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New models - BMW - 3 Series

BMW increases 3 Series specification, price

Let’s drive: BMW’s latest 3 Series revision is highlighted by the addition of the new iDrive6 infotainment system.

Redesigned interior, iDrive6 infotainment headline pricier BMW 3 Series upgrades

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BMW logo1 Aug 2017

By JUSTIN HILLIARD

BMW Australia has introduced a raft of minor changes to its 3 Series Sedan and Touring line-up, which are also affected by price rises between $800 and $1300 depending on the variant.

The 318i Sedan continues to open the range, but is now priced from $57,300 before on-road costs, which is $800 higher than before.

However, the flagship 340i Sedan has been dealt the largest price adjustment, jumping by $1300 to $91,200.

The most significant upgrade to range-wide specification levels is the addition of the Bavarian car-maker’s newest infotainment system, dubbed iDrive6, which features a customisable screen that offers app-like live ‘tile’ displays and voice control functionality.

A 6.5-inch Business display is powered by iDrive6 in 318i, 320i and 320d variants, while the 330i, 330e and 340i employ a larger 8.8-inch Professional touchscreen unit.

The latest version of BMW’s speed limit info system is also fitted as standard across all variants.

Inside, BMW says the 3 Series cabin “has been redesigned with a driver-focussed geometry’’ – including double stitching across the instrument panel to create a more premium feel.

A Sport Line styling package continues to be standard on 318i, 320i, 320d, 330i and 330e variants, but is now offered with the no-cost option of 18-inch double-spoke alloy wheels finished in Jet Black.

Alternatively, examples fitted with the M Sport package can now upgrade to new 19-inch bi-colour rims for an extra cost.

Thanks to Australian customer feedback, the 340i’s variable sports steering has been moved to the options list in favour of now-standard fixed-ratio power steering, which brings it into line with every other 3 Series.

Potential 340i buyers can choose between the Luxury Line and M Sport packages at no extra cost, which are both otherwise available as a cost option for all other variants (excluding Luxury Line on 330i and 330e).

Optionally available for all variants, a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster changes its displayed content depending on the selected driving mode – either Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport or Sport+.

Additionally, Cognac Dakota leather upholstery is now also a range-wide option, while dark Aluminium Carbon trim with Pearl Chrome finishers is exclusively offered to examples fitted with the M Sport package.

The Innovations option package has been revised, adding the 8.8-inch Professional touchscreen, parking assistant, extended smartphone connectivity and the digital instrument cluster to the 318i.

It is also available on the 320i and 320d where adaptive cruise control with stop and go function is added.

As mentioned, the 330i is already equipped with the larger infotainment display, but gains all other Innovations package features when selected, while the 330e misses out on the digital instrument cluster due to its specific eDrive set-up.

Metallic paint colour options now include Sunset Orange, which is a bright, vibrant hue.

There are no changes to any variant’s powertrain, performance or efficiency.

Production of the refreshed 3 Series starts in August this year, with local deliveries to commence in November.

According to BMW Group Australia CEO Marc Werner, the brand’s local arm is eagerly anticipating the new model’s arrival.

“Since its 1975 debut, the BMW 3 Series has stood for premium sporting dynamics in its segment,” he said.

“These updates bring a fresh new look, with added comfort, sophistication and technology while still retaining the performance and dynamics that are a hallmark of the 3 Series range.”

Sales of the 3 Series have dropped off significantly this year, with 1411 examples sold to the end of June. This represents a 44.9 per cent decrease over the 2562 figure it achieved during the same period in 2016.

Comparatively, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (4442) currently leads the premium mid-size segment, with the BMW placing second ahead of the Audi A4 (1192), Lexus IS (913), Jaguar XE (497), Alfa Romeo Giulia (296), Volvo S60/V60 (209) and Infiniti Q50 (130).

2017 BMW 3 Series pricing*
Sedan
318i (a)$57,300
320i (a)$63,400
320d (a)$65,800
330i (a)$70,900
330e iPerformance (a)$73,900
340i (a)$91,200
Touring
320i (a)$67,500
330i (a)$75,000
*Excludes on-road costs

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