WORLD PREMIERE: BMW 3 Series Touring Facelift — The Best Got Better

world premiere bmw 3 series touring facelift the best got better

BMW’s newly facelifted 3 Series Sedan isn’t alone in the world, it has a longer-roofed sibling–the 3 Series Touring Facelift. For many customers on the Old Continent, the 3 Series Touring is the go-to premium daily-driver on the market. Its overall combination of handsome but understated good looks, sporty driving dynamics, premium cabin, and wagon practicality make it one of the best overall vehicles on the market. And now it’s even better, thanks to the updated style and upgraded tech from its new LCI facelift.

Changes Mostly Upfront

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The 3 Series Touring gets the exact same new updates as the 3 Series Sedan. Obviously, the Touring is a wagon, so it has a longer roof and a hatchback, but neither of those things are changed for LCI-duty. But in case you didn’t already check our coverage of the 3 Series Sedan LCI, here’s the rundown.

Up front, the 3 Series Touring is all-new; new headlights, new grille, and a new lower front fascia. Gone are the pre-LCI 3er’s notches headlights, which is admittedly a bit of a shame, as those harkened back to the iconic E46. In their place are sharper, sportier headlights similar to those of the 4 Series. When combined with the new grille that gets double grille slats, like an M car, it looks much sportier than before.

Beneath the grille and headlights are entirely new air intakes, with new body lines that look more cohesive than before. The air intakes are also much larger than before, but also simpler, giving it both a more handsome and more aggressive look.

New Diffuser, Larger Pipes

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Moving to the back, the only real difference between the 3 Series Touring LCI and the outgoing pre-LCI car is the pseudo diffuser in the rear bumper. Aside from that, it’s pretty much the same. Which is actually news in itself, as most new M Performance cars have received the same quad exhaust design as proper M cars but the 3 Series won’t, it keeps the old dual exhaust look.

Curved Display

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There are some significant changes inside, too. Like most new Bimmers, the 3 Series Touring LCI gets BMW’s latest iDrive 8 system, which comes with a dual-screen setup that also includes its digital gauge screen. We’ve gone over iDrive 8 extensively and it’s a big upgrade over iDrive 7, even if it takes a few minutes to get used to. Additionally, the new digital gauges are far better than the ones used in the pre-LCI 3 Series. Not only are they nicer to look at, they’re more legible and more customizable. If you’ve seen the BMW i4, you know exactly what the dash of the 3 Series Touring looks like.

The only other noteworthy difference inside the 3 Series Touring LCI is its shift lever. Rather than the old robot-leg shifter of the pre-LCI car, this updated 3er gets the same toggle switch shifter as the BMW iX. Interestingly, the BMW i4–which is all-electric–gets the old style shifter but this new 3 Series gets the new style toggle.

Lots of Powertrain Choices

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As far as powertrains go, all six-cylinder and diesel engines now get 48-volt mild-hybrid technology, leaving the four-cylinder gasoline (petrol) models as the only purely internal-combustion 3ers left. Here’s the full rundown of the powertrain options and power specs:

  • BMW 318i — 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (156 horsepower/184 lb0ft of torque)
  • BMW 320i — 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (184 horsepower/221 lb-ft of torque) with available xDrive
  • BMW 330i — 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (245 horsepower/295 lb-ft of torque) with available xDrive
  • BMW M340i xDrive — 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine (382 horsepower (374 hp for Europe)/369 lb-ft of torque)
  • BMW 318d — 2.0-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder (150 horsepower/236 lb-ft)
  • BMW 320d — 2.0-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder (190 horsepower/295 lb-ft) with available xDrive
  • BMW 330d — 3.0-liter turbo-diesel six-cylinder (286 horsepower/479 lb-ft) with available xDrive
  • BMW M340d xDrive — 3.0-liter turbo-diesel six-cylinder (340 horsepower/516 lb-ft)
  • BMW 320e — 2.0-liter turbo-four hybrid (combined 204 horsepower/258 lb-ft)
  • BMW 330e — 2.0-liter turbo-four hybrid (combined 292 horsepower/310 lb-ft)

The BMW 3 Series Touring has, since its debut several decades ago, always been one of the very best all-around cars on sale. This current G21-generation car has been among the best of all 3 Series Tourings in history and, now that it’s received a facelift, it’s gotten even better.

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