Given that the BMW 3 Series variants offered since 2019 have been the most successful in history, with 1.1 million sold, you can forgive BMW for not making many changes for the refreshed models.
Even so, the 2022 cars incorporate useful improvements – which seem to work especially well in arguably the most versatile and economical variant, the 330e Touring xDrive. It has the short-haul economy of a PHEV, the versatility of a wagon and great all-weather traction via a mostly unobtrusive electronically managed four-wheel drive system.
The visual changes aren’t dramatic: some alterations to the twin kidney grille, thinner headlights and new air vents low down on the front of the body, where the foglights were.
In the cabin, it’s the fascia that gets the biggest changes, a gigantic central touchscreen and a slightly smaller digital display ahead of the driver for essential instruments. Thankfully, the 3 Series keeps its iDrive controller and the stereo still has the classic on/off/volume knob.
This M Sport edition is extremely well equipped, but there’s still a blizzard of available options. Our test car’s base price ran to £49,055, but its extras (including red brake calipers, adaptive headlights, a heated steering wheel, adaptive suspension and a Harman Kardon hi-fi) pushed that up to £57,410.
The engine is the same 182bhp 2.0-litre petrol four used in various lesser models, but it’s accompanied by a 108bhp electric motor in the gearbox (fed by a 12kWh battery), putting up to 288bhp under your foot, including a 10-second overboost worth 10-15%. That has the potential to deliver 0-62mph in 5.9sec and a 139mph top speed.