3-Series Size Increase

Okay, we’re exaggerating, but the 2012 BMW 328i (top) is considerably bigger than the 1984 3-Series sedan (bottom). See the chart below.

Michelle Obama was worried about how big our kids are getting, but have your heard one word out of our one-time First Lady’s mouth regarding the size of our sports sedans? At least children can be forced to exercise, but a car—how do you slim down a car?

What am I talking about? I am talking about how big our cars are getting. Every new generation of a given vehicle brings with it a subtle stretch of the wheelbase and a little extra width. Believe it or not, today’s Honda Fit is substantially larger than an early-’90s Honda Civic.

Nowhere is this creeping automotive waistline more evident than on the BMW 3-Series. Sedan versions of BMW’s beloved compact were redesigned for 2012 and, following the pattern, have grown again. Now note: I am not saying these cars are any less fun to drive. I’m just saying that your garage didn’t shrink; your car grew.

Check out what I mean below. It’s especially worth noting that the current 3-Series is actually larger than the 1984 5-Series. How much longer can Mrs. Obama ignore this?

3-Series Size Increase

3-Series Growth Chart, 3-Series Size Increase

Honda Civic Growth Curve: 1986 Versus 2016