BMW 3 Series Revamp: Diesel Power Dropped in the UK

BMW announced a significant update for the 3 Series, marking the end of an era in the UK. The brand has officially dropped diesel power from its offerings, shifting its focus to petrol and plug-in hybrids.

Photo from Top Gear

The 3 Series, a cornerstone of BMW for nearly 50 years, adapts once again to the ever-evolving automotive landscape. Outside the UK, customers will still have access to four diesel engine options, but in the UK, only petrol and plug-in hybrid models will be available.

The UK range begins with the 320i, priced at £39,045 for the saloon and £40,845 for the Touring version. The updated 330e plug-in hybrid, detailed below, starts at £46,080 for the saloon and £47,880 for the Touring. At the top of the range, excluding the M3, is the M340i xDrive, priced at £57,845 for the saloon and £59,645 for the Touring.

The seventh-generation G20 3 Series, last updated in 2022, features limited exterior changes. The main updates are new paint colours, including Arctic Race Blue and Fire Red metallic, and redesigned 19-inch wheels. Inside, BMW has introduced new illuminated air vents, various material options, and luxurious glass trim elements borrowed from higher-end models. Steering wheel designs also received a refresh, with standard models featuring two spokes and M Sport package cars boasting three spokes with a flat bottom.

The updated iDrive system, running BMW Operating System 8.5, emphasizes touch control and natural language interaction, reducing the need for physical buttons. While some may lament this change, it aligns with BMW’s push towards a more intuitive driving experience.

The most notable update is the new Gen5 high-voltage battery in the 330e plug-in hybrid. With a 19.5kWh capacity, this battery extends the all-electric range to a maximum of 63 miles on the WLTP cycle. It also supports faster 11kW charging, allowing a full recharge in two hours and 15 minutes.

Additionally, all new 3 Series models benefit from improved chassis tuning, enhancing comfort to better handle the current state of UK roads. While the diesel-powered 3 Series will be missed, these updates ensure that BMW continues to deliver performance and innovation.

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