BMW 3 Series
The new BMW 3 Series grows even larger than before and now measures 185.7 inches (4.71 meters) long. Half of the increase is attributable to the wheelbase so that the sedan can now offer more space inside.
Internationally, the updated engine range consists of two gasoline-fueled and two diesel-fueled four-cylinder engines, in addition to a diesel-fueled six-cylinder.
In the months after launch, a gasoline-fueled six-cylinder joins the range, and a plug-in hybrid arrives later, too.
Alfa Romeo Giulia
Launched in 2016, the Alfa Romeo Giulia is still a relatively new player in the premium sedan segment. With powerful engines offering up to 505 horsepower (377 kilowatts) and chic looks, the Italian model is on par with BMW.
The Giulia is a bit shorter at roughly 183 inches (4.64 meters), but that should hardly bother anyone. Like the 3 Series, all-wheel drive is available for buyers in climates where the extra traction is a selling point.
While in the same segment as the 3 Series, the Audi A4 does things differently by being front-wheel drive in its base form, although many buyers opt for the Four Rings' famous Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
Until the RS4 arrives, the S4 sits at the top of the range with a 354-horsepower (264-kilowatt) 3.0-liter turbocharged V6. It has a slight power deficit to the upcoming BMW M340i and M340i xDrive with a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine producing 382 hp (295 kW).
Launched in 2013, the Infiniti Q50 is an aging member of the premium sedan segment, but a refresh for the 2018 model year keeps it competing in the market. The improvements include better visibility LED headlights and an available ProPilot semi-autonomous system.
Like the 3 Series, the standard Q50 is rear-wheel drive, but all-wheel-drive variants are available.
The base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder has 208 horsepower (155 kilowatts). A 3.0-liter V6 is available with 300 hp or 400 hp in the range-topping Red Sport model.
The Jaguar hasn't had a proper competitor against the 3 Series since the much-maligned X-Type. Thankfully, the XE is a much better vehicle than its largely Ford-derived ancestor.
Like the 3 Series, the XE is rear-drive in base form but available with all-wheel drive. The Jaguar is available with a 247-hp (184-kW) or 296-hp (221 kW) 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, a 380-hp (283 kW) supercharged 3.0-liter V6, or a 180-hp (134 kW) 2.0-liter turbodiesel.
The current-generation Lexus IS dates from the 2014 model year. While that doesn't seem like that long ago, in the fast-moving premium sedan segment it might as well be forever. This makes the model seem old-fashioned by current standards by lacking now-commonplace features like a digital instrument cluster or multiple electronic displays on the center stack.
Base models feature a 241-hp (180-kW) 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. There's also a 311-hp (232-kW) 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V6. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is an option on both powerplants.
The refreshed Mercedes-Benz C-Class debuted with more tech in February. It measures 184.6 inches (4.69 meters) long, which is slightly shorter than the BMW. Both models offer standard rear-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive. Buyers can choose between four, six, and eight-cylinder powerplants. The range-topping Mercedes-AMG C63 has 503 hp (375 kW), and there's still a long time until a new M3 competes against it.
The new Volvo S60 will start leaving the brand's new factory in South Carolina in the fourth quarter of 2018, which will put it on the market shortly before the G20 3 Series.
Like the Audi A4, the S60 is front-wheel drive in base form but available with all-wheel drive.
Volvo's well-known 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is the base powerplant with 250-hp (186-kW) on front-drive. There are also versions with 316-hp (235-kW) and a range-topping plug-in hybrid with 400 hp (298 kW) or 415 hp (309 kW) on the Polestar Engineered version.
In the United States, it's hard to consider someone cross-shopping the Volkswagen Passat and BMW 3 Series. However, the European version of the Passat is a completely different vehicle than its American-made counterpart.
In Germany, the Passat is a segment sales leader. It beats the new 3 Series in trunk volume with 20.8 cubic feet (589 liters) for the VW versus 16.95 cubic feet (480 liters for the BMW.
The Passat already offers the plug-in hybrid GTE variant, whereas European buyers need to wait several months to get a 3 Series with a plug.
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