BMW’s lineup has significantly blossomed in recent decades, but the 3 Series Sedan has remained at the core of the portfolio. Last year’s LCI came with minor changes on the outside and substantial updates on the inside by adopting the iDrive 8. A new photo gallery has been released to coincide with the South Africa launch of the refreshed midsize luxury sedan, shown here in the 320d specification with an optional M Sport Package.
Painted in Skyscraper Grey metallic, the sole diesel-fueled 3 Series offered in the country poses for the camera with optional 19-inch wheels (style 791 M) with a double-spoke design and a bi-color finish. Contrary to most official images released by BMW with the facelifted 3er, it retains the standard look of the kidney grille, without the Shadowline treatment. Going for the darker look makes more sense on the LCI since the M Sport front bumper now hosts more glossy black accents than before.
Being a car built for the South African market, the 320d has a right-hand-drive layout. The interior keeps things simple with standard black Sensatec (artificial leather) and the aluminum rhombicle anthracite trim for the dashboard and center console. The dual-screen setup isn’t the only novelty implemented with the LCI as all 3 Series models (except for the top-dog M3) have switched to a small gear selector that takes up less space.
Installing the 14.9-inch touchscreen comes along with two additional changes. BMW had to slim down the central air vents to make room for the enlarged display. It has also decluttered the dashboard by moving access to most functions to the main screen. That has significantly reduced the number of traditional shortcut buttons, not just on the 3 Series LCI, but on all models with iDrive 8. It’ll be a similar story with newly built compact cars coming with iDrive 9 based on the Android Automotive operating system.