Currently reading: 2015 BMW 3 Series facelift revealed - engines, pricing and studio pictures
Updated BMW 3 Series gets more efficient engines and retuned driving dynamics to take on advanced rivals like Jaguar's XE
Matt Burt
6 mins read
16 July 2015

The facelifted BMW 3 Series has been revealed. It will be offered with a range of new engines, revised chassis settings and lower CO2 emissions when it goes on sale next month. Prices start at £24,975 for the entry-level 318i SE saloon, while the entry-level estate starts at £26,405. 

This 3 Series sits on the same platform as the existing model, although BMW engineers claim to have revised all three of the car’s chassis set-ups – standard, M Sport and adaptive – with retuned dampers and stiffer suspension in a bid to ramp up the agility. The electric power steering system has also been reprogrammed.

See what we make of the current generation BMW 3 Series saloon

The styling modifications are subtle but designed to make the 3 Series appear lower and wider than before. There are new front and rear bumpers, with longer horizontal elements, and revised headlights, including two levels of LED-based lights that position the indicator elements at the top of the lens. The bonnet, doors, wings and roof remain unchanged on both the saloon and Touring.

With the exception of BMW’s N57 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbodiesel in the 330d, all of the engines are new to the 3 Series.

The petrol options now start with a three-cylinder 318i, equipped with the 134bhp 1.5-litre turbocharged engine (called B38) that has already been used in the Mini and the 2 Series Active Tourer. It’s slower than the current entry-level petrol (the 320i) but considerably more efficient. It emits 116g/km of CO2 as an auto or 119g/km as a manual.

The four-cylinder petrol editions both use BMW’s latest modular engine, codenamed B48. It offers 181bhp and 199lb ft in the 320i, and 248bhp and 258lb ft in the 330i, which replaces the 328i in the line-up.

A 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol 3 Series will continue to be offered. It’s called the 340i and has 322bhp and 332lb ft for a 0-62mph dash of 5.1sec.

All of the four-cylinder diesel options are new and are based around BMW’s latest B47 motor. It offers a modest 114bhp in 316d trim and 148bhp as the 318d, but the mainstays of the range will be the 320d and 320d ED (Efficient Dynamics).

The regular 320d has 188bhp and 295lb ft, for a 0-62mph time of 7.2sec in automatic trim. It emits 106g/km of CO2 regardless of whether it’s with that transmission or the standard six-speed manual.

The 320d ED loses a little power – to 161bhp – but keeps the same torque, so it’s only 0.6sec slower to 62mph. It dips beneath the 100g/km mark in automatic form (99g/km) but emits 102g/km as a manual. This is in contrast to Jaguar’s cleanest XE, which can’t crack 100g/km with its auto ’box.

The 330d is automatic only. It packs 255bhp and 413lb ft and manages 0-62mph in 5.6sec, while its CO2 emissions fall slightly, to 129g/km.

BMW will continue to offer the 3 Series with its xDrive four-wheel drive system. It’s available as an option on the 320i, 320d and 330d and is standard on the 335d.

The cleanest 3 Series of all (on paper at least) will be a plug-in hybrid that’s due on sale next year. Badged 330e, it will blend the petrol engine from the 320i with a 107bhp electric motor and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The 330e will be able to travel for up to 20 miles and at speeds of up to 75mph on electric power alone. BMW predicts overall CO2 emissions of just 49g/km. The prices should be in line with those of high-end diesel models.

At the other end of the spectrum, BMW is planning a revised M3 that gets the tweaks to the headlights and tail-lights and a revised interior layout, as well as a subtle reworking of the twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine. The facelifted M3 is likely to make its debut at this autumn’s Frankfurt motor show.


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The core of the line-up will be the 318d, 320i and 320d, since these motors are available with a choice of all four trim levels: SE, Sport, Luxury and M Sport. The entry-level 318i and 316d models are available in SE or Sport trim only.

