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BMW Group Malaysia has finally launched the new F30 BMW 3 Series LCI. Teased on the company’s local website just days ago, the new facelifted 3 Series range features prices that stretch from RM208,800 to RM308,800.

Your ticket to owning a new sixth-gen facelifted 3 Series begins with the 318i Luxury variant, which commands RM208,888. The 320i Sport Line is next, and will set you back a cool RM238,800. Opt for an even sportier look, and you’ll be staring down the 320i M Sport variant that will set you back by RM258,800.

The sole diesel 320d M Sport retails from a further RM268,800, while the 330i M Sport marks the expensive model in the line-up, if you exclude the M3, retailing from RM308,800. Sadly, there’s no longer a six-cylinder variant in the range, with the 340i that replaced the 335i designation nowhere in sight for our market.

Sporting a minor makeover inside and out, the new BMW 3 Series was first revealed to the world earlier in May this year (2015). Yes, when the curtains were first lifted, the new 3er didn’t appear to set itself very much apart from the original F30’s designs that debuted back in 2012, but taking a closer look here reveals a significantly updated vehicle.

Visibly new here are redesigned twin-circular headlamps, new L-shaped tail lights, as well as reshaped front and rear bumpers. The interior of the car also appears very similar to the pre-facelifted model, but so too does a closer inspection reveal several changes. There are more chrome accents and glossy black trim elements that give the cabin a refreshed look.

Sharp eyes may also spot finer updates that include a new sliding cupholder lid ahead of the centre console and a new compact storage compartment there too, as well as new white-coloured digital illumination for the climate control displays — the illumination reverts to the familiar amber colour only when the headlamps are activated, assuming that it is night time.

Despite the subtle changes, however, under its skin is where you’ll find the majority of the new and more significant BMW 3 Series updates. The three-cylinder engine, for starters is a completely new instalment to the 3 Series range, while the four-cylinder BMW TwinPower engines have all been updated to offer more power and better fuel efficiency.

Likewise, there’s even been significant work done to upgrade the new 3er’s chassis, with the car’s suspension geometry given a workout in an attempt to improve handling without compromising all-important ride comfort and quality.

Moving on what motivates the new 3 Series, the base BMW 318i variant is tasked to replace the previous 316i in the ranks, and introduces a new 1.5 litre three-cylinder BMW TwinPower petrol engine to the range. The new three-pot matches the previous 316i’s 1.6 litre four-cylinder engine’s power outputs identically, being rated at 136 hp and 220 Nm of torque.

The new turbo mill is also more fuel efficient and is also quicker than before. Previously claiming a fuel consumption figure of 5.9 litres/100 km, the 318i is now good for 5.1 litres/100km. Likewise, where the previous 316i took 9.2 seconds to perform its century sprint, the new 318i achieves the same feat in just 8.9 seconds.

Like all variants of the Malaysian-spec BMW 3 Series, a ZF-sourced eight-speed Steptronic torque converter automatic transmission is called for duty, delivering power exclusively to the rear wheels.

Springing for more power, you have the BMW 320i, which features a B48 2.0 litre petrol four-pot that delivers the same 180 hp as before, but 20 Nm of torque more for a sum 290 Nm. The 320i is also more fuel efficient and marginally quicker than its predecessor, promising 5.8 litres/100 km (previously 6.0 litres/100 km), and a 0 to 100 km/h sprint time of 7.2 seconds (previously 7.3 seconds).

At the helm of the new 3 Series range sits the BMW 330i, which we know retires the 328i designation. Offering seven horses more for a total of 252 hp and the same 350 Nm of torque, the 330i moves to become the most powerful German sedan in its class — with all three German contenders square for torque, the Audi A4 2.0 TFSI is good for second place on paper with its 225 hp, while the top-spec Mercedes-Benz C 250 offers a humble 211 hp.

Also offering marginal performance and efficiency gains, the 330i claims a century sprint time of 5.8 seconds (previously 5.9 seconds), while promising a fuel consumption figure of 6.1 litres/100 km (previously 6.3 litres/100 km).

Reprising its role as the sole diesel-powered 3 Series in the line-up, the BMW 320d features the same B47 2.0 litre four-pot oil burner that first made a local appearance in the BMW 520d Sport. The BMW TwinPower diesel engine is also the most upgraded engine in attendance, pushing out 190 hp/400 Nm over the previous 320d’s 180 hp/380 Nm of torque, bettering fuel consumption by 0.5 litres/100 km to 4.0 litres/100 km, and is speedier over a 100 km/h dash by 0.2 seconds for a claimed 7.2 seconds.

