2019 BMW 3 Series Sedan vs. 2019 Volkswagen Arteon

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 3 Series Sedan’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Arteon doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the 3 Series Sedan and the Arteon have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The 3 Series Sedan comes with free roadside assistance for 4 years unlimited miles. BMW will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump-start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Volkswagen doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Arteon.

The 3 Series Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Arteon’s (12 vs. 10 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 3 Series Sedan for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Volkswagen doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Arteon.

Reliability

The battery on the 3 Series Sedan is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 3 Series Sedan’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Arteon’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 24th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 8 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

The 330i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 258) than the Arteon’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 3 Series Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the Arteon:

MPG

3 Series Sedan

RWD

330i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

26 city/36 hwy

AWD

330i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/34 hwy

Arteon

FWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the 3 Series Sedan’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Arteon doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

The 3 Series Sedan’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Arteon doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the 3 Series’ optional brake rotors are larger than those on the Arteon:

3 Series

Arteon

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

12.2 inches

The 3 Series Sedan’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Arteon are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

The 3 Series Sedan’s optional 255/30R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Arteon’s optional 35 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 3 Series Sedan can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Arteon doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The 3 Series Sedan has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the 3 Series Sedan flat and controlled during cornering. The Arteon’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For better maneuverability, the 3 Series Sedan’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Arteon’s (37.4 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

The 3 Series Sedan is 5.7 inches shorter than the Arteon, making the 3 Series Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the 3 Series Sedan uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Arteon doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The 3 Series Sedan has 1 inch more front headroom, .8 inches more front legroom and .6 inches more rear headroom than the Arteon.

Cargo Capacity

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the 3 Series offers cargo security. The Arteon’s hatchback body style and non-lockable folding seat defeat cargo security.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the 3 Series Sedan is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Arteon. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

The 3 Series Sedan offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Arteon doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

Model Availability

The BMW 3 Series comes in sedan, four-door hatchback and station wagon bodystyles; the Volkswagen Arteon isn’t available as a sedan or station wagon.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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