On the outside, the BMW 3 Series remains what it was even after the facelift. Inside, the driver has to change.

Some people might like a facelift at BMW more than a new model at the moment – at least those who find the new grille too big or the infotainment system without an iDrive controller suspicious. Both are not included in the refreshed 3 Series. The in-line six-cylinder with 48-volt mild hybrid support may also remain; it can still be found in the M340i xDrive, which looks out of narrower headlights and has a new rear apron.

At the rear, the bumper was changed in particular, the diffuser is quite noticeable

Photo: manufacturer

As before, the engine delivers 374 hp, with an additional eleven hp provided by the electric motor when accelerating spontaneously or when starting from traffic lights, and a maximum torque of 500 Newton meters is distributed to all four wheels. All-wheel drive is standard. The M340i catapults itself from a standing start to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds and with sustained pressure on the accelerator pedal up to a governed speed of 250 km/h.

The whole thing, as expected, light-footed and with hardly noticeable gear changes of the eight-speed automatic. Since the six-pointer is a quiet trooper per se, but the M in the nomenclature promises something different, the top three fires on request from a flap-controlled sports exhaust system like the forester’s rifle in the woods.

The space in the rear of the 3 Series is almost perfect for people up to a height of 1.80 meters

The space in the rear of the 3 Series is almost perfect for people up to a height of 1.80 meters

Photo: manufacturer

However, this enjoyable thunder costs at least 71,300 euros in connection with a crisp M sports suspension, bad biting sports brakes, long-distance sports seats, variable sports steering and shift paddles. The accessories mentioned are optional for all models except for the entry-level variants 318i and 318d.

With 500 liters of storage space, the 3 Series Touring offers 20 liters more than the sedan and is of course easier to load

With 500 liters of storage space, the 3 Series Touring offers 20 liters more than the sedan and is of course easier to load

Photo: factory

So also for the 320d Touring that we also drove, so to speak the contrast program to the M340i. With 500 liters of storage space, it offers 20 liters more luggage space than the sedan and should please long-distance drivers with the diesel engine, which is also supported by a 48-volt starter generator.

Specifications: BMW 320d Touring

In the standard sprint, it is clearly inferior to the M340i with 7.2 seconds, and at the end it cannot run quite as fast at 229 km/h, but clearly wins with an entry-level price of 53,200 euros and of course in terms of consumption. In this respect, not much has really changed after the facelift compared to the predecessor. Completely different in the interior.

The large curved display is new in three, fewer buttons and switches.  The iDrive controller on the center console has remained.  Less beautiful are the difficult to read instruments

The large curved display is new in the three, has fewer buttons and switches. The iDrive controller on the center console has remained. Less beautiful are the difficult to read instruments

Photo: manufacturer

As I said, the unrivaled iDrive controller has remained. The same applies to controlling the driving programs using the toggle switch in the center console. The cockpit design is different. The so-called curved display, which was first presented in the BMW i4 in 2019, has now found its way here too. The slightly curved cluster of displays consists of a 12.3-inch display behind the steering wheel and a 14.9-inch central display. The station wagon is not bad for the threesome.

However, this also reduced the number of buttons and switches, and the air conditioning can now only be controlled via the touchscreen. But why there are still no clear round instruments in the digital ad portfolio, but only the strange crescents, is simply incomprehensible.

Conclusion

Technically and visually, the lifted 3 Series has remained the same. Good this way. A lot has changed in the interior, some things will take some getting used to for BMW fans. But at least the iDrive controller stayed for now.

You can read more in the current issue of AUTO BILD

You can read more in the current issue of AUTO BILD

Photo: AUTO BILD

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