UK specifications have yet to be finalised, but SE trim will have cloth seats and fewer chrome highlights in the cabin. Sport and Luxury are both expected to have leather and they’ll bring a longer options list and different designs of larger alloy wheels. The controversial Luxury and Sport line badges will continue – they’re still positioned on the front wings – but their design has been modernised.

The 3 Series Touring gets the same styling tweaks as the saloon and shares its revised engine line-up and new chassis settings. But since the car’s metal bits are relatively unchanged, so are the key dimensions. As a result, the Touring will continue to offer a flat, well-shaped load bay but less overall space than some of its key rivals.

Speaking to Autocar at the launch of the updated model, BMW Marketing boss Ian Robertson said: “The first 3 Series had a very clear vision to set us apart from the opposition - and that is still the goal.

“It is the car that put BMW on the map - in it's first three years on sale, sales rose 74% - and to date 40 million 3 Series have been sold - it is the biggest selling premium car in history and accounts for a quarter of our global sales.

“That's why we're never going to rest on our laurels - we are the worldwide segment leader and our intention is to always pioneer indynamics, efficiency and design and in every body style, from saloon to convertible, coupe, Touring and Gran Turismo.

“As the sector benchmark we know that it is the car that all our opposition measure against. That makes it an aspirational product forthem - and we're determined to stay there.”

2015 BMW 3 Series pricing

Saloon models

318i SE £24975

318i Sport £25275

320i SE £27,255

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320i Sport £27,555

320i Luxury £29,755

320i M Sport £29,555

320i xDrive SE £28,805

320i xDrive Sport £29,105

320i xDrive Luxury £31,305

320i xDrive M Sport £31,105

330i Luxury £33,005

330i M Sport £32,805

340i M Sport £38,125

316d SE £27,435

316d Sport £27,735

318d SE £28,685

318d Sport £28,985

318d Luxury £31,185

318d M Sport £30,895

320d SE £29,785

320d Sport £30,085

320d M Sport £32,285

320d ED Plus £30,485

320d ED Sport £30,985

320d xDrive SE £31,285

320d xDrive Sport £31,585

320d xDrive Luxury £33,785

320d xDrive M Sport £33,585

330d Luxury £37,415

330d M Sport £37,415

330d xDrive Luxury £39,115

330d xDrive M Sport £38,915

335d xDrive M Sport £40,330

Touring models

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318i SE £26,405

318i Sport £26,705

320i SE £28,570

320i Sport £28,870

320i Luxury £31,070

320i M Sport £30,870

320i xDrive SE £30,105

320i xDrive Sport £30,405

320i xDrive Luxury £32,720

320i xDrive M Sport £32,520

330i Luxury £34,305

330i M Sport £34,105

340i M Sport £39,255

316d SE £28,735

316d Sport £29,035

318d SE £29,985

318d Sport £30,285

318d Luxury £32,485

318d M Sport £32,285

320d SE £31,085

320d Sport £31,385

320d M Sport £33,385

320d ED Plus £31,785

320d ED Sport £32,285

320d xDrive SE £32,585

320d xDrive Sport £32,885

320d xDrive Luxury £35,215

320d xDrive M Sport £35,015

330d Luxury £38,715

330d M Sport £38,915

330d xDrive Luxury £40,430

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330d xDrive M Sport £40,230

335d xDrive M Sport £41,665 

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Dark Isle 16 July 2015


I'm a bit surprised that BMW can't get their most economical diesel 3-Series under the 100 g/km with a manual transmission like Jaguar can. Bearing in mind both the 3-Series and XE use the same ZF gearbox, with a little remapping perhaps Jaguar could beat the automatic 3-Series emissions figure, too?
Peter Cavellini 12 May 2015

To be honest........?

I think the entry level price(£25,000) is a bit steep,will there be any special offers?,because,a private buyer might think twice now.
michael knight 8 May 2015

Massaging the numbers

A 1.5 called a 318. A 3.0 called a 340. Yet the 3l diesel is 330, as the 2l is the 320? Truly bizarre.

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