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BMW 3 Series LCI revealed in full: 2023 update confirmed for Australian release in Q4


Familiar range returns to Australia in sedan and wagon body styles, with a significant update to cabin tech

A comprehensive update to the ‘G20’ BMW 3 Series sedan and station wagon will be released in Australia in the fourth quarter of 2022 after the facelifted range was revealed in Germany this morning.

BMW calls its facelifts life cycle impulses, and the 2023 3 Series LCI bundles expected subtle revisions to the exterior design with more comprehensive changes to the interior technology stack.

BMW 3 Series 2022 LCI rear

Within this article:

  • Five-strong engine lineup
  • Subtle exterior design changes
  • Curved Display with operating system 8
  • Australian arrival in the fourth quarter of 2022

Inside, the cabin tech jumps to BMW’s eighth-generation operating system, OS 8, and the 3 Series also picks up the single-piece Curved Display from its cousins – the electric i4 Gran Coupe and the iX large SUV.

In good news for estate fans, the 3 Series wagon is safe for Australia with the Touring variant confirmed for release in LCI form locally alongside the sedan in the fourth quarter.

The 3 Series is offered with five engines in Australia starting with the $71,900 320i sedan. The range is capped by the sporty M3 Competition sedan that costs $166,500, though the halo M3 Touring will join the lineup next year.

Five-strong engine lineup: 320i, 330i, 330e, M340i, M3

Unlike other 3 Series LCI releases of the past two decades, the G20 series does not receive an engine bump or designation change, with familiar 320i, 330i, 330e plug-in hybrid and M340i grades continuing, alongside the M3.

The 3 Series Touring will remain available solely with the popular 330i engine – BMW’s 2.0-litre ‘B48’ turbocharged petrol four-cylinder producing 190kW of power and 400Nm of torque.

The sedan is available with all locally-offered engines:

  • 320i – 2.0-litre turbo four (135kW/300Nm)
  • 330i – 2.0-litre turbo four (190kW/400Nm)
  • 330e – 2.0-litre turbo four + single electric motor (185kW/420Nm)
  • M340i – 3.0-litre turbo six (285kW/500Nm)
  • M3 (manual) – 3.0-litre turbo six (353kW/550Nm)
  • M3 Competition (auto) – 3.0-litre turbo six (375kW/650Nm)

In Australia, most 3 Series variants are rear-wheel drive, with xDrive AWD being standard on the M340i and optional on the M3 Competition. A ZF-built eight-speed torque converter automatic is fitted with each engine, though a six-speed manual is available in the M3.

Subtle exterior design changes

Outside, the 3 Series LCI can be identified by its revised front and rear apron and subtly reshaped LED headlights and kidney grille, which sits above new black air intakes. Larger tailpipes measuring 90mm or 100mm are fitted at the rear.

The exterior design changes were foreshadowed with the announcement of the all-electric i3 sedan for the mainland Chinese market some weeks ago.

An M Sport package continues to be standard for the 3 Series in Australia. Skyscraper greyy and M Brooklyn grey have been added to the colour palette, while the ‘special’ colour list now includes frozen pure grey and frozen tanzanite blue. 150 BMW Individal colours are available to order at a premium price.

For cars with M Sport, the kidney grille features a mesh design while tailpipes are now trapezoidal in shape. Black high-gloss mirror caps are now standard, while wheel sizes are either 18- or 19-inches in Australia.

New Curved Display with operating system 8

Inside, the most significant change to the 3 Series is the replacement of the previous split 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 10-inch touchscreen with a new single-piece Curved Display that incorporates 12.3-inch and 14.9-inch screens.

The Curved Display presents BMW’s operating system 8 software which continues to incorporate satellite navigation, digital and online radio, Bluetooth sources plus wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring.

The gear shift lever has been redesigned while a rotary iDrive controller is maintained. Three-zone climate control is standard for the car.

Australian arrival in the fourth quarter of 2022

Local customer deliveries of the updated 3 Series are set to commence in the fourth quarter of 2022 – between October and December inclusive.

Pricing has not yet been announced and is expected to be communicated closer to October.