The news is good for fans of high-end models, with prices falling by up 15 per cent, but will be a little harder to swallow for shoppers on a budget, with the entry price now above $60,000.
The new base model, the BMW 320d, is now $60,900, making it $4800 more than the fifth-generation 320i Lifestyle and $1200 more than the previous 320d Lifestyle. To justify to price rise, the new 320d gains fully electric front seats, push-button start and front parking sensors, while its official fuel consumption has fallen to a class-leading 4.5 litres per 100km. Other standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels and the BMW Professional entertainment system with 6.5-inch colour display and iDrive controller.
At $66,900, the mid-spec 328i is $5000 cheaper than the model it replaces (the 325i). The 328i gets a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with 180kW of power and 350Nm of torque (20kW/100Nm more than the 325i). Despite the extra power, fuel consumption falls 30 per cent to 6.3L/100km. The 328i adds Navigation System Business and a nine-speaker sound system, among other features.
The range-topping BMW 335i is priced from just $91,900, down a whopping $16,300 from the old model. The 225kW/400Nm 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine carries over, while standard interior features now include Navigation System Professional with 16-speaker Harmon/Kardon surround system, 12GB audio storage, Bluetooth audio streaming, voice control and internet connectivity. Outside, the new 335i sports bi-xenon headlights and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Also available for the first time in the 3 Series range is BMW Lines: the German brand’s new styling concept designed to simplify the personalisation process. The Sport Line adds high-gloss black exterior elements for a shadowy attitude, the Luxury Line adds subtle chrome highlights, and the Modern Line combines light and shade with black and aluminium and a number of interior options.
2012 BMW 3 Series manufacturer’s list prices (excluding government and dealer charges):
- 320d – $60,900
- 328i – $66,900
- 335i – $91,900
- 320d – Modern: $3100, Sport/Luxury: $4100
- 328i/335i – Modern: $1000, Sport/Luxury: $2000