2019 BMW 3 Series vs 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI

2019 BMW 3 Series
2019 BMW 3 Series
$40,250MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI
2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI
$27,595MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2019 BMW 3 Series
$40,250MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI
$27,595MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2019 BMW 3 Series is 8.2 out of 10, while the 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI scores 8.2 out of 10. Both cars offer excellent performance, technology, and safety features. However, if you seek a more luxurious and spacious interior with advanced technology, the BMW 3 Series is the better choice. For those who prioritize practicality, versatility, and engaging driving dynamics, the Volkswagen Golf GTI is the way to go.

Overview

MSRP

$40,250

MSRP

$27,595

Average price

$24,505

Average price

$23,430

Listings

249

Listings

152
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

8.2 out of 10

Expert reviews

8.2 out of 10
Pros
  • Fun to drive
  • Great handling
  • Excellent value for money
Cons
  • Cramped back seat
  • Stereo is lacking

2019 BMW 3 Series Reviews Summary

Since 1975, the BMW 3 Series has defined what a small, sporty sedan should be. In its seventh generation, the 3 is very much in the zone it created. It’s trim and athletic, handsome yet stoic, and above all, unashamed to raise its premium name on a pedestal. Unfortunately for BMW, lots of other car companies have copied its sport sedan recipe—sometimes for the better, and often for less money. But for 2019, BMW ups its software game like none other. And it helps that the new car surrounding that software is still pretty good.

2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Reviews Summary

Small, fun cars hold a special place in my heart. I’ve always been a fan of little yet mighty automobiles, and not just because they put performance within easier financial reach. You simply cannot help but smile when you drive one, and smiling is good for you. So, think of the 2019 Volkswagen GTI as a contributor to a healthier lifestyle, because you’ll be smiling plenty from behind its steering wheel.
Popular Features & Specs

Engine

2.0L 255 hp I4

Engine

2.0L 228 hp I4

Drive Train

RWD

Drive Train

FWD

Seating Capacity

5

Seating Capacity

5

Horsepower

255 hp @ 5000 rpm

Horsepower

228 hp @ 4700 rpm

MPG City

26

MPG City

25

MPG Highway

36

MPG Highway

31
2019 BMW 3 Series
2019 BMW 3 Series
$40,250MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI
2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI
$27,595MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2019 BMW 3 Series
$40,250MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI
$27,595MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2019 BMW 3 Series is 8.2 out of 10, while the 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI scores 8.2 out of 10. Both cars offer excellent performance, technology, and safety features. However, if you seek a more luxurious and spacious interior with advanced technology, the BMW 3 Series is the better choice. For those who prioritize practicality, versatility, and engaging driving dynamics, the Volkswagen Golf GTI is the way to go.

Overview
MSRP
$40,250
$27,595
Average price
$24,505
$23,430
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
5.0
4.6
Expert reviews