Shifting to the 3 Series’ equipment and features, and it is clear that the 318i steps up to the plate with a humble, yet upgraded list of highlights over the out-going 316i. For example, while the previous 316i was a no-line variant, the new 318i is dressed in a Luxury Line that invites further chrome elements to the exterior of the vehicle — particularly to the front and rear bumpers and window surrounds. There are also a set of 17-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels to speak of, with LED headlights now fitted as standard from the base 318i onwards.

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Inside, all the LCI’s key updates are accounted for, while the 318i’s Luxury Line itself appoints a sports leather multi-function steering wheel and an ambient lighting package. Power-adjustable front seats are standard, while this variant also comes with Cruise Control with Braking Function.

Interestingly, the 318i Luxury Line is the only variant available with a Dakota Saddle Brown leather interior colour option on top of the standard Dakota Black. However, this interior colour option is only available to match Black Sapphire, Mineral Grey and Alphine White exterior colours — opt of the Imperial Blue or Platinum Silver, and you’ll have to settle for the Dakota Black leather upholstery.

Moving along up the ladder, and you have the BMW 320i Sport Line, which carries forward all the above-mentioned specifications of the 318i, but adds a more powerful petrol engine as mentioned (44 hp/70 Nm more), as well as a sportier exterior and interior kit.

The Sport Line exchanges the Luxury Line’s chrome accents for glossy black finishing touches to the exterior, and so too are the multi-spoke wheels swapped for a five twin-spoke alloy set of the same 17-inch size.

The 320i Sport Line also adds sportier seats and an upgrade to a HiFi audio system. But unlike the Luxury Line, interior colours for the Sport Line variant is limited to the sole Dakota Black option.

Keen for more aesthetic aggression, your next best bet is on the BMW 320i and 320d M Sport variants, which both offer exactly the same design styling features, set apart only by their petrol and diesel powertrains.

A set of 18-inch M light-alloy wheels in a Star-spoke style is standard here, so too an M aerodynamic package that adds a more aggressive front and rear bumper, side skirts, and a more performance-minded M Sport Suspension too.

Sport seats are a given, while an M Leather three-spoke multi-function steering wheel is added, including a rolling-type sunblind for the rear windows. The extra ringgits also buy you an upgrade to the Navigation Business infotainment system.The extra cost of the 320d M Sport however, includes an upgrade to a Navigational System Professional infotainment system.

Interior colours for the 320i and 320d M Sport are limited to the sole Dakota Black option, while the pretty shade of Estoril Blue exterior paint becomes available from this point onwards in the local 3 Series line-up.

For when you’ve got to have it all from your 3 Series, look no further than the range-topping BMW 330i M Sport – this also means that the 322 hp/450 Nm 340i variant has been given a miss for our market. Nevertheless, the most powerful 3 Series available in Malaysia that isn’t an M3 gets the full M Sport-specific aerodynamic exterior package, inclusive of 18-inch M light alloy double-spoke wheels painted in Ferric Grey Metallic.

The 330i M Sport also gets an Adaptive M Suspension system with actively-controllable damping settings, a Variable Sport Steering wheel system, an updated version of the Navigational System Professional, and even a full-colour Head-Up display system as standard.

Unique to the 330i M Sport is a Dakota Oyster over black interior colour option, which can only be had if you specify either the Black Sapphire or Estoril Blue exterior body colour.

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BMW Group Malaysia has also extended its list of new ConnectedDrive features to the new 3 Series, just as we first saw on the new F48 X1 SUV here. The brand’s very cool Concierge Services, Remote Apps, Teleservices and Intelligent Emergency Call (E-Call) features are at the 3er’s disposal. Only the 318i Luxury Line and 320i Sport Line are without the Concierge Services, but the 320i M Sport, 320d M Sport and 330i M Sport get the full suite.

The cars come with an integrated SIM card that enables data connectivity. The services are available for free over the first three years beginning from the time of your purchase, and then onwards, a service subscription will be charged – these fees haven’t been disclosed yet. Also, it isn’t possible for existing BMW owners to upgrade their infotainment systems to feature the new ConnectedDrive services.

To recap, OTR without insurance prices for the new BMW 3 Series are as follows, inclusive of BMW Malaysia’s new five years unlimited mileage warranty with free scheduled service:

  • BMW 318i Luxury Line: RM208,800
  • BMW 320i Sport LIne: RM238,800
  • BMW 320i M Sport: RM258,800
  • BMW 320d M Sport: RM268,800
  • BMW 330i M Sport: RM308,800
  • GALLERY: BMW 318i Luxury Line

    GALLERY: BMW 320i Sport Line

    GALLERY: BMW 320d M Sport

    GALLERY: BMW 330i M Sport