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BMW 3 Series Review

By Motor Match • 12/04/2023

The BMW has recently released an updated version of the famous 3 series, let's take a look!

What is it?

BMW’s 3 Series has been a core model in the compact executive car class for decades, always going head-to-head with the Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class. While SUVs might now account for the bulk of BMW’s sales, the 3 Series remains exceptionally popular.

To ensure its relevance remains, BMW is now back with an updated version to try and maintain its appeal. Let’s find out if it succeeds.

BMW 3 Series driving view

What’s new?

BMW hasn’t deviated too much from the formula of the pre-facelifted 3 Series, with the packaging and overall look not changing too much. There are styling revisions, however, such as new headlights and a flatter, wider grille.

But it’s inside where the main changes are made, with the latest 3 Series adopting BMW’s new ‘Curved Display’, as seen on newer models like the iX and i4.

What’s under the bonnet?

BMW continues to offer the 3 Series with a broad range of engine options – including petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid. All are paired to an eight-speed automatic gearbox these days too.

BMW has ditched the previous entry-level 318i and 318d models, with the range now starting with the 320i petrol – using a 181bhp 2.0-litre engine. It’s swiftly followed by the 320d, featuring a 187bhp 2.0-litre diesel.

The 330e plug-in hybrid is now the best-seller, with its petrol engine and electric combination putting out up to 288bhp, while being able to manage up to 36 electric miles when charged.

At the top of the range are the ‘M’ models – the M340d and M340i. Both use 3.0-litre engines, with power outputs of 335bhp and 369bhp. Both can comfortably accelerate to 60mph in under five seconds.

BMW 3 Series side view
BMW 3 Series rear view

What’s it like to drive?

The way a 3 Series drives has always been a key selling point, and that remains the same with this updated model. There’s a wonderfully linear and smooth way to how this BMW drives, with plenty of feel through the steering giving you the confidence to drive this car harder than you might some of its rivals.

We’re trying the 320d here, which is a wonderfully competent choice, especially for those doing lots of motorway miles thanks to its remarkable efficiency.

How does it look?

BMW’s styling has been getting increasingly divisive in recent years, but the 3 Series certainly remains one of the least controversial choices. Though the grille is larger than before, it’s not quite as brash.

The new LED lights feature a smart signature, while other changes include new gloss black elements in the rear bumper, but by and large, the design remains very similar to before.

BMW 3 Series side view
BMW 3 Series Interior

What’s it like inside?

Inside, the key change is the addition of the new Curved Display, which merges a huge 14.9-inch touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital dial display in one seamless piece of glass. It looks great to our eyes, and works well too, though BMW has retained the usual iDrive rotary controller.

The 3 Series also remains a relatively practical choice, more so if you choose the Touring estate model. Each has room for adults to sit in the rear seats in relative comfort, though.

What’s the spec like?

BMW has slimmed down the 3 Series range, with the entry-level SE version being removed, and the line-up now starting with the Sport.

Standard equipment is generous, though, including the Curved Display, front and rear parking sensors and 17-inch alloy wheels to name just a few features.

The 3 Series is also competitively priced, with the range available from £39,580, though the price does rise sharply if you aren’t careful with optional extras.

BMW 3 Series Infotainment screen


The BMW 3 Series remains one of the finest all-round cars on the market. It’s great to drive, practical and gets on with everything in an easy, unobtrusive fashion.

Updates to it – namely the new Curved Display interior – have only made this BMW even better, and it’s most certainly worth a look, both on the new and used market.

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