The Bavarians have built themselves a reputation for being one of the world’s most prolific executive automakers that puts special emphasis on performance. It took them decades to get where they are now, and you can bet they won’t allow themselves to drift from the limelight. BMW marketed 2,088,283 vehicles worldwide during 2017, 305,685 of which were sold in the U.S. While they recorded an increase in sales of 4.2 percent compared to 2016 globally, their U.S. sales actually dropped by 2.4 percent for the same period. Since they’re heading into MY 2019, which will be heavily overhaul-oriented, it’s expected they’ll record a better result this time. This is also a great time to conduct an in-depth analysis of the 2019 BMW lineup. With all the redesigned and all-new models coming for MY 2019, we’re here to provide recommendations on what to buy and what to skip if you’re in the market for a new BMW in 2019.
Related reads: 2019 Audi and 2019 Mercedes-Benz lineups.
What’s Hot In The 2019 New BMW Lineup
08. 2019 2 Series Gran Coupe
As the BMW 3 Series and 4 Series grew, the Bavarians were left without a true executive compact in their lineup. This opened the door for a smaller unit, so BMW created two: the 1 Series and 2 Series. Of course, the former of the two still hasn’t made it to U.S. shores, and the latter only comes in 3-door coupe and convertible forms, while the 5-door Active Tourer mini MPV version of the car is also unavailable here. Although the Active Tourer remains a stranger to the U.S. market, MY 2019 brings another, more American-suited model to the lineup – the 4-door version of the 2 Series, called the Gran Coupe.
The 2019 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe has most recently been caught testing in the idyllic wintry setup of Northern Sweden. It’ll be almost as long as its MPV sibling, albeit with driving dynamics resembling that of its more compact coupe cousins. The powertrain lineup should be carried over from the coupe versions as well, meaning the 2 Series Gran Coupe will likely be powered by either a 248-horsepower 2.0L twin-turbo 4-cylinder or a 335-horsepower 3.0L twin-turbo inline-six. The latter of the two is particularly impressive and stands out as a true “driver’s choice,” although the four-banger shouldn’t be underestimated by any means. When it finally arrives, expect the 2 Series Gran Coupe to be a straightforward Bimmer devoid of any controversy.
07. 2019 Z4
It’s no secret that BMW and Toyota are working together in sports car development, the result of which will be the new BMW Z4 and revived iconic Toyota Supra. The new BMW Z4, which is the first Z4 roadster since 2016, was the first one to show its face. First announced at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in a concept form and then dropping its facade at the 2018 Monterey Car Week, the roadster differs both from the Supra and its direct predecessor, despite their shared platform. While the expectations are high for both cars, the Bimmer should definitely have smaller shoes to fill than its Supra counterpart. Judging by the looks of it, that shouldn’t be a problem for the new drop-top from Bavaria.
Both these icons will be powered by the German engine duo we’ve already mentioned when talking about the 2 Series Gran Coupe above. The inline-four will be good enough for 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of twist, while the inline-six makes 382 ponies and 369 lb-ft of torque which is enough to propel it to 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.4 seconds. Moreover, the BMW will feature both the manual and automatic transmission whereas the Supra, sadly, comes without the stick. It’s still unclear whether both will be available across the entire engine range. The final product will be phased in steadily. The Germans will start with the “First Edition” models that sport a larger engine and M Sport suspension, brakes, and differential, while the entry-level models can be expected during the first or second quarter of 2019.
06. 2019 X4
Some would say that the compact coupe crossover is just another niche vehicle in the long list of all-new BMW models, but it’s a worthy addition to the BMW lineup. The 2019 BMW X4, code-named G02, will be an all-new model. The redesigned X4 is clearly inspired by the new X3 that was introduced just a year before. Despite drawing inspiration from the X3 cues, the X4 sports completely different driving dynamics. It has a much lower center of gravity and rides more like a car than an SUV. Moreover, new models have managed to shed up to 110 pounds compared to the outgoing model, despite growing in size (2.1-inch in the wheelbase and 3.2 inches overall).
The new BMW X4 also sports the X3’s duo of engines…at least, in the U.S. The xDrive30i gets the same 2.0L twin-turbo 4-cylinder that also motivates the former two choices on this list. The top spot is reserved for the M40i models which develop 355 horsepower thanks to a 3.0L twin-turbo inline-six mill. Although the top dog carries over its predecessor’s engine, it still manages to shed a couple tenths of a second off its 0 to 60 time. It’s now able to accelerate to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, while the corresponding X3 M40i does it in 4.4 seconds. Both X4 models go on sale in July with a base price of around $51,000 for the xDrive30i, whereas you’ll need at least $10,000 more for the M40i.
