It seems odd to think that the ‘new’ BMW 3 Series has been around for almost four years now. We drove the car locally in the early part of 2019 (as you can read here). BMW pulled the wraps of the facelifted 3 Series earlier today. The revised model range will be available in South Africa from the end of the third quarter of 2022.

Follow Double Apex on Facebook and Instagram, where we share more car content.

Mid-life refresh

Most cars get a mid-life refresh or ‘facelift’. The aim is to inject new sales impetus to a model halfway through its lifecycle. So, for those paying attention, the next-gen 3 Series will be introduced in about four years. In BMW-speak the refresh is referred to as an LCI, or lifecycle impulse.

Don’t fix it…

The facelifted 3 Series does not stray too far from the existing appearance of the company’s best-selling sedan. We’re pretty sure BMW isn’t keen to mess with its winning recipe. The most obvious change has taken place on the face. Slimmer LED headlights flank a redesigned grille, while there is also a larger lower air intake. 

If you opt for the new M Sport package then the main air intake has a honeycomb finish. That same package includes redesigned front and rear bumpers as well as 18-inch alloy wheels.

More obvious

The biggest change to the facelifted 3 Series is in the cabin where BMW has installed its widescreen Curved Display. This new centrepiece features a 12,3-inch digital instrument panel. In addition the new, larger panel includes a 14,9-inch central infotainment touchscreen. The Curved Display aims to reduce the number of traditional buttons and switches on the dashboard.

BMW’s iDrive system now boasts the company’s Operating System 8. One of the highlights of the system is the ability to receive software updates over the air (OTA). In essence the car doesn’t need to go into a dealership for an upgrade, it simply takes place over a WiFi network. 

More standard kit

All variants of the new BMW 3 Series now come as standard with an eight-speed transmission with gearshift paddles on the steering wheel and a newly designed selector lever. There is also Live Cockpit Plus with cloud-based navigation, Park Distance Control and three-zone climate control included in the standard list price.

Unchanged drivetrain line-up

BMW SA has not confirmed the local engine line-up. However, there has been no change in this regard at the international level, so we don’t expect the current range to change. The current line-up comprises the 318i, 320i, 320d, 330i and M340i. You can read our BMW M340i driving review at this link.