How do you choose the best feature of a world-renowned sedan that exceeds its class? A car that defines the gold standard for compact executive sedans is a worldwide bestseller.
It’s hard because BMWThe new 3 Series has it all; great exterior design, a comfortable, modern interior, a superb engine range, promises a great driving experience and brilliant sedan performance.
Well, one of the things we really like about BMW’s new 2023 car is that it’s packed with really cool tech. BMW’s engineers and technicians strive to ensure that the latest technology is always on board the flagship model, and the 2023 version is no exception.
In our opinion, it is this onboard technology that gets the gold star. There’s so much of it that we’ve had to narrow down some of the best bits.
New Mixed Cockpit Display System
BMW has given the interior engineering of the 2023 model a super cool makeover. They refer to the changes as “numerous innovative technologies that allow driver and vehicle to comfortably communicate with each other.”
When you first get into the car, the new curved digital display immediately catches your eye. It’s huge! There is more glass for you than there was before. A new 14.9-inch screen sits next to the digital instrument panel that winds its way along half of the dash. The curved design allowed it to wrap around the driver like a surround-sound cinema screen, but on a much smaller scale.
The sleek, frameless touchscreen computer screen gives the illusion of being behind one continuous screen and dominates the interior space. BMW first introduced this type of infotainment system in the iX SUV and it is packed with BMW’s iDrive 8 software. They’ve also improved the system’s Voice Response software so you can say more commands to it without moving a finger, but Gensture Control is still available.
The only slightly negative about it is the way the new screen is mounted on the dash. The thin bracket mounts look like a DIY’er has been in the car and hastily screwed the hi-tech glassware onto the dash. A more recessed configuration would be more aesthetically pleasing.
The nice thing about the curved screen’s size is that you can display multiple apps on it. So you can pull out BMW’s cloud-based navigation system to check your location, monitor the car’s performance in a separate view, and watch your favorite YouTube video at the same time; if you want it.
The new system uses 5G connectivity, so connecting your phone and surfing the web is a breeze. BMW says you can connect up to ten devices to it. We’re not sure why you’d need so many, but it should handle the kid’s phones, iPads, and Xboxes with ease.
You can forget the keychain
Another very useful feature that BMW has introduced with iDrive 8 is the digital key. It allows you to use your smartphone as a car key. Okay, we know Tesla has been doing this for ages, but it would only be a matter of time before the German automakers caught up.
Digital Key allows you to unlock your 3 Series by placing your phone close to the driver’s door. So with your smartphone in your pocket, and without even the words ‘open Sesame‘, the car doors will magically unlock as you approach him. A comfort light then comes on and welcomes you inside. After getting into the car, all you need to do is press the start button to start it. So you can leave the key ring at home if you wish.
If you are the trusting type, you can authorize five other people with this capability. That means they can use their cell phone to take a ride in your BMW, or just play with the central locking. This is all done via the ‘My BMW’ appwhich has the power to unlock, lock and start the car.
Some very helpful assistants
New cars are all about automation and we love new technology. The 3 Series has a number of digital add-ons that we think are also worth mentioning. Things that just make life easier. The first is ‘Personal Digital Assistant’. This has a software option called ‘My Habits’ that can remember your driving settings and replay them at your command.
So an example could be that you address the car with this (via speech recognition); “Hey BMW, activate Sport settings”. If you have activated the ‘My Habits’ function, the car automatically switches to Sport mode.
The other useful feature is the reversing assistant. This technology can remember and store steering movements. It can record the last 50 meters traveled and keep the information in the car’s memory bank.
So if you’re parked in a really narrow spot, and you think you could scrape the car if you try to move it, you can push a button and the car will take over. It navigates itself outwards, using the same movements as before. BMW says it can be used in “challenging situations such as narrow roads, dead ends or tight parking spaces”.
The new 2023 BMW 3 Series is very likely to be another huge success for the German car company, and the reason is simple; with such great tech on board – what’s not to like?
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