New BMW 3 Series Touring facelift spied

The revamped estate version of the BMW 3 Series is set to arrive in 2023 with fresh design and infotainment upgrade

BMW is readying a mid-cycle refresh for the 3 Series, in a bid to fend off the Mercedes C-Class and impending new Audi A4. Our spies have caught the revised Touring estate model testing near the Nurburgring, revealing a subtle restyle beneath heavy camouflage at the front and rear. The most significant changes will be under the skin, however, with a new iDrive 8 infotainment system and electrification across the lineup. 

At the front, the new 3 Series will adopt a set of new headlight clusters with a sharper LED running light signature. The kidney grilles will not be enlarged to mirror those on BMW’s 4 Series and flagship iX, but the 3 Series could receive restyled grille bars come production time.

The front bumper has also been tweaked with a reshaped lower grille, although it’s difficult to make out the exact changes under the disguise in the latest images. This pre-production car wears a set of 18-inch wheels shared with the current model, although a selection of new wheel designs could come as part of the update. More swirling camouflage at the rear suggests that the tailights and rear bumper will be tweaked, too.

But it’s inside where the 3 Series facelift will see the most meaningful upgrade. The new car will be equipped with BMW’s latest iDrive 8 infotainment system, which debuted on the iX SUV. The 3 Series shares its cabin architecture with the i4 electric sports car, which also uses this system.

The 3 Series will utilise the curved, dual-screen setup of the i4, which combines a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel with a 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen. iDrive 8 can also be operated using a click wheel on the centre console, and features BMW’s strongest tech suite yet.

The brand’s latest voice assistance will be included, alongside a “Learning Navigation” system and over-the-air software updates. Aside from the new displays, the cabin design will remain broadly the same as before, with a redesigned centre console and new trim options likely to be added.

Under the skin, the new 3 Series could receive a fully-electrified lineup, with the entire range of petrol and diesel engines gaining 48-volt mild-hybrid assistance. The 330e plug-in hybrid model may be joined by a more powerful PHEV model, and an all-electric 3 Series might also be on the cards.

The 4 Series has already been given the full-electric treatment with the i4, and rides on the same platform as the 3 Series. A rethinking of BMW’s EV naming strategy would see the electric 3 Series adopting the i3 moniker currently used for the brand’s all-electric city car.

The i3 would use the same running gear as it’s four-door coupe counterpart, with a rear-mounted electric motor producing 335bhp. We don’t expect the i3 to deviate from the i4’s 365-mile claimed range. 

A high-performance i3 M50 could be in the pipeline as part of the facelift, too, with a 544bhp dual-motor setup and more than 300 miles of range.

Click here for our list of the best estate cars on sale in the UK...

Recommended

Peugeot 508 SW PSE vs BMW 330e Touring: 2022 twin test review
Peugeot 508 SW Sport Engineered vs BMW 330e xDrive Touring - both cars side by side
Car group tests

Peugeot 508 SW PSE vs BMW 330e Touring: 2022 twin test review

Peugeot’s premium push is putting it in direct competition with big players in that market. We pitch its new 508 PSE performance estate against BMW’s …
16 May 2022
BMW 330e Touring: long-term test review
BMW 300e Touring long term test - Richard Ingram with charging cable
BMW 3 Series Touring

BMW 330e Touring: long-term test review

First report: After running EVs, DrivingElectric editor Richard Ingram discovers if returning to a car with a petrol engine is a backward step
15 Apr 2022
BMW 3 Series Touring review
BMW 3 Series Touring
BMW 3 Series Touring

BMW 3 Series Touring review

The BMW 3 Series estate takes the saloon's winning formula of performance, handling and economy and adds a large dose of practicality
7 Apr 2022
Best estate cars to buy 2022
Best estate cars
Estates

Best estate cars to buy 2022

A good estate car delivers practicality, space and low running costs - here are the 10 best estates on sale in the UK today
7 Feb 2022

Most Popular

Best electric cars to buy 2022
Best electric cars
Electric cars

Best electric cars to buy 2022

There are more electric cars than ever to choose from, so we've picked some of the best you can buy in the UK now
28 Apr 2022
“Mid-sized electric cars are way beyond the financial reach of most mums and dads”
Opinion - electric car prices
Opinion

“Mid-sized electric cars are way beyond the financial reach of most mums and dads”

Mike Rutherford thinks the industry needs to face the fact that a lot of people can’t afford a brand new factory-fresh car
16 May 2022
Tipo 184: on the road in the Mazda MX-5 based kit car
Tipo 184 kit car front
Features

Tipo 184: on the road in the Mazda MX-5 based kit car

Inspired by classic Grand Prix racing cars, Darren Collins has created a model that faithfully recreates the originals, but with a twist - it’s actual…
11 May 2022