• 2016 BMW 3 Series

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Around for about three years, the current BMW 3 Series has just received its mid-cycle facelift. Not surprising, the new sedan remains true to its predecessor styling-wise, with only minor updates operated inside and out. As with most facelifts, this upgrade aims to keep the sedan fresh for a few more years against competitors such as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the Cadillac ATS, and the Audi A4.

While enhancements are rather subtle on the outside, BMW opted to improve the interior as to exude a more premium feel, likely as a reply to the 2015 C-Class’ gorgeous cabin. As usual, the Germans are offering even more customization options and I’m not only talking about the expensive Individual goodies.

More important news comes from the drivetrain department, with two new powerplants ready to move the 3 Series around the world. An all-new six-cylinder will arrive Stateside to replace the 335i’s older unit, while a three-cylinder will act as the new entry-level unit. Unfortunately, the three-banger isn’t for U.S. consumption. The facelift also brought the much-anticipated plug-in hybrid model, but more on that in my review below.

Updated 05/07/2015: BMW unveiled the official details on the revised 3 Series.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2016 BMW 3 Series

  • 2016 BMW 3 Series
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    6-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    180 @ 5000
  • Torque @ RPM:
    280 @ 1350
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    7.2 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    146 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    33000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 BMW 3 Series High Resolution Exterior
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2016 BMW 3 Series High Resolution Exterior
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2016 BMW 3 Series High Resolution Exterior
- image 629347
As with most BMW facelifts, the 2016 3 Series received a series of subtle enhancements on the outside

As with most BMW facelifts, the 2016 3 Series received a series of subtle enhancements on the outside. The headlamp clusters are slightly different that the outgoing model, but the main highlight here is the addition of full LED lights, standard on 340i models and optional on the rest. The lights in each cluster have also been moved further apart for a broader stance on the road and added aggressiveness. Around back, the taillights now feature a new lighting design with rearranged LED stripes.

Other than that, the 2016 3 Series is identical to the outgoing model except for the badges that come with the new trims.

The facelift brought three new exterior colors for the BMW 3 Series, Mediterranean Blue Metallic, Platinum Silver Metallic and Jatoba Brown Metallic, rounding up the total to 12 choices.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,633 MM (182.40 Inches)
Width 1,811 MM (71.29 Inches)
Height 1,429 MM (56.25 Inches)
Wheelbase 2,810 MM (110.62 Inches)
Track, front/rear 1,543/1,583 MM (60.74/62.32 Inches)
Ground clearance 140 MM (5.51 Inches)

Side-by-side comparison

2016 BMW 3 Series
- image 629581

Interior

2016 BMW 3 Series High Resolution Interior
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2016 BMW 3 Series High Resolution Interior
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2016 BMW 3 Series High Resolution Interior
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On the inside, BMW focused on giving the 3 Series a cleaner, yet more premium feel

On the inside, BMW focused on giving the 3 Series a cleaner, yet more premium feel by rearranging the chrome highlights and high-gloss surfaces spread throughout the cabin. The center console now comes in high-gloss black and with new ambient lighting and added chrome inserts. Modifications also include newly designed control for the electric seat adjustment, chrome accents for the air vents, a sliding cover for the cup holders and a new storage area for small items. Additionally, the trim finisher in the instrument panel now extends into all four doors.

As far as tech goes, the Navigation system and ConnectedDrive features have been improved, while the optional Head-Up Display is now full-color.

Costumers will continue to benefit from a range of options and packages, including the Sport Line, the Luxury Package, and the Premium Package. The latter was updated to include Comfort Access, LED headlights, lumbar support, moonroof and Sirius Satellite radio with a no-cost one-year subscription. The package is available for the 328i and 328d models and standard for 340i models.

Drivetrain

2016 BMW 3 Series High Resolution Exterior
- image 629397
Arguably the most important change is the addition of a new, twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter, inline-six engine

Arguably the most important change is the addition of a new, twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter, inline-six engine. Called B58 internally, the all-aluminum powerplant cranks out 320 horsepower from 5,5000 rpm and 330 pound-feet of torque from only 1,380 rpm in the 340i model. It replaces the previous 335i which came with 300 horses and 300 pound-feet on tap. The extra oomph enables the 340i to hit 60 mph in 4.8 second with rear-wheel-drive and in 4.6 seconds with xDrive. Both figures are available for models using the eight-speed automatic transmission. Sedan equipped with the six-speed manual are 0.1 second slower. As usual, top speed is locked at 155 mph.

Moving down the trim ladder we find the 328i, powered by the same 2.0-liter, inline-four as the outgoing model, but upgraded to 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, which accounts for a 10-horsepower and 3-pound-feet improvement. As for the entry-level 320i, the 2.0-liter four-pot remains unchanged at 180 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque.

The facelift also marks the introduction of a plug-in hybrid model

Lastly, the diesel-powered 328d carries over with the same turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-banger rated at 180 horses and 280 pound-feet of torque.