05. 2019 3 Series
The iconic 3 Series is one of the main reasons the BMW is where it is today. The sixth-generation (code-named F) has come to its end after being in production since 2011. Sales figures have strongly been suggesting an update lately, as they fell from north of 140,000 units to below 100,000 in the U.S. between 2014 and 2017. The fully-redesigned 3 Series probably won’t be able to make up all the lost sales overnight but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. The seventh-gen G20 BMW 3 Series, which was recently unveiled has helped the compact executive sedan shed 33 pounds despite growing 3.3 inches in length. Although minimal, the changes are more than welcome. Of all the new tech goodies, BMW’s position-sensitive passive dampers are probably the most worthy of mention. They’ll be standard across the board (except in higher echelon models which get adaptive units) and help the new Beemer maintain control in even the harshest of conditions.
Since MY 2019 will be the first for the new BMW 3 Series, we shouldn’t expect models with advanced powertrains such as hybrids initially. The iconic M3 will also arrive at least a year later. What the BMW will offer from the get-go, are the updated conventional 2.0L twin-turbo 4-cylinder and 3.0L twin-turbo straight-six. The former now makes 255 ponies whereas the latter generates 382 horsepower, just like in the new Z4. A 6-speed manual has been phased out from the U.S. market which leaves the 8-speed ZF auto as a sole choice on this side of the Atlantic. Being a next-gen model, the new 3 Series should incorporate some of its larger cousins’ advanced technology. While the 5 Series gets a lot of them as standard, the 3 Series will likely keep them in the options sheet.
04. 2019 X5
The mid-size luxury SUV is yet another fully redesigned 2019 BMW model that rides on the new CLAR platform. Short for Cluster Architecture, the platform utilizes lightweight materials such as magnesium and aluminum in order to shed some weight. It also uses conventional high-grade steel in order to increase rigidity and strength. With all of the above in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the new BMW X5 will become lighter and more agile in the process. That’s exactly what’s transpired, although changes are far from being radical. The next-gen X5 also sports a new suspension shared with its larger siblings, and a number of new tech features including a dual 12.3-inch screens and optional Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround sound system. Another welcome addition is the optional off-road package with adaptive suspension and a rear-locking differential.
One of the X5’s most criticized feats will continue to be offered. Let’s just hope that BMW will find a way to make the mid-size crossover’s third row more comfy than as was the case before. The powertrain lineup remains mostly unchanged, although some of the currently available engines will skip on the initial model year. For starters, potential buyers will have to be content with the xDrive40i and xDrive50i models which sport a 335-horsepower 3.0L straight-six and a 456-horsepower 4.4L V8 engine respectively.With the X5 currently sporting everything between 4 and 8 cylinders, prospective buyers will definitely have a lot to choose from even if one or two of them take a leave of absence. Potential hybrid models will arrive after a year or two.
03. 2019 8 Series
The 8 Series is hardly an all-new nameplate within the BMW portfolio, but it’s an all-new model nevertheless since the last (and only) 8 Series went off the assembly lines way back in 1999. The Germans have already teased us by revealing the concept car at the Concorso d’Eleganza in Italy back in 2017. Although the production model is set to differ in almost every way conceivable, we can probably still imagine the final product. It’ll most likely resemble its 6 and 7 Series siblings, but some sharp cues from the concept car might just make it into production.
Although the 8 Series is set to take that flagship spot alongside the 7 Series, the full-size coupe simply won’t be as spacious as its sedan cousin. The thing is, it might be all the more luxurious for it. Unlike the first generation 8 Series from the nineties, which packed a whopping twelve cylinders, the 2019 BMW 8 Series will be limited to six and eight-cylinder engines. Prices will start from somewhere below the $100,000 mark for the base models, but V8-powered units won’t be as “cheap”. What’s more, BMW is also planning on introducing the M8 later on, but that version probably won’t be available for less than $150,000.
