BMW’s recently released 3 Series updates reveal a more angular, modern conveyance that should give pause to and receive praise from reviewers obsessed with grille sizes. With updated looks, cutting-edge interior, expanded feature set, and recognizable grilles, BMW’s 3 Series models will continue the 45 year tradition of balancing price and performance. As over 16 million BMW 3 Series have been sold since the model’s introduction, updates stick more to evolution than revolution.
Not So Nosy
The more “traditional” grilles of the new 3 Series should evade some of the shots aimed at several other new BMW models. The 3 fits into BMW’s “Elegant Creator” category, which retains shorter, more horizontal grille shapes. That contrasts with the larger grilles found on “Expressive Performer” models like the 4 Series. But that doesn’t mean the sensor arrays that BMW said justified larger grilles are omitted on the new 3 Series. They’ve just been moved down a bit to a significantly larger lower area on the front bumper.
BMW’s 3 Series launched in 1975, quickly becoming one of the company’s most popular vehicles. The mid-range model has long filled the sweet spot of affordability, luxury, and performance with drivetrain options that can emphasize any of those aspects. New buyers can choose from a 2-liter TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder model, a plug-in hybrid version, or a 3-liter TwinPower Turbo inline-6 with 48V “mild hybrid” technology. And any can come with optional xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive.
Outside, the updated body style has more angles, designed to look more sporty. Front and rear aprons, slim headlight accents, large intakes, sleeker grilles, and dynamic lines all strive to give the new 3 more presence. Add the M Sport package for additional expressive flares and angles, not to mention performance.
And don’t think the 3 Series won’t be joining the 50th anniversary of BMW M GmbH party. 2023 M340i models can be had with the classic BMW Motorsport roundels, featuring the staggered semi-circle design, similar to the one first used on BMW racing cars in 1973.
The inline 6-cylinder engine option has been enhanced with “mild hybrid” technology. This system gives the car a 48V starter-generator meant to make the car more efficient and boost response time and efficiency. Those “warp drive” launches electric vehicles tout? This gives your 3 Series something close to that. And the mild hybrid system gets a lot of its power from the regenerative brake system.
I See Curves
Been eager to have one of those sleek, long, curved, and unbroken iDrive screens you’ve seen on the concepts and newest models? The new 3 Series swoops to the rescue. The 12.3-inch information display behind the steering wheel has merged with a 14.9-inch control display to become a single, high-resolution interactive display. This and the other technology form the new iDrive with BMW Operating System 8. Multiple new features, plus significant upgrades to existing ones such as voice controls, should make features easier to find and use. While it can more easily connect to your smartphone, iDrive’s own system now takes several design and interface cues from your mobile communicator to create a more familiar user experience. And though the console shifter may have trimmed down to a toggle, shifter paddles remain on the steering wheel.
A Mobile Mobility Device
Some of the new technology upgrades include BMW Maps, the cloud-based navigation system that calculates directions using real-time traffic data. And with Connected Parking, BMW Maps may even help you find an elusive parking spot near that venue you’re determined to reach. Upgrades to the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant will let you control a few more things, like the climate controls, windows and sunroof, or driver assistance systems. And if you want all of that to be a bit snappier, you can set the Personal eSIM system to connect your car to the same 5G account your phone uses and turn your car into a 5G hotspot for up to ten devices.
The models coming to the U.S. will be built exclusively at BMW’s newest plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. The launch will commence in July 2022, worldwide.