2019 Chevrolet Impala vs. 2019 BMW 3 Series Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Impala and the 3 Series Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in the IIHS moderate overlap frontal impact, side impact, rear impact, roof-crush crash tests, an “Acceptable” rating in the newer small overlap frontal crash test, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Impala its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2015, a rating granted to only 159 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 3 Series Sedan has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Impala 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 3 Series Sedan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the 3 Series Sedan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 9 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Impala’s warranty.

Reliability

The Impala has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 11th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 8th.

Engine

The Impala’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 50 more horsepower (305 vs. 255) than the 330i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Impala uses regular unleaded gasoline. The 3 Series Sedan requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Impala has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the 3 Series Sedan (18.5 vs. 15.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Impala has larger standard tires than the 3 Series Sedan (235/50R18 vs. 225/45R18). The Impala’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 3 Series Sedan (245/45R19 vs. 225/35R20).

Suspension and Handling

The Impala’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

Chassis

The Impala 4 cyl. uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Impala has 1.2 inches more front headroom, 3.8 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, 4.6 inches more rear legroom and 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the 3 Series Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The Impala has a much larger trunk than the 3 Series Sedan (18.8 vs. 17 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The Impala offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® chose the Chevrolet Impala as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Chevrolet Impala outsold the BMW 3 Series by 27% during 2018.

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

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