2015 BMW 3 Series saloon and Touring estate unveiled

Facelift to brand's most popular model includes more efficient engines and hybrid edition

The BMW 3 Series saloon and Touring estate have been revised for 2015, featuring a more efficient engine range and an updated specification list.

The 3 Series is the best-selling model range BMW has ever produced, accounting for 25% of all the cars it has ever sold. Around 14 million 3 Series have been sold since the car’s first-generation model was released in 1975.

The BMW also remains a strong seller in the UK, however recent statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders show that the Mercedes C-Class was the only compact executive car to make it into the overall top 10 best-selling models in recent months. These latest revisions made to the 3 Series should help it to get back on terms with the Mercedes.

New BMW 3 Series engines and specs

The new 3 Series engine range consists of four petrols and seven diesels – including turbocharged engines from the frugal BMW EfficientDynamics range.

The 316d, 318d and 320d all benefit from EfficientDynamics technology and feature BMW TwinPower turbocharging. The most efficient saloon version can return up to 53.3mpg fuel economy, while the most efficient Touring estate can hit 51.4mpg.

The 320d EfficientDynamics emits just 99g/km of CO2 when equipped with BMW’s new eight-speed Steptronic automatic gearbox, making it exempt from road tax.

Another notable addition to the line-up is the 330e – a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid capable of up to 134.5mpg economy plus CO2 emissions as low as 49g/km, which makes it exempt from both road tax and the London Congestion Charge.

Both the saloon and the Touring estate come with BMW’s traditional rear-wheel-drive setup as standard. The BMW xDrive four-wheel-drive system is available on petrol versions from the 320i and up, and diesel versions from the 318d and up.

All engines in the range comply with the EU’s latest Euro 6 emissions standards. All models are equipped with stop/start tech as standard and energy regeneration from the braking system.

New BMW 3 Series styling and interior

You’d be forgiven for not spotting any real differences between this updated 3 Series and the old one from the outside – even a keen BMW fan would struggle!

The only significant change is the use of LEDs in the light clusters: all new 3 Series models feature full-LED rear lights and optional LED headlights. The indicators are said to act more like eyebrows and, according to BMW, the new light designs mean the 3 Series is more recognisable in the dark.

Also introduced to the 3 Series is a series of design packs, dubbed “Lines” by the brand. The Sport Line and Luxury Line packages are designed to help buyers further personalise their 3 Series. Each pack has different seat colour and dashboard insert options, along with alloy wheel designs. Also available is the M Sport package seen on many other BMW models, which includes a subtle bodykit that takes inspiration from the brand’s performance division.

Inside, BMW claims that the dashboard is more ergonomic than ever before, and promises better storage space for your odds and ends.

The new sat-nav system has been upgraded to give quicker start-up and route calculation times. 3D graphics are included when in built-up areas and the maps are updated for three years at no cost. The new navigation system also uses 4G mobile internet, which BMW claims is a first for the “premium mid-size sports segment”.

New BMW 3 Series price

There’s no official word on an exact pricing structure for the facelifted 3 Series just yet, but we’d expect prices to remain broadly the same as the outgoing model. The new BMW 330e hybrid model is likely to start at around £35,000.

For more information on the current BMW range, visit Carbuyer’s review page.

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