Face-lifted BMW 3 Series revealed
* New look for 3 Series range * Engine and gearbox changes * On sale this September...
This is the new BMW 3 Series, which will go on sale in the UK this September.
The changes are mostly cosmetic and initially affect only the Saloon and Touring ranges, although the Coupe and Convertible will fall into line within a year.
There are a few mechanical tweaks, though. The 330d saloon and touring get a new, all-aluminium 3.0-litre turbodiesel that increases power from the current 228bhp to 245bhp.
The new engine also trims carbon dioxide emissions from 160g/km (saloon) to 152g/km - enough to drop it a couple of company car tax bands. Combined economy is 49.6mpg, an improvement of more than 3mpg.
There will be a six-speed auto gearbox option with the 318d, and the wheels on the rear axle are up to 24mm farther apart, depending on the model, to improve stability.
The Coupe and Cabrio have not been totally overlooked - turbocharged 335i versions will be offered with the option of a seven-speed twin-clutch manual gearbox.
The cosmetic tweaks affect the look of the Saloon and Tourer's front end, side skirts and the rear bumper, lights and boot handle. There are also bigger door mirrors.
Inside, BMW has improved the quality of materials and introduced a simplified iDrive central controller option. This now has buttons that give you instant access to the radio, CD, phone and sat-nav.
With the top-level sat-nav, you can now have in-car internet access and an 80-gigabyte hard drive that allows you to store digital music files.
The revised 3 Series will be in the showrooms in the third week of September, at an average of 170 more than the outgoing model.