New-gen sedan adds new variants at the top, bottom and middle of the range. Entry price drops by $3000, while M340i becomes new performance hero.
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BMW Australia has confirmed three new variants for the new-generation 3 Series line-up, with the 320i, 330e iPerformance and M340i xDrive all headed to local showrooms later this year.

The announcement adds a new entry point, a new flagship, and a new electrified option to the 3er family, with pricing to start at $64,900 for the 320i and climbing to $99,900 for the M340i xDrive. All prices exclude on-road costs.

Let's start with the new 320i, which is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine making 135kW of power and 300Nm of torque, fed to the rear wheels via an eight-speed ZF automatic. BMW claims the base 3 Series can complete 0-100km/h in 7.2 seconds.

Specification for the new entry model mirrors that of the 320d ($67,900), meaning the M Sport Package with M Sport suspension, 18-inch bi-colour alloys, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 10.25-inch infotainment display are all standard.

There's also the Driving Assistant suite – lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, speed sign recognition, and autonomous emergency braking with forward collision warning – a 12-month subscription to wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless smartphone charging, and adaptive LED headlights with high-beam assist.

On the topic of Apple CarPlay, BMW Australia has detailed the pricing structure for its new subscription model – 12 months is $179, 36 months is $479, and Lifetime is $639.

Next is the new 330e iPerformance plug-in hybrid, which kicks off at $75,900 before on-roads. Under the skin the 3 Series PHEV gets the 320i's 135kW 2.0-litre turbo petrol mated to an electric motor integrated into the eight-speed auto, along with a 10.3kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

Combined outputs are rated at 185kW and 420Nm – in the ballpark of the 330i's 190kW and 400Nm – while a new 'XtraBoost' function accessed via 'Sport' mode acts as an overboost, bringing an additional 30kW (215kW total) for short periods.

BMW claims the PHEV can hit triple figures in a handy 5.9 seconds (0.1s slower than the 330i), while up to 60km of EV motoring is available from the battery, which can be charged in around 2.5 hours.

Compared to the previous-generation 330e, the new model offers 50 per cent more EV range.

Specification for the 330e mirrors that of the 330i, meaning the PHEV picks up beefier M Sport brakes, adaptive M Suspension, 19-inch M Light alloys, keyless access, "Vernasca' leather upholstery, Driving Assistant Professional with adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist, along with a 360-degree camera system.

Finally, the new M340i xDrive (from $99,900) will serve as stand-in performance hero until the new-gen M3 super sedan arrives.

Power in the M Performance model comes from a 3.0-litre turbocharged straight six that develops 285kW of power and 500Nm of torque – 45kW and 50Nm up on the previous 340i.

Thanks to the extra grunt and added traction of xDrive all-wheel drive, the M340i claims to dash to triple figures in just 4.4 seconds, not far off the current M3 (4.0 seconds).

Compared to lesser 3 Series models, the M340i xDrive gets a specially-tuned version of the eight-speed automatic with shortened lower gear ratios for improved acceleration, along with a Launch Control function.

There's also the M Sport rear differential as standard, along with an automatic bootlid, Sensatec leatherette dash trim, ambient lighting, lumbar support, heated front seats, Laser headlights, 16-speaker harman/kardon surround sound system, and model-specific 19-inch M Light alloys.

Rounding out the spec sheet are Cerium Grey metallic accents for the exterior, model-specific body kit, special Vernasca leather trim, BMW Individual anthracite roofliner, 'M340i' lettering throughout the cabin, Aluminium Tetragon ornamentation, and an M leather steering wheel.

The new BMW 3 Series models are available to order, ahead of first deliveries from September.

2019 BMW 3 Series pricing

  • 320i – $64,900
  • 320d – $67,900
  • 330i – $70,900
  • 330e – $75,900
  • M340i xDrive – $99,900

All prices exclude on-road costs