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What’s Hot and What’s Not in the 2020 BMW Lineup

What To Buy And What To Stay Away From When It Comes To BMW In 2020

Updated November 12, 2018

Like any serious car manufacturer, BMW can’t afford to stop innovating its lineup. The upcoming batch of 2020 BMW models will be more colorful than usual being bolstered by a number of performance and all-electric vehicles, among others. Considering the German automaker’s lineup is vast and versatile, there’ll be something for everyone. Despite the ever-growing portfolio, the Munich-based carmaker hasn’t achieved its projected successes in the U.S. during the past few years.

Although their global sales amounted to 2,088,283 units in 2017, which is a 4.2 percent increase over 2016, their U.S. sales actually fell from 313,174 to 305,685 units during the same period. Moreover, the Bavarians are not even close to their record year of 2015 when they marketed 346,023 vehicles here.

Looking closer to the present day, BMW’s U.S. sales for the first three quarters of 2018 amounts to 225,065 vehicles which is only slightly better than their result from the same period in 2017 when they marketed 220,175 units. In order to catch up with the undisputed leader in luxury car sales, Mercedes-Benz, the Bavarians will have to make a considerable leap in 2019 or 2020.

As mentioned above, the BMW lineup for MY 2020 will be bolstered by a number of new additions like the iX3 electric crossover, 2 Series Gran Coupe, or full-size X7 SUV. At the same time, the Germans will debut an even greater number of fully or partially redesigned current models like the 3 Series, X6, or 5 Series. In fact, MY 2019 and MY 2020 are probably some of BMW’s most important years in decades, all things considered. If the brand is to take that necessary leap, this will work out for them better. Otherwise, they’re in for at least a few more years of biting the Merc’s dust and potentially risking the second spot with Audi hot on their trail.

What’s Hot in the New 2020 BMW Lineup

09. 2020 8 Series Convertible

After bringing back the 8 series coupe after no less than 20 years, the Germans are switching their attention to the convertible version of the future flagship BMW range. Much like the 2-door coupe, the convertible will share the same design and architecture based on the modular CLAR platform. Scheduled to make a debut at the upcoming LA auto show and arrive at dealerships during mid-2019 as a 2020-year model, the 8 Series drop-top shouldn’t spring any surprises. Apart from the obvious and a few extra pounds in weight, the cabriolet will also warrant a slightly higher price tag. The weight increase should be minimal, though,  considering how convertibles sport a soft-top roof. As for the price – while the coupe starts from just under $112,000, the convertible will likely do so from the region between $115,000 and $120,000 before options.

The 2020 8 Series convertible will also share the M850i xDrive coupe’s powertrain. At least initially, before additional options arrive. Their sole option is a 4.4L twin-turbo V8 mill capable of cranking up as much as 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of rotational force. An 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive will be mandatory across the range. The newest flagship convertible of the BMW range also benefits from a multilink rear suspension, adaptive dampers, and last but not least, an electronically adjustable limited-slip rear differential. This promises for a serious grip and performance – as if the coupe’s 0 to 60 time of only 3.6 seconds wasn’t enough of a telltale sign. The soft-top will likely be one-tenth of a second slower, but we won’t hold that against it. As for the rest, let’s bide our time and wait. Official details aren’t that far away.

2020 BMW 8 Series Convertible front 3/4 view

08. 2020 3 Series

The seventh-generation 3 Series was unveiled at the 2018 Paris auto show and will go on sale come springtime 2019. It’s fair to say that the previous generation had failed to meet the ever-high expectations, but that’s about to change. The new 3 Series code-named G20 will once again focus on drivers instead of comfort. The 3 Series will remain comfy and plushy, but more fun to drive at the same time thanks to renewed driving mechanics. It’s got overhauled steering, stiffer suspension and new passive dampers to thank for that. Furthermore, the new models are around 120 pounds lighter than the outgoing units despite growing in size slightly. Hopefully, this will be enough to completely overhaul the 3 Series’ dumbed down driving experience. Initially, the Germans will only offer a sedan, but a wagon should be available as well by the time 2020 comes knocking. As for the coveted M3 – we’ll have to remain patient for a while more.

The inaugural BMW 3 Series range will consist of 330i and M340i models. At least on this side of the Atlantic. The overseas markets will benefit from the entry-level 320i petrol and three additional diesel variations. The BMW 330i is powered by a 255-horsepower 2.0L turbocharged inline-four engine and comes in both front and all-wheel-drive configurations. The stronger M340i models, on the other hand,  are motivated by the 382-horsepower 3.0L turbocharged straight-sixes. Regardless of the chosen powertrain, you’re stuck with a ZF 8-speed auto since manual transmission is reserved for the aforementioned entry-level overseas models. Prices should remain in a similar region as before which means the 3 Series sedans will start from somewhere north of $35,000 and work their way from there. As always, the Germans will find a way to squeeze as much green from you as they possibly can if you’re not careful.

