Auto focus

Tweaked BMW 3 offers better cabin, more efficient gearbox

S Muralidhar | Updated on January 20, 2018

Revamped Additional features of the M Sport package are the M aerodynamic package

Revamped Additional features Driving Experience Control switch with additional Sport+ mode. S MURALIDHAR

Revamped Additional features of the anthracite-colouredBMW Individual headliner. S MURALIDHAR

IMG_2475.JPG

IMG_2476.JPG

IMG_2482.JPG

Revamped Additional features of the M Sport suspension and front sports seats. S MURALIDHAR

IMG_2486.JPG

IMG_2487.JPG

The 3 Series gets a mid-model facelift to boost its luxury quotient and deliver more value for buyers



There are many facets to the Indian passenger car market which are a reflection of the skewed buyer preferences here. One of them is how there are more sedan choices for buyers in the Rs 40 lakh plus segment compared to the Rs 10 lakh plus segment. The latest to join the luxury compact sedan race in the Rs 40 lakh plus segment earlier this year was the Jaguar XE. The competition in the segment revolves around the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the BMW 3 Series, the Audi A4 and now the Jaguar XE, with slightly lower priced competitors like the Volvo S60 offering more value-conscious and less badge-conscious buyers an excellent alternative.

The BMW 3 Series, one of the first choices for buyers, is clearly feeling the heat despite the fact that the current generation is still very new. Introduced globally in 2012, the current sixth generation 3 Series is going through a bit of a mid-life crisis thanks to the competition boosting their appeal. The quickest way to deal with it is to give it a mid-model facelift - and that is what BMW India did earlier this year.

Design

The new, 2016 BMW 3 Series' is still the same great design, with the front highlight being the signature headlamp design that set up the lineage lines for the rest of the models to follow, all the way to the new 7 Series. The same reinterpretation of the shark nose too continues. The changes that have been brought in, focus on improving sportiness of the design and delivering more novelty all the way from the bottom end of the variants.

Standard fitment includes LED headlamps, now with the signature twin ring design and eye-brow style indicators. The front fender has been redesigned with broader side air intakes in the front apron. The new 3 Series design also involves the addition of full-LED tail-lamps with the characteristic L-shaped tubes. BMW says that the design is now focuses on emphasising the width of the rear and the LEDs and the revised rear fender lines are aimed at achieving this. There is also a range of new wheels available for the new 3.

Cabin

The mid-model facelift for the 3 Series' cabin just focuses on improving the perceived quality of the interior. The cabin was already a pretty pleasing place to be in and being driver-focused was one of those 'likeable' attributes.

This generic focus continues in the new 3 too. It gets additional bits of chrome on a number of small trim elements like the aircon vents, centre console and the window buttons.

There is also a neat sliding cover for the cup holders which makes the centre console look cleaner. And there is the addition of the new navigation system, which features a quicker start up and more intelligent route calculation. The M Sport variant also gets a Heads-up display. Four trim variants are on offer including Luxury Line, Sport Line and M Sport. Cabin equipment varies based on the trim chosen and further customisation is also possible.

Performance

The new 3 Series' diesel variants have been launched and the petrol variants will come in later this year. Though it is only a facelift, BMW has chosen to replace the earlier powertrain with a new one. The highlight is the new 8-speed automatic gearbox. The Diesel engine is a new 1,995cc twin turbocharged, 4-cylinder unit which marginally bumps up the peak power to 190hp and peak torque to 400Nm.

The new Steptronic transmission is said to be more efficient, it certainly feels quicker. The engine is typically torquey, with much of the 400Nm being available from about 1,600rpm. We test drove the M Sport, which had the addition of a Sport+ mode and steering mounted paddle shifters.

Bottomline

The ride quality and handling have also improved due to changes in the damper and suspension set up. The suspension is stiffer and ride more firm. Body shell mountings are also stiffer to reduce roll and improve handling.

The new 3 Series sedan gets a quick makeover that boosts its appeal. The new powertrain should deliver benefits in the long term. Ex-showroom prices for the diesel variants range from ₹35.9 lakh to ₹44.5 lakh.

Published on April 07, 2016

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor