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BMW has updated the 3 Series but dropped diesel power in the UK

3 Series gets updated iDrive, a bigger PHEV battery and fancy new paint colours, but diesels are no more

Published: 29 May 2024

“For almost 50 years now, the BMW 3 Series has represented the core of the BMW brand,” says erm… BMW.

And yet, even the 3 Series can’t halt the march of progress, and with this latest update diesel power has been dropped in the UK. Elsewhere in the world you’ll still have a choice of four different diesel engines, but here in Blighty it’ll now be petrol and plug-in hybrid only. Sad times.

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The range in the UK will now kick off with the 320i. In saloon form that’ll set you back £39,045, while the Touring starts at £40,845. You’ve then got the updated 330e PHEV (details below) that costs £46,080 for the saloon and £47,880 with a bigger boot. At the top of the range – below the M3 of course – is the M340i xDrive at £57,845 and £59,645 for the saloon and Touring respectively.

This seventh-gen, G20 3 Series was last updated in 2022, and this time around the exterior changes are limited to new paint colours – Arctic Race Blue metallic and Fire Red metallic – and new 19in wheel designs. On the inside there are new illuminated air vents, different material options, some blingy glass trim bits from the fancier models in BMW’s range and fresh steering wheel designs with two spokes for standard models and three-spokes plus a flat bottom for M Sport package cars. Still looks like a chunky wheel, unfortunately.

There’s updated iDrive here too that’s running the new BMW Operating System 8.5. We’re told that focuses on ‘touch control and natural language’ to further reduce the number of physical buttons needed. Altogether now: boooo.

Anyway, the biggest update comes to the 330e plug-in hybrid. That gets a new Gen5 high-voltage battery with a larger 19.5kWh capacity to up the all-electric range to a maximum of 63 miles on the WLTP cycle. Said battery also supports faster 11kW charging, so a full recharge from empty takes two hours and 15 minutes.

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We’re told that all new 3 Series models also benefit from a fair bit of chassis tuning that focuses on increased comfort. Good news considering the current state of UK roads, but we’ll miss those diesel-powered 3s, won’t we?

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