Seventh-generation BMW 3 Series front 3/4 view

07. 2020 iX3

The BMW brass knows how important the EV market will be in the near future. They also know how important it’ll be to keep prices down in order to snag the largest share of the market as possible. Of course, no BMW model comes cheap but not all of them have to be out of most people’s price range. The compact iX3 EV should fit that description although its actual price tag is anyone’s guess at this point. The small zero-emissions vehicle will – as its name suggests – basically represent an electric take on the X3 and become one of a dozen new electric BMW models to come out by 2025. Production will take place in China and it’s scheduled to commence within one year’s time. The iX3 will likely arrive sometime during 2020 – maybe even as a 2021-year model. As it’s often the case within the segment, pre-orders have already started in a number of overseas markets like Norway where the EV’s are going through a renaissance of sorts in spite of the country’s rich oil deposits.

The concept iX3 which debuted at the 2018 Beijing show sports a 70 kWh lithium-ion battery pack which allows for 249 miles of range according to the new European WLTP cycle. The overall range will surely shrink by a slight margin when the EPA gets ahold of the crossover. Power comes from a 270-horsepower electric motor which should be more than sufficient for a vehicle of the X3’s caliber. Using a fast 150-kW charger, the iX3 will be able to regenerate more than 190 miles within 30 minutes. The 2020 BMW iX3 obviously can’t compare with the Tesla Model X in that regard but it’ll be much more affordable than one. The iX3’s competition will consist of the smaller Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-Pace, and Mercedes-Benz EQ C, among others. We’ll have to wait and see how it compares to them.

2020 BMW iX3 test mule

06. 2020 X7

The largest of the BMW SUVs is finally upon us. The Bavarians certainly took their sweet time introducing it while their compatriots run rampant with the Q7 and GLS for years now. The BMW X7 longer, wider, and taller than its X5 counterpart, and able to fit up to seven passengers. It’s also got either 48.6 cubic feet of trunk space with rear seats up or a hefty 90.4 cubes with the last two rows folded. The interior draws inspiration from the 7 Series, however, as most of the sedan’s bits have been implemented in the large SUV, including a large 12.3-inch touchscreen display. A long list of both convenience and safety gear can push the X7’s prices far from the initial value, but a number of features like parking sensors, lane-keep assist, and blind-spot monitors are all there from the get-go. Speaking of prices, the entry-level X7 xDrive40i units start from under $74,000 whereas the more expensive xDrive50i models cost at least $93,000. Both will be available come springtime 2019.

Apart from a wide price gap between the models, the xDrive40i and xDrive50i offer different engines as well. The former gets a 3.0L turbocharged straight-six mill good enough for 335 ponies and 330 lb-ft of twist, whereas the latter benefits from a more powerful 4.4L twin-turbo V8 that cranks up 456 hp and a stout 479 lb-ft. As the xDrive bit of their names suggests, both units are available exclusively in an all-wheel-drive configuration and are paired with an 8-speed automatic gearbox. The BMW is still quiet on the potential plug-in hybrid variant of their newest flagship SUV, as well as on the performance M version. If the Germans decide to explore these two particular options, they most certainly won’t do so during 2020. More or less everything there is to know about the X7 is already there, but the Germans are still keeping the official dimensions a secret. At the same time, the EPA has yet to take a measure of their fuel efficiency.

BMW X7 front 3/4 view

05. 2020 4 Series

The 4 Series is one of the newer BMW lines being introduced in 2013. The compact 2 and 4-door coupes and a 2-door convertible are now seriously showing their age which has prompted the Germans to start working on the next-gen models. Due to arrive in 2020, the second-generation 4 Series Coupe will share much of its underpinnings with the newly introduced 3 Series. They’ll also share most of their design cues. The convertible, on the other hand, is due to arrive later on – possibly as a 2021-year model even. We do know it’ll ditch the current folding hard-top in favor of a lighter soft-top which should help it shed some weight and become more agile in the process. After all, that’s exactly what the new 3 Series has done. As for the 4-door Gran Coupe, that one definitely won’t arrive in time for MY 2020. Expect the new 4 Series’ prices to remain similar to those of the current models, although the Germans will find a way to slightly raise them over the $45,000 mark for the coupe and $53,000 for the drop-top.

