and 400Nm of torque similar to the Audi A4 2.0 TDI diesel engine. The 2019 BMW 320d accelerates from standstill to 100kmph in 6.8 seconds, four tenths faster than the Audi A4, which does it in 7.2 seconds. Well, the real difference that separates the BMW 3 series from the A4 is that the BMW is an RWD whereas the Audi is an FWD. From an enthusiast’s point of view, the 3 series’ RWD does make it a better choice for an enthusiast, who will most likely be driving the car rather than being driven around. However, the A4 doesn’t hold back on the performance front with a decent amount of fun to drive quotient attached to it.
The Audi has always been known for its elegant interiors and the tech offered with it. On the A4 it does offer features like the MMI navigation with Audi’s virtual cockpit feature offered in the Technology variant. A 3 zone climate control system, wireless charging option. Well, these are just about the major highlights of the A4’s technology relevant features. As compared to the 2019 BMW 3 series, there are a lot of improvements on the technology front with BMW’s iDrive user interface. You can operate the digital MMI by saying the activation word and the rest will be taken care of. Apart from the satellite navigation map and the all-digital instrument cluster, it has one more smart feature. The Reversing Parking assistant is what makes the 3 series feature a segment above its rivals. With this feature, you can reverse out of a tricky spot. It works by remembering your steering inputs and memorizing it and automatically manoeuvring the car with the accelerator and brake pedals in your control. This is easy to use when you have to reverse out of a complicated static spot without scraping off the paint on your BMW.
When the 2019 BMW 3 series is finally launched in India, it would be interesting to see what features are retained and how much will it be priced as compared to its German counterparts, Audi and Mercedes. At the moment, the 2018 BMW 320d is priced at ₹45.70 lakh (ex-showroom). BMW will most likely introduce two variants, the 330i and the 320d variants for India. And the Audi A4 TDI is priced at ₹46.96 lakh (ex-showroom). Stay tuned to thewheelz for a comprehensive review of the A4 TDI.