The current generation of BMW 3-Series was launched in spring 2005. For 2008 the design of the car has been subtly enhanced to bring it up to date. The front bumper, lower valance and headlight configuration have been changed, while the bonnet now features precision lines to accentuate the sporting nature of a BMW and give the car a more dramatic look. At the side a re-profiled sill and larger door mirrors underscore the rear-wheel-drive configuration and provide better rearward visibility respectively. At the rear new headlight clusters feature LED light technology, a new bumper and re-profiled boot lid complete the exterior design changes.
Inside, the biggest news is the introduction of an all-new iDrive concept for those buyers who specify one of the two navigation systems. A new iDrive controller combines with a new operating system and new menu features to deliver improved functionality and ease-of-use.
The BMW 3-Series comes with a choice of powerplants. The current, and twice overall, winner of the International Engine of the Year awards powers the 3-Series as does a clutch of other title winning powertains. The latest engine to be introduced to the 3-Series is an all-new 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engine that records 245hp and 520Nm of torque, but still posts a 49.6mpg combined consumption figure and an emissions figure of 152g/km.
Much of the new 3-Series range features powerplants that were recently updated to feature EfficientDynamics technologies. A new development sees the introduction of the 318d available with an automatic gearbox for the first time. This move opens up another option to those buyers wanting diesel economy with the relaxed driving characteristics of an automatic.
The BMW 3-Series features the same 50:50 weight distribution and front-engine, rear-wheel-drive chassis as every non-X BMW models of the last 40 years. All new 3-Series models come as standard with Dynamic Stability Control to enhance the driving dynamics and provide a high degree of active safety. With its five star EuroNCAP adult occupant impact, the BMW 3-Series provides a substantial safety cocoon for the driver and passengers.