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BMW 3 Series updated for 2024 with a big improvement for the 330e plug-in hybrid

  • BMW 3-Series updated for 2024
  • Looks the same but comes with tech improvements
  • Includes new infotainment system and increased plug-in driving range

Written by CJ Hubbard Published: 29 May 2024 Updated: 30 May 2024

The BMW 3 Series, heart of the BMW range, has been updated for 2024. Following a more extensive facelift in 2022, this upgrade brings changes to the interior – including new infotainment software – the comfort and, most significantly, the BMW 330e plug-in hybrid.

Already one of the very best plug-in hybrids you can buy, the 330e now has an electric-only driving range of up to 63 miles. That’s nearly double the previous figure.

The revisions apply to the BMW 3 Series Saloon and BMW 3 Series Touring, with the new models available to order now priced from £39,045 and £40,845.

What’s changed for the BMW 330e hybrid?

A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), the 330e combines a turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor and a battery pack that allows it to travel on electric power alone. With 292hp, it was already a punchy car to drive, and thanks to low official CO2 emissions it’s very cost-effective in benefit-in-kind company car tax terms.

It takes an even bigger step forward in 2024, however, thanks to a new, more energy-dense lithium-ion battery pack. Based on the same BMW Gen5 technology as the BMW iX and BMW i4, this has an increased 19.5kWh of useable capacity, which sees the official electric driving range jump from 37 miles at best to 63 miles.

2024 BMW 3 Series - Touring, red, front
New 330e PHEV goes almost twice as far as before on electric power.

At the same time, BMW has added 11kW AC charging, making it possible to recharge 0-100% in 2 hours 15 minutes using a suitable mains electricity connection. There’s still no DC fast charging, however – tech that allows the Mercedes E-Class PHEV to be recharged in as little as 20 minutes.

Still, the increased electric range is a significant and useful gain for the 330e, and comes without any further reduction in boot space or fuel tank size. Meaning the overall range of the car – including petrol power – should increase as well.

What else is new for the 2024 BMW 3 Series?

The only other UK engines are the 184hp 320i and 374hp M340i xDrive, and these powerplants haven’t received any updates. All three available 3 Series engine choices use BMW TwinPower turbo petrol technology, and come with an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddleshifters as standard.

There are no diesel or manual gearbox versions any more.

However, all models are said to benefit from chassis changes designed to increase comfort without reducing driving pleasure – something the 3 Series is traditionally famous for. These modifications include stiffer rear damper mounting points, for example, and also bring improved refinement.

2024 BMW 3 Series - Saloon, blue, front, driving
2024 3 Series should be more comfortable but still great to drive.

Additionally, the amount of steering assistance in the Comfort driving mode has been increased, with the intention of making the car more effortless around town.

On the inside there’s an update to the infotainment with the introduction of BMW Operating System 8.5. This isn’t the very latest version – the BMW X1 and BMW X2, for example, now use Operating System 9 – but this software should be easier to use. Changes mean less diving into menus to get to what you need and new QuickSelect customisable widgets to prioritize what’s most important to you.

2024 BMW 3 Series - interior
3 Series interior now available with glass controls.

You’ll also find new upholstery options, new steering wheels, changed alloy wheel designs and different paint colours (Arctic Race Blue and Fire Red, as pictured here). Of particular note is the new CraftedClarity option, which adds an unusual glass finish to the starter button, gear selector and iDrive infotainment controller.

What does this mean for you?

While it might not look at all different, the updated 2024 3 Series demonstrates BMW’s current pattern of continuous improvement. The changes here aren’t huge, but they should deliver an even better car – to drive and to own.

BMW 330e buyers are in for a particular treat, as this new version will make it possible for more journeys to be completed on electric power alone. This not only reduces emissions but should also lower your running costs if you can use a home car charger and an electricity tariff designed for electric cars.