Johannesburg – It might not be built locally any more, but that doesn’t mean that South Africans have to wait forever and a day to get hold of the latest versions of the BMW 3 Series.
Just four months after being revealed abroad, the facelifted BMW 3 Series sedan has landed in Mzansi, sporting a fresh exterior look and updated wide-screen cabin featuring the company’s latest electronics.
On the outside we see slimmer headlights, a redesigned grille and larger lower air intake, all of which conspire to make it look more akin to a baby 5 Series. Round back we see a new apron design, while the tail lamps remain as before.
There’s also a new M Sport package, which is standard on the new 330i model. Opt for this and you get unique front and rear aprons, a honeycomb grille and new 18-inch M Light alloy wheels. Buyers can take the sporty flavour further with a new M Sport Pro package, which includes additional Shadowline elements as well as red brake callipers.
Moving inside, the big talking point is a new dual-screen Curved Display, which combines a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 14.9-inch infotainment system into a single high-resolution unit. Powered by the latest (generation eight) BMW operating system, the Curved Display is standard across the board.
On that note, the list of standard features in the new BMW 3-Series now includes three-zone climate control, operable via touch or voice command, as well as the BMW Live Cockpit Plus system with navigation, Park Distance Control with front and rear sensors and the extended storage package.
Standard driver assist gizmos include Front Collision Warning with auto-braking and Lane Departure Warning, and there’s a long list of options, including Active Cruise Control with steering and lane control assist as well as Stop & Go, and BMW Head-Up Display, among others.
Five engines to choose from
BMW hasn’t done any tinkering beneath the bonnet for this midlife refresh, so as before buyers can choose from a range of mild-hybrid turbocharged petrol and diesel engines.
Topping the pile is the M340i xDrive, featuring a 3.0-litre straight-six turbopetrol that pounds out 285kW and 500Nm.
The rest of the petrol variants feature BMW’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo motor in different states of tune, with the 318i offering 115kW and 250Nm, the 320i producing 135kW and 300Nm, and the 330i M Sport upping the entertainment value to 190kW and 400Nm.
The 320d turbodiesel motor also features a 2.0-litre motor, which in this case produces 140kW and 400Nm.
BMW’s eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission is standard across the board, including paddle shifters, and power goes to the back wheels only in all models barring the all-paw M340i.
BMW 3 Series Pricing (September 2022)
318i Sport Line – R767 893
318i M Sport – R817 893
320i Sport Line – R832 893
320i M Sport – R882 893
320d Sport Line– R880 313
320d M Sport – R930 313
330i M Sport – R953 197
M340i xDrive – R1 338 206