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Will That Long Wheelbase G28 BMW 3 Series Come To Malaysia?


Will That Long Wheelbase G28 BMW 3 Series Come To Malaysia?

They're not commonly seen outside of China, but long-wheelbase models may be the next big thing in ASEAN.

Launched in Thailand just last week was the BMW G28 3 Series - also known as a long-wheelbase (LWB) version of the G20 3 Series that we're all familiar with. Now, this may be a strange concept - most people only know BMW to make long-wheelbase variants of the 7 Series with their Li models, but not for their more compact sedans. That being said, it's a pretty common thing in China to stretch models for better interior space and legroom.

G28 3 Series Exterior

Part of it is that cars are still pretty expensive propositions even for the extremely developed Chinese market. Therefore even mid-range luxury models get the treatment, and for a long time, it was pretty isolated to just the Chinese market. Things like stretched Volkswagen Tiguans, BMW 5 Series, Audi A6s, and Mercedes-Benz E-Classes were forbidden fruit. Now it seems that the concept is making in-roads in other markets.

G28 3 Series Carbon Black

India has also taken up the stretched BMW 3 Series, and that's unsurprising considering something like a Toyota Corolla is regarded as the car for CEOs, while luxury vehicles are limited to only the ultra-rich. The G28 3 Series LWB sits at 120 mm longer than a regular G20, with about 110 mm of that being in wheelbase increase. Legroom increases by 43 mm, while the rear door apertures are 110 mm longer.

G28 3 Series Interior

While this is a significant increase over the standard G20, it does seem to slot firmly between the dimensions of the 3 Series and 5 Series of this generation. It would be an interesting choice for prospective owners of 5 Series to look at the 3 Series instead, but generally speaking, the demographics and overlap aren't quite as straightforward as one would expect. 

G28 330 Li M Sport

The 5 Series buyer isn't looking to buy a top-spec or large-format 3 Series, because the 5 Series name in itself brings prestige. From a pricing standpoint, in Thailand, the sole 330Li M Sport goes for 2.899 million baht, or RM 391,535. That's roughly RM 50,000 more than a regular G20 320d or RM 10,000 more than the range-topping 330e M Sport PHEV. 

G28 330 Li M Sport Carbon Black

In contrast, a 330i M Sport - the range-topper here, goes for RM 280,680 - while an entry-level 520i Luxury goes for RM 311,980. That difference in price means that the 330Li M Sport would be placed well into 5 Series pricing, and that just doesn't make sense for a buyer to take up in our market with our particular conditions. Funnily enough, however, the 330 Li M Sport is made in Malaysia.

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