New 2022 BMW 3 Series facelift revealed with updated look inside and out

The BMW 3 Series' mid-life update features a revised design and improved technology, but we’ll have to wait until the next generation for a full EV

The BMW 3 Series has been given a mid-life facelift, introducing a new exterior design, an updated interior and the latest technology for the German brand’s best-selling vehicle. 

There’s a mix of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid drive options, but a pure-electric model hasn’t been added to the line-up. An electrified version of the G20-generation 3 Series has been confirmed for the Chinese market, but Europe will have to wait until the next-generation 3 Series arrives in 2025.

Following the template set by the larger 5 Series in 2020, the updated 3 Series features a restyled front end. The headlights are slimmer than before, so although the kidney grilles are the same size, they appear slightly bigger. In the popular M Sport trim there’s a large air intake below the trademark grilles, while the side intakes have been redesigned and appear slimmer than before. At the rear, a new bumper has been applied with a redesigned diffuser element.

Wheels ranging from 17 to 19 inches are available depending on trim level, but the car’s selection of paint colours has been expanded. Three new metallic greys and a new blue shade are now available.

Further visual enhancements are offered with the M Sport Pro pack, which turns the chrome detailing that’s standard on M Sport versions of the 3 Series black, as well as adding a black rear lip spoiler, chrome black exhaust tips and red brake calipers. 

Inside, the revised 3 Series adopts BMW’s new ‘Curved Display’ interface. This combines a ‘floating’ 12.3-inch digital instrument panel with a 14.9-inch central touchscreen, blended together seamlessly to give the appearance of one continuous panel. The set-up runs the latest OS 8 software. 

The new, larger infotainment suite is still controlled by a combination of touchscreen input and iDrive rotary control, but physical buttons for the car’s climate controls have been removed as part of a slimmer, redesigned area beneath the central display. Changes to the temperature are now controlled via the touchscreen. On the centre console, the gear lever selector has been replaced by a smaller toggle switch. Gearshift paddles behind the steering wheel are fitted as standard, as is an automatically dimming rear-view mirror.

Under the bonnet, the engine line-up has been updated with new technology, but the range structure remains the same. The 320i is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol unit that delivers 181bhp and 300Nm, and sends drive to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Prices for 320i saloon start from £36,670, with xDrive four-wheel drive pushing the price up to £38,220.

Next up is the more powerful, rear-wheel-drive-only 330i. This 2.0-litre four-cylinder model benefits from a redesigned exhaust manifold and turbocharger, and produces 254bhp and 400Nm. This means 0-62mph takes 5.9 seconds in the saloon and 6.0 seconds in the estate. Top speed for both is 155mph, and prices start from £40,740. 

The popular 2.0-litre 320d diesel has been updated to feature 48-volt mild-hybrid technology, introducing an 11bhp electrical boost mode. Maximum power still stands at 187bhp, while torque remains at 400Nm; prices for the 320d start from £39,515. BMW claims that up to 58.9mpg is possible, depending on the model. The 320d is also available with xDrive, and prices start from £41,065. However, while the 320d returns with new tech, the 3.0-litre six-cylinder 330d engine has been dropped from the UK line-up altogether. 

Plug-in hybrid buyers are offered a mechanically unchanged 330e in saloon or Touring bodystyles with optional xDrive, and prices start from £42,610. CO2 emissions of 30g/km are claimed, making these versions the default choice for company car users. 

The updates extend to faster models, including the M340i and M340d variants, both fitted with xDrive as standard and turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder engines. The petrol-powered M340i still produces 369bhp and 500Nm, enabling 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds. The diesel M340d adopts 48-volt technology and develops 335bhp and 700Nm. Both are priced from £52,965. Expect the facelifted M3 to be revealed at a later date.

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