Subtle but Definitive Changes on the Surface
You would have to look hard to pick out the exterior facelift work, but it is there alright. The headlights are now all-LED items that look sharper and more intense. Its front apron receives broader side air intakes, whereas its taillights now feature LED lighting elements with a stylistic curve. BMW has also give the 320i, 320d, and 330i variants a sportier twin tailpipe setup.
On the inside, BMW says the 3-Series facelift have been given slight design touches with high-quality chrome accents on the controls and air-vent surrounds, and the addition of high-gloss surfaces along the top of the centre console. The centre console cupholders on the other hand feature a more convenient sliding cover rather than a removable panel.
Though its ‘blink-and-you-will-miss-it’ facelift work is minor on both its exterior and interior, the headlining changes here is its reworked engine line-up and new ConnectedDrive features.
New Engines, New Designations
The variant line-up for the facelift 3-Series now comprises of the 318i, 320i, 320d, and 330i, with the 318i replacing the 316i, and the 330i ousting the 328i. Though having said that the 3-Series facelift are now shoehorned with new ‘B-Series’ engines across the board.
318i – First Three-Cylinder 3-Series
With BMW adopting the B38 1.5-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, the 318i represents the first 3-Series to sport a 3-cylinder engine. The engine has a peak power output of 136hp and 220Nm, which enables it to sprint from 0 to 100km/h in 8.9 seconds, and yet deliver an impressive fuel consumption figure of 5.1L/100km.
320i and 330i – Features Brand New 2-litre Engine
Gone is the venerable N20 engines in the 320i and 328i, and instead BMW has introduced a new B48 2-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine for the 320i and 330i.
Though horsepower figures on the 320i remains the same at 184hp, torque figures have been increased from 270Nm to 290Nm, which is enough to drop its 0 to 100km/h time from 7.6 to 7.2 seconds, along with fuel consumption figures dropping from 6L/100km to 5.58L/100km.
As for the 330i, horsepower figures in the new engine is raised from 245hp to 252hp, though torque is maintained at 350Nm. As such it is only marginally quicker to 100km/h at 5.8 seconds, rather than the 328i’s 5.9 seconds, whereas fuel consumption has been reduced from 6.3L/100km to 6.1L/100km.
320d – More Power, Less Consumption
BMW Malaysia continues their commitment to diesel powertrains with the 320d. This time around the 2-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine produces 190hp and 400Nm of torque, a 6hp and 20Nm increase over the pre-facelift 320d.
0 to 100km/h is settled in 0.2 seconds quicker at 7.2 seconds, and official fuel consumption figure drops from 4.5L/100km to 4L/100km.
All variants of the 3-Series facelift will come with the 8-speed automatic transmission that can be paired up with the on-board navigation, which allows the drivetrain to anticipate the road ahead and further improve fuel efficiency and emissions.
According to BMW Malaysia the 3-Series facelift have been given a stiffer suspension setup thanks to the fine-tuning of the damping system. This is said to deliver better steering precision and feedback.
That being said, the 320i M Sport and 320d M Sport gets an extra dose of sportiness with the fitment of BMW’s M Sport suspension with 18-inch M light alloy Star-spoke wheels. The 330i M Sport on the other hand would feature the adaptive M suspension with 18-inch M light alloy Double-spoke wheels.
More ConnectedDrive Features on Board
Just as BMW Malaysia have been setting the bar for the new X1 in terms of ConnectedDrive features, the 3-Series continues that trend as being the first in its class to include a complimentary Concierge Service, Intelligent Emergency Call emergency response and telematics system, Remote App capabilities, and BMW Online Office.
The connectivity and telematics systems on board the 3-Series uses an embedded SIM card, which comes with the car free of charge, for the first three years of ownership after which its usage can be renewed.
As for the 320d and 330i variants, BMW says that its latest-generation Navigation System Professional boasts a quicker start-up and even faster route calculation along with a more realistic 3D visualisation in urban areas. To add to that, the 330i gets BMW’s excellent full-colour, high-resolution Head-Up Display.
Just as it is with all BMW models sold from BMW Malaysia the 3-Series facelift range comes fully covered by BMW’s 5 Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty and Free Scheduled Service Program.
The 3-Series facelift range will be available at all authorised BMW Dealerships nationwide from the weekend of the 21st November 2015.