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...

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Tom Webster
22 June 2012

New BMW 3 Series models launched

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 SEs 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 ActiveHybrids 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