The powertrain lineup is expected to remain tied to the 3 Series as well, with recent updates to the sedan range incorporated in the coupe and convertible units as well. In other words, expect a 2.0L turbo four and a 3.0L turbocharged straight-six to motivate the compact executive 2-doors. The former will make 255 horsepower, while the latter should be good enough for 382 ponies. Both engines will be mated to a new ZF eight-speed regardless of whether they’re offered in rear or all-wheel drive configurations. The 4-cylinder will certainly be offered in both configs but it remains to be seen whether the six will follow the same practice or the 3 Series’ example and only offer xDrive instead. More info will be available closer to the reveal date which should happen sometime in 2019. At least when the 2-door coupe is concerned.

BMW 4 Series Convertible test mule

04. 2020 Z4

Developed in collaboration with Toyota, the third-generation BMW Z4 was finally revealed during the 2018 Monterey Car Week. Although a number of people are only interested in the new Bimmer for its ties with the revived Toyota Supra, the roadster deserves all attention it’s been getting. While its predecessor strayed away from the intended path by becoming a bloated comfort-oriented 2-door drop-top, the new Z4 gets back to its roots. It’s sportier and more focused on driving dynamics which should provide lots of fun for anyone behind the wheel. Design-wise, the all-new Z4 follows the 8 Series line, only in a more petite form. The First Edition models that will – as their names aptly suggest – roll in first, sport a number of visual enhancements and unique 19-inch wheels. They will also likely cost north of $60,000, while the entry-level models arriving during mid-2019 should be available from $55,000 or thereabouts.

The BMW Z4 will be offered with two different powertrains – both of which will be shared with the aforementioned Mk5 Supra. The First Edition units will be offered exclusively with the stronger of the two. In other words, they’ll be tied to a 3.0L turbocharged straight-six capable of putting up 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a ZF 8-speed automatic, the stronger Z4 can hit 60 mph from a standing start in just 4.4 seconds. Entry-level units, on the other hand, will be available with a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder worthy of 255 ponies and 295 pound-feet of rotational force. Again paired with the automatic, they’ll exhibit a slightly slower acceleration, hitting the 60 mph mark in 5.2 seconds. Although a proper stick shift was expected to be offered with the roadster, it seems a number of enthusiasts will be left disappointed. Maybe it’ll arrive later on, but that probably won’t be until late 2020 at the earliest, if we ever see one.

BMW Z4 front 3/4 view

03. 2020 5 Series

The seventh-generation BMW 5 Series was unveiled in late 2016 and went on sale as a 2017-year model. Although BMW’s perennial sedan isn’t the enthusiast’s car it used to be anymore, it’s still one capable, spacious, and refined vehicle with lots of features to satisfy any type of a buyer. The 2020 BMW 5 Series should undergo a mid-cycle facelift that’s supposed to bring it more in line with recently introduced BMW models like the 3 Series and 8 Series. At least from a design standpoint. Very little is expected to change other than that. Some interior and technology revisions are also possible, but don’t expect a groundbreaking makeover until at least 2023 when the next generation is expected to arrive. Also, don’t expect the overseas estate wagon models to become available stateside. Those looking for a BMW with extra cargo capacity should look at the 3 Series Sports Wagon. However, even the 3 Series station wagon is doubtful for MY 2020 as the entire compact executive lineup went through a complete makeover recently.

If you’re wondering why the comfortable but otherwise uninspiring 5 Series makes the hotter part of our list here, the answer lies under the hood. Especially under the hood of hot M550i models which are bound to get even hotter in 2020 thanks to the new 8 Series. Their 4.4L twin-turbo V8 was initially offered with a more-than-abundant 455 horsepower, but new units will boast 530 ponies instead. That’s slightly less than what the sixth-generation M5 had had at 553 ponies, but the new M550i still beats the old M5 in straight-line performance as it requires only 3.7 seconds in order to hit 60 mph from a standing start as opposed to the M5’s 4.4 seconds. The latest M5 is a different sort of animal, though, as it boasts almost 600 horsepower and accelerates to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds. The entry-level 540i 5 Series sedan uses a 3.0L turbocharged straight-six engine, which is in for a substantial horsepower raise as well. Instead of the 335 horsepower it used to make before, it’ll now boast 382 horses. Much like the new 3 Series or the Z4 roadster, for instance.

BMW 5 Series front 3/4 view

02. 2020 X6

Dubbed the Sports Activity Coupe by the Germans, the BMW X6 hits that sweet spot with an ample amount of ground clearance and a sports car-like design. It does take a penalty in terms of overall practicality, but then again, very few luxury cars are more practical than their non-luxury counterparts to begin with. The 2020 BMW X6 will be completely redesigned considering the second-generation arrived in now-distant late 2014. The next-gen model will be underpinned by the new modular CLAR platform and exhibit a similar overall design as the recently facelifted X4. However, most details will actually be borrowed from the X5 SUV. Apart from being lighter and more sprightly around corners, the new X6 should also grow in size by a slight amount. Expect its prices to remain in the same region as the current model’s with the entry-level models starting from around $65,000.

