- Revised 3 Series now with CO2 emissions as low as 99g/km
- Plug-in Hybrid 330e to join the range in 2016
- On sale in July, prices yet to be announced
The BMW 3 Series is one of the best-selling company cars here in the UK and when an update occurs, it is big news.
Since the first model rolled off the production line 40 years ago,14 million have found homes around the world and today, around a quarter of all BMWs sold come from the 3 Series range.
Subtle design changes
Available as a saloon or estate (or Touring), changes to the design have been subtle with revised full-LED headlights and tail lights introduced, new exhaust tail pipes fitted depending upon engine output and there’s a new range of alloy-wheels too.
Slip behind the wheel and you’ll be greeted by upgraded materials, chrome highlights and high-gloss surfaces. Other new features include cup holders in the centre console with a sliding cover and an additional storage area ideal for your smartphone.
Luxury and M Sport models can now also be specified with an Ash Grain wood panel with metal inlays while Luxury models now come with new 18-inch light-alloy wheels as standard. Among the features of the M Sport model are a leather upholstery, front sports seats, the M aerodynamic package, an M leather steering wheel, M Sport suspension and the Driving Experience Control switch with additional Sport+ mode.
CO2 emissions as low as 99g/km
There will be four petrol and seven diesel engines available from launch. All the three-, four- and six-cylinder petrol engines, and the four-cylinder diesel units in the BMW 316d, BMW 318d and BMW 320d, are now sourced from the EfficientDynamics engine family and are equipped with the latest TwinPower Turbo technology for optimum fuel efficiency.
Big news for company car drivers is the new BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Plus Saloon and Touring models now offer up to 74.3mpg fuel consumption and CO2 emissions as low as 99g/km meaning a 17 percent BIK tax band for the current tax year. These models are powered by a modified 2-litre turbodiesel engine developing maximum power of 161bhp and maximum torque of 400Nm.
The new BMW 318i, which replaces the previous BMW 316i, is the first BMW of this size to be fitted with the new 1.5-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine which delivers 134bhp and 220Nm of torque translating to a 0-62mph time of 8.9 seconds with CO2 emissions from 122 g/km, meaning a 19 percent BIK tax band for the current tax year.
Also making its debut is a new 2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. Fitted in the new BMW 320i Saloon and Touring models, the new engine develops a maximum output of 181bhp combined with CO2 emissions of 134g/km and fuel consumption from 48.7mpg.
The new BMW 3 Series also sees the world debut of an all-new six-cylinder engine from the EfficientDynamics engine family. This new engine effectively replaces the previous 335i and develops a maximum power of 322bhp, a 20bhp improvement over the previous model and can accelerate from 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds. CO2 emissions are seven percent down on the old 335i Saloon at 159g/km (Touring 164g/km) and combined fuel consumption is from 41.5mpg.
All new BMW 3 Series Saloon and Touring models can be fitted with a six-speed manual transmission or a new eight-speed Steptronic unit (standard on the BMW 330d, BMW 335d and BMW 340i Touring) and 320i, 320d and 330d versions can be ordered with BMW’s xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive system.
Although the running cost improvements take a big slice of the headlines, revisions to the suspension and steering in the latest model are set to further enhance driver engagement and agility when behind the wheel.
A hybrid version of the 3 Series, named 330e, will join the range in 2016 which combines a 181bhp 2-litre petrol engine with a 80 kW electric motor to give the BMW 330e a 0-62mph acceleration time of just 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 140mph.
CO2 emissions are set at 49g/km and the car is expected to be able to travel up to 22 miles on electric power alone.
Sat-nav now standard
The big news in terms of kit for the 3 Series is that sat-nav is now standard across the whole range on Saloon and Touring models. The navigation system is also adaptive, so that when the driver deliberately deviates from a suggested route several times the system will start to propose the new “learned” route as the standard one for reaching the selected destination.
Intelligent Emergency Call - another standard feature in the BMW 3 Series -detects if the airbags are triggered in an accident, and then uses the built-in SIM card to automatically transmit the severity of the accident and the vehicle’s location to the BMW Call Centre.
A full-colour, high-resolution Head-Up Display is available as an option too as well as a parking assist system for both parallel and perpendicular parking.
The new BMW 3 Series Saloon and Touring models go on sale in July. Pricing will be announced at a later date.