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New BMW 3 Series gains longer-range PHEV, drops diesel

Production of the updated model is set to begin at the firm's Munich plant in July Best-seller...


  • May 28 2024
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  • 14178 Views
New BMW 3 Series gains longer-range PHEV, drops diesel
New BMW 3 Series gains longer-range PHEV, drops diesel
Production of the updated model is set to begin at the firm's Munich plant in July
Best-seller also gets new infotainment, comfort-focused chassis tweaks and a new interior design

The BMW 3 Series has received a raft of updates for 2024, including a refreshed design, a new infotainment system and a longer electric-only range for PHEV variants.

With production set to begin in July, the brand's best-selling model will go on sale in the UK priced from £39,045 for the 320i saloon and £40,845 for the 320i Touring estate.

These will be sold alongside the 330e hybrid, priced from £46,080, and the M340i variant, costing £11,765 more. No diesel variants will be coming to the UK.

Chief among the changes is a new 19.5kWh battery fitted to the PHEV, which is 7.5kWh larger than before. This results in a total electric range of 63 miles - 22 miles more than before. 

The rival Mercedes-Benz C300e can travel further on electricity alone (71 miles), although the 330e far out-travels the Volkswagen Golf GTE, which manages just 40 miles. It also stays in the 8% benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax band in the UK.

Its battery can be charged at speeds of up to 11kW for a recharge time of 2 hours and 15 minutes. It's teamed with an electric motor and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. Total system output is 296bhp – 8bhp more than before.

The 320i meanwhile uses a mild-hybrid 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 181bhp, giving it a 0-62mph time of 7.4sec and a top speed of 155mph.

The 3.0-litre straight six used in the M340i also uses a 48V starter-generator for total outputs of 374bhp and 369lb ft and a 0-62mph time of 4.4sec.

Underneath, the 3 Series' chassis has been tweaked to give it a "notable" increase in comfort in any driving situation and without any hindrance to driving involvement, according to BMW. This includes stiffer mounting points for the rear dampers, faster and more responsive steering and the option of upgraded adaptive dampers.

In an effort to keep weight down, the 3 Series' bonnet, front wheel arches, engine subframe and front spring struts are made of aluminium. A total weight figure has yet to be released by BMW.

While changes made to the exterior design are minimal, they include a cleaner and more aerodynamic front bumper, more angular sills and new 19in alloy designs. Nine new paint finishes are also available.

As standard, all 3 Series models come with 17in alloy wheels, tri-zone climate control and a 14.9in curved infotainment display inside. This is combined with the same 12.3in instrumentation display seen previously.

Inside, BMW concentrated on a "clean, pared-back look" that does without buttons - such as that used for the heated seats and heated steering wheel - in favour of the 14.9in touchscreen, which runs the latest-generation iDrive system.

This has introduced a widget bar that can be customised with the driver's favourite functions, as well as augmented reality for the sat-nav, 5G connectivity and a streamlined system to connect the car with the MyBMW app.

Various trim pieces such as the iDrive controller, ignition button and gear selector are now available in glass as part of BMW's Crafted Clarity application, as on the 5 Series and 7 Series.

Also taken from those larger cars are the new sports steering wheel and air-vent design.

There are also new ambient lighting designs that can indicate to the driver if they have an incoming phone call or if a door has been left open.

As an alternative to the standard cloth, the new 3 Series can come upholstered with M Performtex seats. This is optional on standard cars but comes as standard on the M340i and new M3.

Some new interior trim pieces can also be fitted, including dark graphite matt, grey blue ash wood and carbonfibre and aluminium inserts.

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