02. 2019 X3 M
Although the X3 is one of the precious few 2019 BMW models that doesn’t sport an all-new design since it was already revised a year before, MY 2019 still has a thing or two in store for the compact SUV. Most notably, it’s when the performance-oriented X3 M is set to make its debut. The X3 lineup already boasts a sporty M40i model that makes as much as 355 horsepower, but a proper M version of the crossover should take that to an entirely new level. How does 450 horsepower in a compact luxury crossover sound?
That’s exactly what the upcoming BMW X3 M might offer thanks to a tuned version of the 3.0L inline-six engine found in the aforementioned X3 M40i. Larger additional turbos, a special exhaust system, a remapped ECU, and there you have it – a CUV that handles like a sports car. Of course, the X3 M will also offer a number of other upgrades as well. Upgrades such as larger disks, special suspension, and even different visuals to distinguish it from the crowd. With the number of performance upgrades at its disposal, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if the new BMW X3 M manages to hit 60 mph from a standstill in less than 4 seconds.
01. 2019 7 Series
BMW’s flagship lineup of cars made its debut during MY 2016, which means it’s ripe for a makeover in 2019. Being one of their most prolific models, the 7 Series has always served as the German automaker’s trendsetter. With that in mind, it comes as no surprise they simply can’t allow it to age more than 3 years before giving it at least a mild facelift. Especially considering the 7 Series’ current design language hasn’t been met with too much enthusiasm.
Needless to say, the Bavarians will do their utmost to address this issue while trying to bring the 7 Series up to standards its main competitor, the Mercedes-Benz S Class, has so effortlessly set. Not only will they address the 7 Series’ bleak front fascia and uninspired interior, but they’ll likely add a number of tech upgrades as well. Most notably, the new self-driving systems that should be on-par with the Audi A8’s Level 3 autonomy systems. The facelifted BMW 7 Series is set to enter production midway through MY 2019, so there’s still plenty of time for additional upgrades.
What’s Not In the New 2019 Lineup
03. 2019 5 Series
The latest seventh generation of the iconic 5 Series debuted in early 2017. This makes it unsuitable for a makeover since it’s still rather fresh, yet old enough for us not to recommend buying one in MY 2019. Especially in the wake of the all-new 2019 BMW models which, as you can see from the above-stated, are more than numerous. Instead, it’s probably better to wait for the mid-cycle refresh which should come as soon as the German automaker straightens out their currently ongoing projects. Mind you, that might happen as soon as MY 2020, but will likely be later still.
The BMW 5 Series lineup is already complete. The M5 is there, and so is the Alpina. With this dynamic performance duo sorted out, the Germans can now move on to consolidate the hybrid electric BMW 5 Series range. If you can call one model a range, that is. Knowing the BMW, they’ll likely leave things as they are for the moment. It’s not that the 5 Series is bad. On the contrary, its as good as it ever was. There are a number of different models to choose from, but there’s also very little room for improvements, and improvements are what drives any given model forward.
02. 2019 X1
The subcompact X1 is one of the latest additions to the BMW’s crossover/SUV lineup. The second generation X1 has been running virtually unchanged since MY 2016, and it’s slowly but steadily beginning to show age. With their priorities set on larger crossovers, BMW will let the X1 continue unchanged for at least another year. The mid-cycle facelift will likely occur in 2020 hence it’s probably better to skip MY 2019 if you’re in the market for the new X1.
Even when the much-needed changes do come, the X1 will remain more or less the same car it currently is. Driving dynamics and powertrains will remain intact, but there’ll still be reason enough to buy a new model. Apart from the obvious modernized exterior and interior designs, all future X1s should also offer more advanced tech than what current models do. Whether that’s enough to justify a year-long wait is up to you to decide.
01. 2019 X6
Despite the fact the second generation BMW X6 debuted back in 2015, MY 2019 won’t bring any substantial changes to the luxury coupe crossover. This will force the 2019 BMW X6 to rely on a 5-year old design by then, and the Germans are going even further. The following year probably won’t bring any substantial changes either, as the next-gen model is planned for 2021. Not that the X6 isn’t a beautiful car, but some revisions would still be appreciated.
The next substantial update to the X6 is still years away, hence we won’t dabble in speculation. One thing is for certain: the X6 definitely won’t be one of the freshest BMW models in 2019, but that doesn’t necessarily make it outdated. The competition in the mid-size luxury coupe crossover niche allows such a lax approach and the Germans are simply exploiting the situation. The future might force them to reconsider this strategy, but the future – as we’ve seen – is still too far away.