New BMW 3 Series models launched

  • Saloon 3 Series to offer 4WD xDrive
  • ActiveHybrid also joins the range
  • M Sport spec completes 3 Series additions
Click for full BMW 3 Series review
Click for full BMW 3 Series review
A four-wheel-drive BMW 3 Series model, called xDrive, is available to order now. It arrives at the same time as the new M Sport trim and a hybrid version called ActiveHybrid 3.

BMW's xDrive four-wheel-drive system is only available on the entry-level engine in the 3 Series range, the 181bhp 2.0-litre petrol 320i.

Adding four-wheel drive raises the 320i SE’s price by £1535 to £27,400. There's also an increase over the standard car's fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, with the xDrive 320i averaging 41.5mpg and 159g/km with a six-speed manual gearbox, and 43.5mpg and 152g/km with an optional eight-speed automatic transmission.

There are plans to offer the xDrive four-wheel-drive system with other engines, but BMW is currently unable to confirm which, other than saying they ‘will be diesels’. The new xDrive model will allow BMW to offer a direct rival to four-wheel-drive versions of the Audi A4.

New BMW 3 Series M Sport model has a range of cosmetic upgrades

Another addition to the 3 Series engine line-up is the ActiveHybrid 3. This hybrid model combines a turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine with a 54bhp electric motor. This allows it to accelerate from 0-62mph in just 5.3 seconds, and still offer average economy of 47.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 139g/km.

The extra space required by the batteries eats into the boot space, with the ActiveHybrid’s capacity dropping to 390 litres, down from the 480 litres offered by other 3 Series saloons. The ActiveHybrid 3 will cost from £40,225 and is available in all trims.

BMW has confirmed that the popular M Sport trim will be available on these new models, and across all 3 Series cars, Efficient Dynamics models aside. M Sport versions cost £3000 more than SE models.

Additional features include 18-inch alloy wheels, M Sport suspension, sportier bumpers and high-gloss exterior trim. Inside, there's leather upholstery, an M Sport leather-trimmed steering wheel, dark headlining and M Sport seats. A Sport+ function is also added to the Drive Performance Control system.

The M Sport, xDrive and ActiveHybrid models are all available to order now. Customer deliveries will start in late August.

Tom Webster

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