The Chinese market seems to love the prospect of extra legroom.
Just take a look at the extended wheelbase cars that market has over there. Just about every luxury brand out there has a longer version of their sedans, and it's not just exclusive to the flagship models either. They even have stretched versions of smaller cars.
Case in point, the recently revealed long-wheelbase 3 Series. The all-new model is not a small car by any means, but as the Chinese market demands it, here it is. With that, the car gains 41 mm between the wheels, and even comes with a wider wheel track to keep things balanced. The result is an extra 10 mm in length at 4,720 mm. Interestingly, it's now nearly the same size as a late 80's/early 90's 5 Series, which measures in at 4,720 mm. Aside from its length, another visual difference between standard and extended 3 Series models are the longer rear doors. The rest of the design is largely carried over.
Inside, the dash, front door panels, instrument cluster, and iDrive system are the same as the standard-length variants. BMW did say that the front seats have been redesigned specifically for the Chinese market to offer even more comfort. Aside from more legroom at the back, the back rests and cushions of the rear seats have also been tweaked for this specific model. They even added pillow cushions on the rear headrests, much like the comfort seats in the much larger 7 Series. To give the impression of even more space, the stretched 3 Series gets a panoramic glass roof, which is yet another exclusive feature in this model which even the European-spec models don't get.
BMW is even bringing back a classic 325i badge in China. It's not the 2.5-liter, naturally aspirated straight-sixes of the past. Instead, it's a 2.0-liter turbo, much like most of the 3 Series range. The company has yet to reveal power output just yet, but we reckon it will be in between the 320i and 330i. In the case of the long-wheelbase version, it will likely be badged as 325Li.
So if you'd like a 5 Series but find the new one just a little too big, the 325Li should fit the bill. You'll have to move to China to get your hands on one though.