On the outside, the BMW 3 Series remains what it was even after the facelift. Inside, the driver has to change.
Some people may find a facelift at BMW more than a new model right now – 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 redesigned 3 Series. The six-cylinder in-line 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.
As before, the engine delivers 374 hp, supplemented by eleven hp from the electric motor during spontaneous acceleration or when pulling away from traffic lights, and a maximum torque of 500 Newton meters is distributed to all four wheels. . The M340i catapults itself from standstill to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds and with continued pressure on the accelerator pedal to a limited speed of 250 km/h.
The whole, as expected, light-hearted and with barely noticeable shift changes of the eight-speed automatic. Since the six-pointer is a silent trooper in its own right, but the M in the nomenclature promises something different, the top three fire at the request of a valve-controlled sports exhaust system like the forest ranger rifle in the woods.
This pleasant thunder, however, costs no less than 71,300 euros in connection with a crystal clear M sports suspension, poorly corrosive sports brakes, long-distance sports seats, variable sports steering and shift paddles. The accessories listed are optional for all models except the entry-level 318i and 318d variants.
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 satisfy 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 at 7.2 seconds and ultimately does not run that fast at 229 km/h, but clearly wins with an entry price of 53,200 euros and of course in terms of consumption. In that regard, not much has changed after the facelift compared to the predecessor. Completely different in the interior.
As I said, the unparalleled iDrive controller has remained. The same applies to operating the drive programs with the rocker 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 also found its way here. The slightly curved cluster of displays consists of a 12.3-inch display behind the wheel and a 14.9-inch central display. The station wagon isn’t bad for the trio.
However, this also reduced the number of buttons and switches and the air conditioning can now only be operated via the touchscreen. But why there are still no clear round instruments in the digital advertising portfolio, but only the strange crescent moons, is simply incomprehensible.
Technically and visually, the lifted 3 Series has remained the same. Well done. A lot has changed in the interior, some things will take some getting used to for BMW fans. But at least the iDrive controller remained for now.