The BMW 3 Series range has been given a series of specification upgrades as the company looks at ways to catch the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class in the sales race.
While BMW has increased pricing across a number of sedan and wagon variants by between $400 and $3100 (while reducing the Gran Turismo by up to $3000), it has added significantly more equipment than before, making its mid-sized staple greater value.
The action — the second since August last year — must be seen as a direct response to the loaded new C-Class, which also launched last August and has consistently outdone the 3 Series in volume. In multiple occasions, the Benz in fact more than doubled the BMW in monthly sales.
First up, all variants including the base BMW 316i sedan now come with a head-up display, as well as a reversing and bird’s-eye view camera as standard.
Every variant from 316i upwards also gets as standard BMW’s camera and radar-based Driver Assistance Package with lane departure warning, plus a pedestrian warning with light (up to 60km/h) autonomous braking function among other features, as standard.
Furthermore, Sport and Luxury ‘character lines’ are now available as a no-cost-option on the 316i sedan, 318d wagon, 320i sedan, wagon and GT, and 320d sedan and GT. Character lines were already standard on the 328i. The 335i and ActiveHybrid 3 get standard M Sport or Luxury lines. The Modern line has been dropped.
These lines add unique wheels and various new external and cabin trims that add a little more panache. Each was previously a $3150-plus option.
Sure to be music to the ears of fans of the so-called Ultimate Driving Machine is the fact that Adaptive M Suspension will be made standard in all models from the 320i/d Sedan and GT, and 318d Touring.
The aesthetics of the 3 Series sedan, wagon and GT are improved with the introduction as standard of Bi-Xenon headlights and alloy wheels ranging from 17 to 19-inches on all variants, rather than just some.
Finally, all variants also get BMW’s ConnectDrive features, including TeleServices that transmits vehicle data to your service centre, and Intelligent Emergency Call that contacts a BMW call centre — and by proxy 000 — automatically in a serious accident.
As mentioned, these additions across the board come with price increases, though the added-value looks to easily outweigh them. The new entry price to the range is $53,800 plus on-road costs for the 316i sedan, an increase of $1000.
Likewise, the 320i, 320d and 328i sedan variants increase by $1000 to $61,500, $63,800 and $70,400 apiece, while the 335i and ActiveHybrid 3 sedans are unchanged at $93,430 and $100,200 respectively.
The 318d Touring wagon is now $63,900, up $3100, while the 320i climbs $400 to $64,900 alongside the 328i, also up $400 to $73,800.
Going against the grain, pricing on the Gran Turismo has been reduced, by $3000 on the 320i (now $67,000) and 320d (now $69,300), and $1100 on the 328i (now $75,900).
BMW 3 Series Australian pricing and additions breakdown:
BMW 316i: $53,800 (up $1000)
BMW 320i: $61,500 (up $1000)
BMW 320d: $63,800 (up $1000)
BMW 328i: $70,400 (up $1000)
BMW 335i: $93,430 (no change)
BMW ActiveHybrid 3: $100,200 (no change)
BMW 318d: $63,900 (up $3100)
BMW 320i: $64,900 (up $400)
BMW 328i: $73,800 (up $400)
BMW 320i: $67,000 (down $3000)
BMW 320d: $69,300 (down $3000)
BMW 328i: $75,900 (down $1100)