There’s a saying in the US, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Over in Munich, the home of BMW, they’d probably prefer: ‘If it ain’t broke, make it even better.’ That’s the impression you get of the all-new 3 Series. It has a strong family resemblance to the previous 3 Series but it’s smoother in profile, with a wider stance and a more assertive ‘face’ thanks to slimmer LED headlights and a larger kidney grille with new double bars. The interior is more refined and connected, and an updated cockpit places even greater focus on the driver. The dash and control faces are clean and classy with some well-thought-out design details making the driver-car interface simpler and more enjoyable.


Performance and handling are always a BMW strong suit. Now, all variants of the 3 Series Saloon come with an eight-speed Steptronic transmission as standard. Starting with the petrol engines, the entry level 320i produces 184hp whilst the 330i has an output of 245hp and 400Nm of torque. Topping the range, the M340i xDrive delivers 374hp, scorching from 0 – 62mph in just 4.4 seconds. Using mild-hybrid tech, the diesel 320d produces 190hp for a 0 – 62mph time of 6.9 seconds whilst the M340d xDrive boasts 340hp for an impressive 0 – 62mph speed of 4.6 seconds. A more efficient option, the plug-in hybrid 330e combines a petrol engine and electric motor to develop a combined 292hp and 420Nm of torque, accelerating from 0 – 62mph in 5.8 seconds, and has an all-electric range of around 38 miles.


The new 3 Series uses the BMW Operating System 8.0 which includes BMW Live Cockpit Plus, real-time navigation, and the Intelligent Personal Assistant. But the real star of the show is the BMW Curved Display which is fitted as standard. To make up the digital spectacle, the 12.3” information display behind the steering wheel is merged with another 14.9” screen to form a single, high-res display spanning the dashboard. Three-zone automatic climate control is also fitted as standard, as well as an automatically dimming rear-view mirror, the extended storage package, and Park Distance Control with front and rear sensors, whilst a head-up display is optional. Drivers can use the My BMW App to manage your vehicle or view your car’s charging status at any time, whilst full smartphone integration is enabled with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.


As you’d expect of the latest generation BMW, the new 3 Series Saloon has a panoply of advanced safety systems as standard. This includes Front Collision Warning with brake intervention, Cruise Control, the Speed Limit Display with no-overtaking indicator, Manual Speed Limit Assist and Lane Departure Warning with lane return. The 3 Series can be further upgraded with other optional innovative features such as Optional Parking Assistant Plus and Driving Assistant Professional. It’s not quite at the level where you can fold your arms and let the 3 Series saloon get on with it, but it’s a step closer.