BMW has chosen to go for the mildest facelifts for the mid-cycle refresh of the 2023 3-Series. The redesigned car benefits from a handful of exterior tweaks, an expansion of the color palette and new wheel designs.
It is certainly a refreshing direction for BMW. While the 2023 3 Series is admittedly just a facelift and not an all-new model, we may have gotten too used to BMW’s usual shock-and-awe tactics with new design reveals. That said, the most noticeable differences can be found inside, with the introduction of BMW’s Curved Display in the interior, as well as the latest iDrive 8 operating system.
Powertrain options and specifications remain the same as last year’s cars, with the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine found in the 330i and 330e. For the M340i, a 3.0 liter turbo inline-six mild-hybrid is present and correct. xDrive four-wheel drive remains an option across the range, with an eight-speed manual transmission as standard.
In addition, vehicles for the US market will be built exclusively at the new San Luis Potosi plant in Mexico.
Squint or you’ll miss Design Changes
The main change to the front of the new 3 Series is the re-profiled headlamps. Like the ones we saw on the i3 eDrive35L in China, the headlights are now slimmer. Gone is the slight notch on the bottom between the dim and main bars, to give a cleaner – but arguably less characterful – look to the front. The graphics of the full-LED headlights change to an inverted L shape, mimicking the halos once synonymous with the brand.
A huge relief to everyone is that BMW has resisted the urge to graft an M3-esque muzzle onto it. While the grille has been bitten off – gaining double bars and slightly modified contours – the result is, dare we say it, handsome.
Read: The BMW M3 CSL spied on tests for debut
The front and rear bumpers, on the other hand, haven’t been so lucky. The new design is a little noisier, with more aggressive angles reportedly emphasizing “the sporty mission of the new BMW 3 Series”.
In fact, the main driver of BMW’s facelift seems to be to position the 3-Series as a sportier alternative from the start. Shadowline trim — BMW speak for darkened exterior trim — is now standard, relegating satin aluminum exterior trim to an option.
New wheels, colors and M-Sport options
Other exterior changes include brand new designs for the permissible wheels and a new range of exterior colors including Skyscraper Gray metallic across the range and Brooklyn Gray metallic on the M340i models or in conjunction with the M Sport package on the 330i models. and 330e models.
In addition, the M Sport packages offered for the 330i and 330e have been revised with chrome accents for the grille, an M-Sport-specific rear bumper, variable sports steering and 19-inch wheels.
Meanwhile, the M340i and M340i xDrive get a unique look, with mesh kidney grilles, double-spoke wheels, trapezoidal tailpipes and an M rear spoiler. The 2023 M340is will also be available with the classic BMW Motorsport roundels, commemorating the 50th anniversary of BMW M GmbH.
The 2023 BMW 3-Series upgrades to the latest interior technology, with the addition of BMW’s Curved Display, consisting of a 12.3-inch driver info screen behind the wheel, and a 14.9-inch central display, galloping towards the driver in typical BMW fashion.
The new interior includes the latest Drive, which runs on BMW Operating System 8. It has improved speech recognition with the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, which can now open and close windows and the sunroof and adjust the climate control with natural speech.
See also: BMW thinks that large screens are going out of fashion
The new 2023 3 Series is also 5G ready, enabling better connectivity through the vehicle’s own antenna system. The optional personal eSIM can be used as your own “BMW ID”, with the ability to be transferred to other cars, with the SIM credentials configured when logging into other vehicles.
No major changes under the skin, deliveries start in July
For North America, the 2023 BMW 3-Series will continue to be offered in the same variants as the 2022 model.
That means the 330i will be available with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 255 hp (258 hp/190 kW) and 294 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque, and the 330e which offers a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. turbo engine. to an electric motor for a combined power of 288 hp (292 hp / 218 kW) and a torque of 310 lb-ft (420 Nm).
Step up to the M340i and the powerplant is a 3.0-liter inline six that produces 382 hp (387 hp / 289 kW) with 368 lb-ft (500 Nm) of torque.
All models will come with an eight-speed automatic transmission, while xDrive (also known as four-wheel drive) will be available across the range. Shipments around the world, including the US, will begin in June, and prices are expected to be announced in the coming months.