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BMW 3 Series lineup trimmed: base model and hybrids axed in Australia

Olek Novak

The BMW 320i and 330e are no more in Australia; with the 330i now the most affordable BMW 3 Series you can buy

BMW Australia has trimmed its 3 Series midsize sedan lineup in Australia, axing the 320i base model and 330e plug-in hybrid.

The previously mid-spec 330i will act as the new entry variant in the streamlined range, with cost of entry to 3 Series ownership rising by $14,500 as a result.

Until now buyers could buy into the 3 Series lineup at $80,200 for the 320i, before stepping up to the now entry level 330i at $94,700. The 330e asked for $98,700.

The BMW 330e (pictured) is one of two models axed from the 3 Series lineup in Australia

The new cost of entry is a significant step up for the 3 Series, which was originally priced at an entry-level price of $64,900 for the 320i when the current generation launched in mid-2019. At the time, a 330i could be purchased for $70,900.

A mid-life facelift – or ‘life cycle impulse’ in BMW-speak – which featured styling tweaks and a significant interior tech update have taken place in the four years since, bringing about the most significant price jump for the vehicles in their current generation.

The axing of the BMW 320i (pictured) effectively makes the 330i the new base model

In response to the changes, a spokesperson for BMW Australia said: “the high volume of new BMW models introduced to the local market prompts us to constantly assess our product portfolio in line with customer demand and our commitment to offering products that suit individual needs.

“This has led us to restructure the BMW 3 Series variants for 2024.”

The current generation BMW 3 Series was launched in Australia in 2019 before undergoing a facelift in 2022

The move brings the total number of regular 3 Series models down to two – the 330i and M340i xDrive, which retails at $106,200. This doesn’t include the high-performance M3 model lineup, which is unaffected. Nor is there any impact on wagons, with both 330i Touring and M3 Competition xDrive Touring models unaffected too – a 320i or 330e Touring were never sold in Australia.

BMW Australia added: “In the electrified space, we will shift our focus from the 330e plug-in hybrid to the fully electric i4 eDrive35. This newly introduced offering is priced at $85,900, exempting it from both Luxury Car Tax (LCT) for fuel efficient vehicles and Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) for fleet operators.”

BMW Australia says they will shift focus from the 330e plug-in hybrid to the fully electric i4 eDrive35

Last year the 3 Series shifted 3147 units for BMW, making it the brand’s fourth most popular vehicle after the X1 (4644), X3 (4002), and X5 (3682) SUVs. 

The 3 Series was the second most popular vehicle in the medium car over $60,000 category, delivering a 9.5 percent market share and shifting more units than competitors like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (2625), Polestar 2 (2463), and Audi A4 (863).

The BMW 3 Series is the fourth most popular BMW in Australia (Pictured: M340i xDrive sedan)

However, the Tesla Model 3 was by far the most dominant vehicle in the segment with 17,347 units delivered and a 52.4 percent market share. 

It’s unclear what percentage of 3 Series sales were made up by the 320i and 330e sedans.

The news comes after BMW celebrated overtaking rival Mercedes-Benz as the best-selling German premium brand in Australia last year, shifting a total of 26,184 cars and SUVS.

There are no changed to the high performance M3 model lineup, or the two wagon versions on offer (Pictured: M3 Touring)

BMW 3 Series 2024: prices in Australia

All prices listed are before on-road costs.

  • 330i sedan: $94,700
  • 330i Touring wagon: $98,700
  • M340i xDrive sedan: $106,200
  • M3 sedan: $161,300
  • M3 Competition sedan: $171,600
  • M3 Competition sedan xDrive: $177,800
  • M3 Competition Touring xDrive: $180,100
  • M3 CS: $249,900