Munich - The BMW 3 Series has been given its obligatory midlife refresh and it’s a little more than just a nip and tuck thanks to a redesigned front end and brand new widescreen cabin featuring the company’s latest tech.
The facelifted BMW 3 Series now has a smoother face that’s more akin to the 5 Series, thanks to slimmer LED headlights and a redesigned grille, while the larger lower air intake adds a purposeful presence.
Changes to the back end are far subtler but the apron area has been given some attention. Customers can also opt for a new M Sport package, which includes a honeycomb pattern for the front grille, newly designed front and rear aprons and fresh 18-inch alloy wheels.
But it’s the cabin that gets the most radical overhaul, with BMW having installed its widescreen Curved Display, in which a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and 14.9-inch central infotainment touchscreen merge to form a single unit. This new layout has also led to a significant reduction in the number of traditional buttons and switches on the dashboard, something that not everyone is going to appreciate.
The new set-up houses the latest-generation BMW iDrive that’s powered by BMW’s Operating System 8, which can receive software updates over time. What’s more, the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant has gained some new skills and certain functions such as adjusting the climate control or opening a window can now be executed via voice command.
You’ll find more standard kit in the facelifted BMW 3 Series too, with features like Live Cockpit Plus with cloud-based navigation, Park Distance Control and three-zone climate control now part of the deal.
There aren’t any significant powertrain changes to speak of, with BMW offering a selection of four-cylinder and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines on international markets, with 48V mild hybrid technology. As before, the range-topping M340i xDrive offers 285kW and 500Nm.
BMW hasn’t confirmed the South African model range as yet, but it’s likely to mirror the current line-up, which includes 318i, 320i, 320d, 330i and M340i derivatives.
As before the BMW 3 Series is available with a wide range of driver assist gizmos that allow semi-autonomous driving. These include Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Automatic Speed Limit Assist, Steering and Lane Control Assistant, Remote 3D View and BMW Drive Recorder among others.
“With a design refresh, an extensively modernised premium ambience and clear advances in the areas of digitalisation, control/operation and equipment, the new edition of the BMW 3 Series is setting out to write another chapter in the model range’s worldwide success story,” BMW said.
More information on the South African model line-up and pricing will be made available closer to launch.