8.2 out of 10

Read full review

8.2 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Fun to drive
  • Great handling
  • Excellent value for money
Cons
  • Cramped back seat
  • Stereo is lacking
Summary
Since 1975, the BMW 3 Series has defined what a small, sporty sedan should be. In its seventh generation, the 3 is very much in the zone it created. It’s trim and athletic, handsome yet stoic, and above all, unashamed to raise its premium name on a pedestal. Unfortunately for BMW, lots of other car companies have copied its sport sedan recipe—sometimes for the better, and often for less money. But for 2019, BMW ups its software game like none other. And it helps that the new car surrounding that software is still pretty good.
Small, fun cars hold a special place in my heart. I’ve always been a fan of little yet mighty automobiles, and not just because they put performance within easier financial reach. You simply cannot help but smile when you drive one, and smiling is good for you. So, think of the 2019 Volkswagen GTI as a contributor to a healthier lifestyle, because you’ll be smiling plenty from behind its steering wheel.
Video
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
2.0L 255 hp I4
2.0L 228 hp I4
Drive Train
RWD
FWD
Seating Capacity
5
5
Horsepower
255 hp @ 5000 rpm
228 hp @ 4700 rpm
MPG City
26
25
MPG Highway
36
31
Look and feel
2019 BMW 3 Series
8/10
2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI
10/10
The 2019 BMW 3 Series showcased BMW's evolutionary design philosophy, maintaining a familiar aesthetic without radical changes. It was a compact car, slightly longer and wider than its predecessor, with a low hood, short overhangs, and a ground-hugging stance. The front retained the recognizable BMW kidney grilles and LED running lamps, while the rear featured simplified LED lights. Inside, the 3 Series kept its driver-focused layout with a digital instrument panel and an optional wireless charging pad. However, some interior materials felt coarse compared to previous models. In contrast, the 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI had a stealthy, understated look, appealing to those who preferred not to draw attention. Despite its innocuous appearance, it featured a honeycomb grille, red accents, and twin exhaust outlets. The GTI was available in several trims, including the limited-production Rabbit Edition, which added gloss black exterior elements and unique colors. Inside, the GTI's straightforward dashboard design and quality materials were complemented by the whimsical Clark Plaid cloth upholstery in the S and Rabbit Edition trims.
Performance
2019 BMW 3 Series
9/10
2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI
8/10
The 2019 BMW 3 Series, particularly the 330i xDrive, was powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine, delivering 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. This engine was praised for its smoothness and torque, although it had more turbo lag at low speeds. The M340i variant offered a twin-turbo 6-cylinder engine with 382 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The 330i featured an 8-speed automatic transmission with perfect shifts and intuitive programming. The M Sport package added a lower and firmer suspension, variable-ratio steering, and a widened body kit, enhancing its handling. Fuel economy for the 330i xDrive was rated at 25 mpg city, 34 highway, and 28 combined. The 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI, on the other hand, featured a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The GTI's VAQ limited-slip differential maximized traction and reduced understeer. The GTI's handling was impressive, with quick acceleration and a pleasant engine soundtrack. The ride was stiff due to the sport suspension, but an adaptive damping suspension was available. The GTI's progressive steering was responsive, and the brakes, borrowed from the Golf R, were highly effective. Fuel economy for the Rabbit Edition was rated at 27 mpg combined, with an observed 25.1 mpg.
Form and function
2019 BMW 3 Series
9/10
2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI
8/10
The 2019 BMW 3 Series offered a spacious backseat with good legroom and a 17-cubic-foot trunk. Visibility was excellent, and the seats were firm yet supportive. The infotainment system was intuitive, with a touchscreen that supported various gestures. The climate controls were easy to use, and USB-C ports were available. The 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI provided a practical interior with height-adjustable front seats and ample storage. The backseat was comfortable, though legroom was tight. The trunk offered 22.8 cubic feet of cargo space, which could be expanded to 52.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. The GTI's interior was well-designed, with clear gauges and sensibly arranged controls.
Technology
2019 BMW 3 Series
10/10
2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI
6/10
The 2019 BMW 3 Series featured an advanced iDrive system with customizable main menu tiles, over-the-air updates, and a digital key option. Gesture control and a personal assistant were also available, though they were not always reliable. The Driving Assistance Professional Package offered semi-autonomous driving features, and the BMW Connected App allowed for remote start. The 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI's infotainment system included a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth and smartphone integration. The SE trim offered an upgraded system with an 8-inch display, HD Radio, and a Fender premium sound system. The GTI Autobahn trim included a navigation system and a semi-autonomous parking assistant.
Safety
2019 BMW 3 Series
9/10
2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI
9/10
The 2019 BMW 3 Series earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS, with top marks in all crash tests and high ratings for its optional laser headlights and standard forward emergency braking. Optional safety features included blind-spot monitoring, 360-degree cameras, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist. The 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI offered forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring as standard on the Rabbit Edition. The GTI Autobahn trim included adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, and lane-keeping assist. The GTI received a 5-star rating from the NHTSA and high marks from the IIHS, though it had an Acceptable rating for front passenger protection in the small overlap frontal impact test.
CarGurus logo

By: CarGurus + AI

At CarGurus, our team of experienced automotive writers remain at the heart of our content operation, conducting hands-on car tests and writing insightful guides that are backed by years of industry experience. To complement this, we are harnessing AI to make our content offering more diverse and more helpful to shoppers than ever. To achieve this, our AI systems are based exclusively on CarGurus content, ratings and data, so that what we produce is both unique to CarGurus, and uniquely helpful to car shoppers.