BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30

The material will not be so much a test as a comparison of the previous generation BMW 3 Series F30 with the new G20 model. But, unfortunately, a direct comparison could not be made, since we had a BMW 320d G20 in the sports package and almost the maximum configuration. I’ll tell you right away about the sports suspension, which was on the test “three-ruble note”, I honestly would not take it, it is very tough for daily trips and after a couple of days it already starts to tire, so the usual version will be more comfortable and enjoyable from management no less.

BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30

In terms of exterior design, the moment is controversial, the new “three-ruble note” was licked, so the front was not so aggressive, although still pretty, but personally I still like the F30 in front more than the G20. But on the other hand, the smoother body lines allowed the designers to draw out the trunk, which in the previous version was somehow unsightly and there was some disharmony between the front and rear of the car. The new G20 looks holistic and pleasing to the eye, so maybe it’s even better that the designers have added smoothness to the body lines, sacrificing some aggression in appearance. The headlights in the G20 base are all LED, optionally available are swivel LED headlights, as well as LED headlights with laser phosphor high beam, the latter were installed in the test car. The drawing of daytime running lights in the new third series was changed, for my taste, in the last generation it was prettier.

BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30

The interior of the new BMW 3 Series does not look completely new, but rather refreshed. The Bavarians, apparently, value their customers very much and do not seek to make drastic changes so as not to frighten off the fans of the brand, but make small neat innovations. So, changing from F30 to G20, you will feel almost at home: everything is clear, everything is in its place, just a little fresher and more interesting. So, the display of the media system retained its shape, but now it does not stick out in the center of the torpedo, but went down a little and, as it were, flows from the visor of the dashboard. The climate control unit has risen a little higher, but has changed a lot, small keys have replaced the comfortable knobs, and the elongated monochrome display has become more compact and now has a rectangular shape. But already in the base there is a three-zone climate control with a separate control unit for the rear passengers, while the F30 had a two-zone one. The media system unit with the volume control knob went down, which turned out to be convenient.

BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30

F30 interior

BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30

The central tunnel has not changed much, but now it has become more holistic, with the usual joystick of the automatic selector, which only changed its shape, having received a rounded upper part, so that you can put your hand on it while driving. The washer of the iDrive controller is in place, which allows you to comfortably use the media system without resorting to the touchscreen, it is now also available in the G20. The only unusual change is the engine start button, which has moved from under the steering wheel to the central tunnel, at first you forget and try to find it in the old place.

BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30

The virtual dashboard BMW Live Cockpit with the so-called “boomerangs” is the most radical change in the cabin of the new G20. Many BMW fans scolded the manufacturer for such a realization of devices, but, in my opinion, the Bavarians did everything in their own style. Yes, at first glance, the dashboard is unusual, but then you realize that it fully corresponds to the spirit of the brand, minimalistic with well-readable speedometer and tachometer data. In the right “boomerang” you can display additional information, for example, from a music player, and even with a cover. There is emptiness in the center of the panel, but there you can display a schematic map of the navigation system, which allows you to navigate the route without problems, but at the same time does not annoy the eyes with its variegation. But it is worth noting that the BMW Live Cockpit is an option for a three-ruble note, in the database you will get a more familiar, half-digital panel, so if a completely virtual panel is still perceived as foreign to you, you can always choose a more familiar option.

BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30

The steering wheel in the new G20 is quite normal, with slightly modified control keys, now they do not protrude so much, but at the same time they are still comfortable to use. The place of the rocker keys was taken by corrugated scroll rollers, which are not inferior to the previous controls in terms of convenience. As before, the basic, sports and M-steering wheel are available, in my opinion, the sports one is the most optimal option. Of the advantages, I note the steering wheel heating button, which has moved from the steering column to the steering wheel itself, so that it has become much more convenient to use this option.

BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30

Sitting behind the wheel of the new BMW of the third series, you feel familiar, the landing is low, the booty is on the pavement, there are enough adjustments for people of any height and build. With my height of 187 cm, I calmly sit down in the chair, there is enough longitudinal adjustment of the seat with a large margin, there is also enough steering column adjustments in two planes in abundance. Of course, the sports seats in the test car are chic, with a lot of automatic adjustments, an adjustable thigh cushion – a bit of a thing, but from the experience of the F30 I can say that the basic seats of the “three-ruble” are quite good.

BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30

There seemed to be more space behind the papers, but I still sit right next to myself, and the child turned out to be even cramped, I had to move forward a little, although in the F30 he sits freely, and I do not prejudice myself in comfort. Perhaps the point is in the front sports seats in the test car, apparently, they are larger than the base ones and eat up useful space. But the volume of the luggage compartment in the new product has neither increased nor decreased and is the same 480 liters with the ability to increase the useful volume by folding the separate backs of the rear sofa directly from the trunk. The spare wheel is still missing, it is to some extent replaced by the standard run flat tires. An electric boot lid is available as an option for the G20.

BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30

The test car was equipped with the BMW Live Cockpit Professional multimedia package with 10.25 “touchscreen, 12.5” virtual instrument cluster and BMW 7.0 operating system. In the base, the central display will be smaller, 8.8 ”, the dashboard is combined, and the operating system of the previous generation is version 6.0. The new complex with BMW 7.0 OS, of course, is a complete delight, many specialized journalists even say that it is the best on the market, although, in my opinion, MBUX from Mercedes-Benz is still more interesting. Since the iDrive controller washer was left here, the owners of the same F30 will instantly get used to the new version of the OS. This is the plus of BMW, they made the best control system from an external controller, modified it and at the same time, apparently for new users, added touch control from the screen as an alternative. Among the innovations of the system, I would like to note updates by air (Remote Software Upgrade), due to which not only the head unit is updated, but also other electronic components of the car. There is good navigation with traffic jams, and, bypassing traffic jams, regular navigation is no worse than Yandex.Maps. And of course, quite standard options in BMW are implemented at a good level, this is the division of the display for several applications, and additional services, the same weather. There is support for Apple CarPlay, and in a wireless version, but Android Auto support was not delivered. As such an entertaining element for the first time, it is worth noting gesture control, for example, by twisting your fingers in front of the screen, you can increase or decrease the volume of the sound, and by waving you can answer a call or reject it.

BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30

Our car had a rear view camera with a good picture, markings and hints on the nearest obstacles. As an option, you can order a head-up display, and it is worth the money spent on it, since, in addition to the speedometer and route tips, it displays detailed information even on music (player or radio), as well as the call list.

BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30

What BMW did not manage to cope with in the new G20 was the rain sensor, it still behaves inadequately in light rain, forcing the driver to independently adjust the operation of the brushes. But, unlike the F30, the sensor can be turned on on an ongoing basis, and there is no need to constantly poke the power button with each new trip. Yes, in the new “three-ruble note” the windshield washers have moved to the frame of the brushes, which is more convenient than the classic washers in the previous model.

BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30

The range of engines in the new BMW 3 Series has expanded in comparison with its predecessor, the most popular, as in the last generation, will be 320i and 320d. But I would like to note that a 318d with a 150-horsepower diesel engine was brought to Russia, which will be interesting for the initial versions of the “three-ruble note”. At the same time, only the initial 30i version was available for the F318, in the new generation it was also preserved, already with a different engine, but also supplemented with a diesel version. Diesels from BMW, in my opinion, are interesting, they provide a pickup from the very bottom and are quite economical, and the initial version for the city will be enough for many with interest.

I did not notice any special differences between the G20 and the F30 in handling in the city. Yes, of course, with the sports package, the control is sharper, less roll, better stability, but now you can’t drive around Moscow too much. And I was not lucky with the weather, I took a test car at a time when the weather was changing every hour: it was snow, then the sun, then it was freezing rain. The only thing I can say for sure is that the new generation has improved the work of electronic assistants. On the icy road, the car showed itself perfectly, the electronics worked clearly, holding the car and preventing skidding, allowing you to feel confident behind the wheel. Moreover, I note that the car was rear-wheel drive and with Velcro from Nokian, and on a similar car of the previous generation with the same rubber in difficult conditions, I had to concentrate a little more.

BMW 320d test. How much better is the G20 than the F30

The new BMW 3 Series G20 turned out to be more interesting than the F30 in some respects, but it’s a pity that, despite the numbers on paper, there was no more space in the cabin. Since I have a family, I think that I will not switch from the F30 to the G20, but I will look towards the BMW 5-series or something else. But those who are completely satisfied with the dimensions of the previous version, of course, should take a closer look at the new generation. The only moment that can stop from switching to a new 3-series is the price, which has increased due to the course. So, the F30 could be purchased in a good configuration up to 2 million rubles, while the G20 just starts from the mark of 2 rubles, and the price of a test car is almost 530 rubles.

We are grateful to the administration of the English Quarter in Anosino for assistance in filming.

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