The new BMW X6’s powertrain lineup will remain mostly intact although performance upgrades that took place recently will give it a new edge. The base xDrive40i units will be offered with a 3.0L turbocharged straight-six mill with 335 horsepower and an 8-speed auto. The higher-grade xDrive50i X6’s will boast 456 ponies – courtesy of their 4.4L twin-turbo V8 units. Finally, the third-generation should also spawn the M version of the coupe-like crossover which will sit at the top of the X6 pantheon. Much like the M5 and upcoming X5 M, the X6 M should be able to provide around 600 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of rotational force thanks to an uptuned version of the 4.4L twin-turbo V8 mill. Expect the most powerful of X6 models to trail the conventional units by a few months and warrant a sticker that’ll easily surpass the $110,000 mark.

2020 BMW X6 test mule

01. 2020 X5 M

The forthcoming X5 M is more proof that the Bavarian automaker isn’t putting their focus on zero-emissions vehicles in front of their commitment to performance. After all, performance is their essence. The new fourth-generation X5 crossover SUV was launched only recently as a 2019-year model and the Germans are already working on providing another perspective for their mid-size luxury goldmine. The 2020 BMW X5 M will be similar to conventional models in many ways. However, a lowered suspension, quad exhaust tips, and unique large wheels will serve as a differentiating factor. The F95-generation X5 M will also be lighter than its predecessor thanks to the modified CLAR architecture. Expect it to cost north of $100,000 considering how the F85-generation models started from $103,000 last time we checked.

Down under, the M version of the SUV will differ even more. Its 4.4L twin-turbo V8 mill will be able to crank up as much as 600 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of twist which will be routed to all four corners via an 8-speed automatic ZF gearbox. The highly advanced rear-biased M xDrive all-wheel-drive system that first arrived with the latest-generation M5 allows a switch to rear-wheel-drive when necessary. Although the Germans haven’t confirmed its use in the forthcoming X5 M, the system will likely be there come MY 2020 time. We’ll know more after one of the auto shows from the second half of 2019 when the performance-oriented SUV is expected to make its debut.

BMW X5 M rendering

2020 BMW X5 M rendering

What’s Not in the New 2020 BMW Lineup

01. 2020 6 Series

With the introduction of the all-new flagship 8 Series, the 6 Series 4-door Gran Coupe and 5-door Gran Turismo fastback have practically become redundant overnight. This is reflected in the fact they’ll actually be discontinued for MY 2020. With the 8 Series currently lacking in 4-door units, the 6 Series models get another year extension before disappearing for good. Even though they’ll be officially gone, the leftover models should remain on sale throughout most of 2020, or until the supplies run down. Considering they first appeared during mid-year 2017, the 6 Series models was also due a makeover they’ll never get, now that the focus has shifted to the replacement series. The Gran Turismo currently costs $70,300, while the Gran Coupe starts from $81,500. Also, the high-performance Alpina B6 coupe costs at least $124,400 but this version was always intended as a low-volume model, hence its numbers won’t be great. Expect the Bavarians to cut their prices by a slight amount in order to clear out the leftover stock in quick fashion.

The BMW 6 Series comes with two different engines and three different tunes thanks to the Alpina-tuned coupe. The Gran Turismo fastback is available exclusively with a 3.0L turbocharged straight-six engine which develops 335 horsepower. Aside from the straight six, the coupes also get a 4.4L twin-turbo V8 capable of producing 445 ponies. Unlike the 5-door which can only be ordered with a mandatory xDrive all-wheel drive, the 4-doors can also be acquired in a rear-wheel drive form. Finally, the mentioned Alpina B6 Gran Coupe manages to squeeze as much as 600 horses out of a 4.4L V8 engine. It’s safe to say the 6 Series has served the BMW well over more than 15 years (not counting the first generation which spanned from the mid-seventies to late-eighties), but it was simply time to take things to a new level. Although larger, more powerful, and more luxurious, the 8 Series will also cost much more than their 6 Series predecessors. Something’s gotta give, it would seem.

BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo front 3/4 view

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Nikola Potrebić
About Nikola Potrebić

Despite driving a piece of junk, Nikola still manages to survive the harrowing experience called "A road trip in a Yugo," day in, day out. On the other hand, precious few things move him as muscle cars do. Especially those from the bygone golden era, which makes him wonder why wasn't he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he's been given the opportunity to enjoy the likes of the Pontiak Aztek, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Fiat Multipla, and other lovely millennials, right? Come to think of it, I'll stick with my Yugo. Thank you very much.

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