The BMW Group Malaysia kicked off its 2023 on a high recently by introducing the refreshed iteration of its quintessential executive saloon offering, by which we mean the 3 Series. Three variants of which were introduced earlier this month, with two more poised for introduction later this year.
The Bavarian marque opted to unveil the refreshed 3 Series in 320i, 330i and 330e forms just before the festive Chinese New Year holidays kicked off this month, all decked out in sporty M Sport exterior trims to complement the mild exterior and interior nip-tucks applied.
Key exterior changes include redesigned front and rear bumpers and headlights, plus a lightly restyled iteration of the marque’s signature ‘kidney grilles’ up front. Completing the exterior package is the inclusion of the M Sport treatment, which adds a sportier aero kit plus stylish two-tone 18-inch M-Sport alloy wheels in all.
On board, the refreshed G20 3 Series cabin has been updated with a brand-new curved display that houses both the 14.9-inch digital driver instrument panel and 12.3-inch central touchscreen infotainment. In the central console, the traditional gear selector lever assembly has also been ditched in favour of a more compact and sleeker gear selector switch assembly.
Apart from these aesthetic changes mentioned, little else has changed inside and out, thus keeping this updated G20-generation 3 Series LCI – ‘Life Cycle Impulse’, which is BMW lingo for model update – retaining familiar looks and stance as its outgoing pre-LCI predecessor, which isn’t bad news entirely.
Under the hood, both the 320i and 330i variants employ identical 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbocharged mills, albeit in different states of tune. In the base 320i, there are 184 HP and 300 NM in play, whereas the 330i delivers peppier 245 HP and 400 NM figures instead. Both variants continue to see their respective mills drive the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission. 0-100 KM/H sprints, on the other hand, are achieved in 7.4 seconds and 5.9 seconds respectively.
Besides the two combustion-powered variants mentioned, the refreshed line-up also includes a 330e plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant that currently sits as the range-topper. In this form, the saloon harnesses a similar 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbocharged mill, but it works in tandem with an integrated electric motor to deliver combined outputs of 292 HP and 420 NM.
In terms of performance, the added electrification allows the 330e to dispatch 0-100 KM/H in just 5.8 seconds. Crucially, this PHEV setup also grants up to 50 KM of travel under pure electric power up to speeds below 140 KM/H. In terms of safety, all three are laced with BMW’s Driving Assistant suite as standard. This adds Lane Departure Warning with active steering interventions, Lane Change Warning, Front Collision Warning with brake intervention (AEB), Rear Crossing Traffic Warning, Rear Collision Warning, Speed Limit Info and manual Speed Limit Assist.
Locally assembled (CKD) by BMW Group Malaysia in its plant at Kulim, Kedah, all three refreshed 3 Series (G20) variants are now available for viewing and purchase through authorised dealers nationwide. Prices, on the other hand, start from RM283,800 for the 320i, from RM298,800 for the 330i, and from RM317,800 for the 330e PHEV.
All prices exclude insurance costs but include BMW Group Malaysia’s standard ‘Service & Repair Inclusive’ package. This grants a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty coverage plus a free scheduled service programme, roadside assistance, the BMW Group Loyalty+ app, BMW Privileges Card and BMW Service Online. Altogether, the refreshed 3 Series line is set to give the rivalling Mercedes-Benz C-Class something to sweat about indeed. Are you keen on this refreshed iteration of the fabled Bavarian-badged executive saloon then?