2023 BMW 3 Series facelift revealed, confirmed for Australia


BMW’s staple mid-size sedan and wagon range has been treated to its mid-life update, with revised styling and an all-new twin-screen dashboard from the iX and i4 electric cars.

The facelifted 2023 BMW 3 Series has been revealed, ahead of an Australian launch towards the end of 2022.

Arriving three and a half years into the current ‘G20’ 3 Series range’s run, the facelifted (or Life Cycle Impulse (LCI), in BMW speak) model adds restyled exterior design elements – though no 4 Series-like tall grilles – plus a new twin-screen dashboard, and other enhancements.

Reshaped (but equally-sized) ‘kidney’ grilles are flanked up front by reworked LED headlights with flipped arrow-shaped daytime-running light signatures, and sit above new air intake designs with L-shaped accents as part of the standard-fit M Sport pack.

The headlights incorporate standard LED tech on entry-level 320i and 330i models, stepping up to adaptive units on the M340i xDrive, with blue accents and matrix technology.

New 18-inch and 19-inch alloy wheel designs fill the arches, while at the rear there’s a redesigned lower bumper, with additional body-coloured elements, and trapezoidal exhaust tips as standard on the M Sport – formerly an M340i exclusive.

The M Sport package also includes a mesh grille pattern and black mirror caps, while a new M Sport Pro optional package adds black exterior accents for the grille, windows and headlights, plus M Sport performance brakes with red calipers.

New colours include Skyscraper Grey metallic, M Brooklyn Grey metallic, BMW Individual Frozen Pure Grey metallic and Frozen Tanzanite Blue metallic.

Inside, the 3 Series range – as well as the hero M3 performance range – benefits from BMW’s latest iDrive 8 twin-screen dashboard, with a 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital instrument display integrated into one curved panel.

Highlights of the system include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, augmented-reality navigation, a personal assistant, 5G connectivity, and support for a digital key through owners’ iPhones.

Other interior upgrades include a redesigned gear selector for the eight-speed automatic transmission, and three-zone automatic climate control – which is now standard across the model range – controlled from the touchscreen.

No changes have been made under the bonnet, where the 3 Series retains a choice of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrains in Europe.

In Australia, buyers will continue to be offered two 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine – the entry-level 135kW/300Nm 320i and top-selling 190kW/400Nm 330i – and a 285kW/500Nm 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol inline six-cylinder in the M340i xDrive.

The 330e plug-in hybrid will also carry over, pairing a 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder engine with an electric motor for combined outputs of 215kW and 420Nm during XtraBoost mode, and a fuel economy claim of around two litres per 100 kilometres.

All models use eight-speed automatic transmissions as standard, powering the rear wheels in the four-cylinder cars, or all four wheels in the M340i.

Despite accounting for just 3.4 per cent of 3 Series sales in Australia in 2020, the Touring wagon will live on with the facelifted range – though only in 330i trim, despite the availability of a high-performance M340i xDrive Touring overseas.

The high-performance M3 Touring wagon has been locked in for Australia, likely in the first half of 2023 – given global production is set to commence in the final weeks of 2022.

Standard safety features across the range include autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, (manual) cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, with automatic parking and a 360-degree camera available as options.

The 2023 BMW 3 Series range is due to enter production in July 2022, ahead of first Australian deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2022 (October to December).

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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