The BMW 3-series has a new engine among other updates. Here’s what it’s like on the road.
Published on Feb 16, 2016 10:16:00 AM
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What is it?
This is the facelifted BMW 3-series that’s here to take the fight back to the new Mercedes-Benz C-class and brace for fresh competition from the likes of the new Jaguar XE and India-bound next-gen Audi A4. Available solely in a 320d diesel guise for now, the updated Bimmer gets a new engine, mildly reworked suspension and subtle tweaks inside and out.
The tweaks may not seem understated on the car pictured here but that’s because this is the new top-end M Sport version. It features sportier front and rear bumpers, M badging on the flanks and is the only one available in this racy Estoril Blue paint shade. What is new and common to all versions of the updated 3-series are the headlights and tail-lights that are now both full-LED units. Look hard and you will also notice slightly restyled bumpers and new wheel designs on the 320d Prestige, Sport Line and Luxury Line versions.
There’s nothing vastly different in the 3-series’ cabin either. Enthusiasts will welcome the long overdue addition of paddle shifters (only available on the petrol 328i earlier), apart from which a sliding lid for the cupholders at the base of the centre console is the only bit that’s ‘all new’. BMW has focused its attention on improving material quality, and though the changes have made the cabin look marginally richer than before, it’s still not quite at C-class levels. M Sport trim variants get heads-up display, sports front seats, a sporty three-spoke steering wheel and enough faux carbon-fibre detailing to make you think you are sitting in something hardcore. Among the other features, a sunroof and hi-res 8.7-inch screen for the iDrive infotainment system are standard fit on the Sport Line, Luxury Line and M Sport versions, while the base Prestige model makes do with a smaller 6.5-inch screen. What's bothersome is that there’s no reverse camera but only rear parking sensors on the updated 3-series
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