The 3 Series remains BMW’s best-selling product in the history books of the German marque and the current-gen model codenamed G20 has been on the market for roughly three years and already, a refreshed model has been revealed.

BMW 3 Series Rearview and Sideview

On the outside

Earmarked to go on sale in South Africa towards the end of the third quarter of the year, the facelifted BMW 3 Series has gone through a significant makeover, thanks to larger air intakes, front apron, redesigned headlights and kidney grille.

It comes standard with slimmer full-LED headlights with clear contour and daytime running lights arranged in an inverted L shape. Buyers can get the optional adaptive LED headlights at an extra fee.

BMW 3 Series LED Lights and Grille

Moving to the rear, the refreshed 3 Series is fitted with slim rear light clusters and flared rear wheel arches as well as tailpipe finishers that now measure 90 or 100 mm depending on the powertrain chosen.

As standard, the 3 Series comes with an M High-gloss Shadowline trim which adds 17-inch light-alloy wheels.

To add more pizzazz, the facelifted 3 Series comes with an M Sport package which adds a honeycomb pattern for the kidney grille, a new design for the front and rear aprons and new M light-alloy wheels in 18-inch format with mixed-size tyres.

As for the potent M340i, it spawns a kidney grille in mesh design and 18-inch M light-alloy wheels or an optional 19-inch. They further feature trapezoidal tailpipe trims for the exhaust system and M exterior mirror caps in Black high-gloss.

BMW 3 Series Rearview

For the first time, BMW has added the M Sport package Pro to the options list as an extension of the aforementioned M Sport package and BMW Performance models. This adds extended M High-gloss Shadowline trim, M lights Shadowline and an M Sport braking system with red callipers.

The 3 Series can be had in Skyscraper Grey metallic and M Brooklyn Grey metallic as part of the M Sport package as well as the BMW Individual Frozen Pure Grey metallic and Frozen Tanzanite Blue metallic special paint finishes.

On the inside

Inside, the new model benefits from BMW’s latest standard-fit Curved Display plus a digitised interior. There is a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a control display that measures 14.9-inch with the latest BMW Operating System 8 for the iDrive, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The gear lever has also been redesigned.

BMW 3 Series Interior

As standard, the 3 Series comes with an automatic climate control system with three-zone adjustment, an automatically dimming rear-view mirror, an extended storage package, Park Distance Control and BMW Live Cockpit Plus including the BMW Maps navigation system.

BMW 3 Series Interior Fullview

Engine and model variants

The 3 Series range consists of one diesel variant and four petrol models with four or six cylinders. The power outputs range from 110 kW and 285 kW and all benefit from BMW’s 48-volt mild-hybrid technology for improved efficiency. 

All the engines link up with an 8-speed Steptronic transmission as standard while buyers can have the Steptronic Sport transmission with the same number of gears and a launch control function as an option. The M340i gets an all-wheel-drive system as standard.

BMW has put a price tag on the refreshed 3 Series so we have to wait until it officially goes on sale. As for the facelifted M3 Competition, it should follow suit in the coming months after that.