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BMW 3-Series gets a facelift
As you’ll notice, there’s not much new to notice on the outside, save for restyled lights, a couple of tweaks to the bumper design, and a few more LEDs as standard.
But there’s a whole lot more novelty occurring under the bonnet, where all but one of the 3-Series’ engines has been replaced or revised.
Most significant - at least for the 3-Series’ likely buyers - is the new 320d ED, which, courtesy of a 163bhp/295lb ft 2.0-litre turbodiesel, slips below the 100g/km CO2 barrier when mated to the eight-speed auto box, while also returning an official 72mpg. That means free road-tax, and the possibility of going several years between refills.
At the juicier end of the diesel scale is the 258bhp 330d, or - if you’re feeling truly lavish - the 335d xDrive, with a twin-turbo straight six making 313bhp and spiriting the 3-Series from 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds while rating at 51mpg.
Petrols? There’s a new entry-level engine in the shape of the three-cylinder, 1.5-litre 318i, which replaces the 316i. That makes 134bhp and 162lb ft of torque, and will get from 0-62mph in just under nine seconds.
The 330i badge is back, too, though in the shape of a four-cylinder rather than straight six. It makes 248bhp, while at the top of the (non-M) petrol tree sits the six-cylinder 340i, which replaces the 335i. Phew.
The 340i makes 321bhp and 332lb ft, will do 0-62mph in five seconds flat, and top out at a limited 155mph. No word on the M3, but we’d expect its 425bhp turbo six-cylinder to remain unchanged.
Next year we’ll see a plug-in hybrid 3-Series in the shape of the 330e, which BMW promises will offer 252bhp, 134.5mpg and just 49g/km of CO2.
With revised dampers and stiffer suspension, BMW reckons the facelifted 3-Series is sportier than ever before. Good enough to dish out a kicking to that very, very impressive Jag XE when it arrives in July? It’ll be fun finding out…