2016 BMW 3-SERIES PREVIEW
Just when we thought we couldn’t improve upon perfection, BMW has decided to prove us wrong by releasing an updated version of their classic 3-Series. When a vehicle already embodies prestige, comfort and performance, wrapped in a head-turning exterior, it is hard to see room for improvement. However, as a company who is constantly challenging the status quo, BMW decided a midterm tweak was needed for the benchmark vehicle of the sports-sedan segment.
The 2016 BMW 3-Series epitomizes sport luxury. Its chiseled physique and elegant poise are features enamored and often replicated by competing automakers, but nothing beats the original.
Changes for the 3-Series’ midterm facelift include subtleties ranging from sharper headlights to a revised chassis, refinements visible to the eye of a true BMW savant but not extreme enough to damage its classic appeal. On top of being more sharply designed, the new 3-Series’ headlights have also been made into adaptive full LEDs, with its taillights mimicking the adjustment. Its front and rear bumpers have been restyled for a more aggressive look, comparative to BMW’s equally lavish 4-Series. Aesthetics previously reserved for Sport models have been opened to the rest of the lineup, complete with leather sports seats and black high-gloss interior trim. A big development for the new 3-Series is the introduction of an all-new 6-cylinder engine – offering up such improved driving dynamics as a higher power output with less fuel usage. The 2016 BMW 3-Series, available now at Edmonton BMW, starts at $45,685.
SPEAKING OF ENGINES
The new 3-Series is still offered in three engine options, but there has been a replacement in the family. The N20 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder in the 320i and the 328i remains unchanged. The N55 3.0-liter turbo inline-6 has been replaced by a more efficient model, equally a 3.0-liter and equally a straight 6 – being dubbed the B58. Truth be told, the new 6-cylinder does have a more satisfying sound to it as well as a higher power output, delivering 320 horsepower at 6500 rpm with the torque peaking at 330 lb-ft. Of course, with the new engine comes a new model designation, you can expect to see a few 340i’s roaming Edmonton’s streets in the coming months.
For those interested in saving a bit more at the pumps, the 328d is still being offered with a 4-cyclinder diesel engine. Also with a 4-cylinder, BMW plans to unveil a plug-in hybrid this year to replace the powerful but only marginally successful ActiveHybrid 3. This new model will replace the Activehybrid 3’s 6-cylinder engine with an inline 4 and an electric motor, expecting to produce a combined output of 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. It is called the 330e, and it also boasts a 35 kilometer range in strictly electric (EV) mode.
The entire BMW lineup is available in either rear-wheel drive or BMW’s own all-wheel xDrive system, and all gasoline engines can be paired with either an eight-speed automatic or a slick shifting six-speed manual transmission. If you are looking to combine the xDrive with a manual shifter, however, your options are limited to the new 340i.
IN TRUE BMW FASHION
The 2016 3-Series combines impeccable performance with what they call “dynamic capabilities”. Truer words could not be said about their improved suspension setup across not only the standard mode, but also the Adaptive M and M Sport configurations. The 3-Series’ power steering has been retuned, and new front struts and rear dampers have been added to the mix. All of this goes to give drivers a more responsive steering setup, improve the 3-Series’ directional stability and reduce vehicle roll when easing around corners.
The cabin of the 2016 BMW 3-Series in Edmonton is nothing short of glorious, unadulterated luxury. Its well-appointed interior combines lavish comfort with convenient functionality. The streamlined driver oriented cockpit makes the 3-Series easy to operate and fun to drive. Its ergonomic seat and control design combine with a cohesive colour palate to eliminate driver fatigue. On top of being functional, the high quality interior materials of the 3-Series are simply outstanding, from supple Dakota leather to chrome and brushed aluminum highlights. It is a spacious sedan with intelligent storage configurations combining sporty race car qualities with modern versatility showcasing true BMW craftsmanship.
The easy on the eyes 8.8-inch Control Display hides the latest in automotive technology. BMW’s ConnectedDrive features such conveniences as integrated live traffic-updated navigation, hands-free talk and text, audio streaming and voice commands. “Over-the-air” map updates are even available as part of the Navigation system Professional, accessible through a system of sim cards and LTE technology. The 3-Series’ user-friendly infotainment system is easily accessible through their patented iDrive control in the center console of the car.
The 3-Series is easily the top of the line when it comes to luxury family sedans. Hands-down, it offers a feel, performance and features in a value unseen by the rest of the segment. Come by, and see what the ultimate driving experience feels like.