In Europe, the 3 Series also gets a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder unit for the 318i model. The small three-pot generates 136 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of twist.

The facelift also marks the introduction of a plug-in hybrid model. Adorned by a 330e badge, the hybrid brings together a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, gasoline engine and 80-kW electric motor. Total output sits at 252 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The sprint from 0 to 62 takes 6.3 seconds and top speed sits at 140 mph. The vehicle travels up to 22 miles on electricity and BMW claims it needs only 2.1 liters of gasoline for each 100 km when using both powerplants. There’s no word on whether BMW will bring the 330e to the United States yet.

Drivetrain Specifications

Model 320i 328i 340i 328d
Config/No of cyls/valves In-line/4/4 In-line/4/4 In-line/6/4 In-line/4/4
Effective capacity cc 1,998 1,998 2,998 1,998
Max output 180 HP @ 5,000-6500 RPM 250 HP @ 5200-6500 RPM 320 HP @ 5500–6500 RPM 180 HP
Max torque 200 LB-FT @ 1,250–4,500 RPM 258 LB-FT @ 1450–4800 RPM 330 LB-FT @ 1380–5000 280 LB-FT
Type of transmission 6-speed manual (optional: 8-speed Steptronic) 6-speed manual (optional: 8-speed Steptronic) 6-speed manual (optional: 8-speed Steptronic) 6-speed manual (optional: 8-speed Steptronic)
Acceleration 0–100 km/h 7.2 (7.3) seconds 5.9 (5.8) seconds 4.8 seconds TBA
Top speed 235 KM/H (146 MPH) 250 KM/H (155 MPH) 250 KM/H (155 MPH) TBA

Prices

2016 BMW 3 Series High Resolution Exterior
- image 629366
2018 BMW 320i Sedan $34,900
2018 BMW 320i xDrive Sedan $36,900
2018 BMW 328d xDrive Sedan $43,750
2018 BMW 330i xDrive Sedan $42,250
2018 BMW 330e iPerformance $45,600
2018 BMW 340i Sedan $48,950
2018 BMW 340i xDrive Sedan $50,950

Competition

Cadillac ATS

2014 Cadillac ATS High Resolution Exterior
- image 514214

A newcomer to compact luxury sedan market is the Cadillac ATS, and despite its still-short life span, the ATS has one objective in mind: take down the heavyweights of the entry-level luxury market, including the Mercedes C-Class and the BMW 3 Series.

This luxury sports sedan has lofty goals on its sculpted shoulders and if it hopes to accomplish that, it’s going to need every ounce of magic it has to accomplish that. Fortunately, Cadillac did the ATS right with its design package, fresh in its style yet still captures that unmistakable classy Cadillac look.

This peppy sedan starts out with a 2.5-liter four-pot that delivers 202 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque, and caps out with the 3.6-liter V-6 that punches out 321 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. Between those two engines is the turbocharged 2.0-liter with 272 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.

Find our more about the Cadillac ATS in our detailed review here.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class High Resolution Exterior
- image 536062

The fourth-generation Mercedes C-Class has arrived for 2015, and it came to the party with a number of new styling tweaks that appear to have been taken from the F800 Concept that was displayed in Geneva four years ago. The more noticeable changes appear in the different trims of the C-Class. Whereas the C-Class Sport comes with a centrally positioned, three-point-star logo, the Exclusive comes with a classic sedan grille with the Mercedes star on the hood.

The 2015 C-Class also grew in size to help it separate its wares from the new CLA. Now 3.7 inches longer, 1.6 inches wider, and 3-inch growth in wheelbase, the C-Class looks bigger and better than ever before.

Two engine options are in the options list for U.S. clients. The base model is the C300 4MATIC, and it features a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes use of a turbocharger and direct injection to pump out 235 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Moving up into the C400 4MATIC nets the model a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 that pounds out 329 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque.

Read more about the Mercedes-Benz C-Class in our review here.

Conclusion

2016 BMW 3 Series High Resolution Exterior
- image 629372

Granted, the facelift doesn’t bring many improvements to the 3 Series, but these updates might just be enough to keep the sedan fresh until a new model arrives sometime in 2018. The big news here is the range-topping model has a new engine, more power, and improved performance to brag about. The plug-in hybrid is also an important addition to the lineup, especially for customers looking for the same dynamics BMW is known for but with significantly improved fuel economy.

  • Leave it
    • Not that many updates
    • Plenty of options out there

Spy Shots

December 5, 2014 - BMW 3 Series goes out for another testing session

2016 BMW 3 Series Spyshots
- image 581241
2016 BMW 3 Series Spyshots
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2016 BMW 3 Series Spyshots
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August 6, 2014 - Facelift BMW 3 Series caught in both sedan and wagon versions

2016 BMW 3 Series Exterior Spyshots
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2016 BMW 3 Series Exterior Spyshots
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2016 BMW 3 Series Exterior Spyshots
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Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
About the author

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