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New BMW 3-series facelift (2015) revealed

Published: 07 May 2015

► It's the new 2015 BMW 3-series
► Mid-life facelift time
► New three-cylinder engines, too

BMW has announced details of mid-life revisions to the popular 3-series range. Changes include a modest – but effective – visual makeover, extra technology and an updated range of engines including three-cylinder petrol and diesel units, a first in the premium junior executive sector.

Three-cylinder engines? In a 3-series?!

Yes, indeed – though if it makes you feel any better, the 134bhp TwinPower turbocharged petrol unit in the 318i is closely related to the turbo triple that supplements the electric motors in the BMW i8.

In fact, almost every engine in the new line-up shares something of the i8 – as even four- and six-cylinder petrols are based around the same 500cc modular cylinder design – as are the three- and four-cylinder diesels; the 340i pictured therefore becomes the first BMW to use the new modular six-cylinder petrol. The only hangovers from the previous 3-series are the six-pot diesels and the high-performance twin-turbo six in the M3.

Discounting the M3 – though that gets a makeover, too – power output ranges from 115bhp to 322bhp, CO2 emissions from 99g/km to 179g/km and claimed economy from 35.8mpg to 72.4mpg.

What’s different about the 2015 BMW 3-series? 

Changes front and rear give the revised 3-series what BMW describes as a sharper look. There are wider air intakes and new headlights with funked-up LED daytime running lights and the option of all-LED illumination. The all-LED rear lights feature the latest BMW ‘L-shaped’ lighting signature, plus LED brakes lights for faster response.

On the inside, BMW says it’s improved the ergonomics, added additional chrome and upgraded the material quality. Accent details vary with trim level.

Meet the new 2015 BMW 3-series

Under the skin, there are refined dampers, strengthened suspension and fettled steering. Both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive XDrive variants will be offered, depending on engine choice. Manual gearbox cars now blip the throttle on downshifts, while eight-speed auto models are smoother than before.

You mentioned new technology in the 2015 BMW 3-series?

BMW has updated its ConnectedDrive infotainment system with a standard 4G data connection. This enables over-the-air sat-nav mapping updates (free for the first three years), part of a navigation revamp that’s also faster to load and more detailed. The car will also call the emergency services in the event of the airbags being deployed in an accident. An optional high-resolution full-colour head-up display provides further safety by helping the driver keep their eyes on the road.

As an aid to efficiency, the new 3-series now features a coasting function – dropping engine revs to idle speed whenever circumstances allow. There will be a further eco enhancement in 2016 when a 330e plug-in hybrid joins the range, offering 249bhp in combination with CO2 emissions of just 49g/km and claimed economy of 134.5mpg…

When can I buy one and how much will the new 3-series cost? 

The new BMW 3-series goes on sale in the UK in July. Pricing changes are unconfirmed at this stage – full details will be announced nearer the time – but for reference the current range starts at £24,255.

Inside new 2015 BMW 3-series cabin: not as sparkly as a C-class

By CJ Hubbard

Former CAR magazine associate editor, road tester, organiser, extremely variable average wheel count

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