Here it is, the G20 BMW 3 Series facelift has been launched in Malaysia. Felt like just yesterday that the current 3er surfaced? The G20 made its debut in October 2018 and the “Life Cycle Impulse” was revealed in May 2022, all within the usual timeframe despite the pandemic.

Locally, the G20 was launched by BMW Malaysia in March 2019, first as a CBU 330i before the CKD version appeared half a year later. The much awaited entry-level variant, the 320i, surfaced in January 2020. Later that year, the 330e plug-in hybrid and the M340i xDrive joined the local range.

For the G20 LCI, BMW Malaysia is kicking off with three variants, the 320i, 330i and 330e, all exclusively available in M Sport trim. No Sport, and God forbid Luxury, because all Malaysians want is ///M. By the way, the pre-facelift 320i was launched as a Sport, before a Runout Edition added on M Sport trim.

Now, the CKD locally assembled 3 Series LCI range starts from RM283,800 for the 320i, going up to RM317,800 for the 330i. The 330e plug-in hybrid is priced at RM298,800, all on-the-road without insurance. We’re not getting the M340i xDrive and long wheelbase 330Li for now, but BMW Malaysia has confirmed that two more variants are coming in March – it could well be those two.

The facelift retains all that is good about the handsome G20, with no drastic changes such as the polarising giant kidney grille we see in larger BMWs. But there’s no shortage of differentiation, headed by the new headlamps with distinctly different boomerang-style LED DRLs and the smoothening of the pre-facelift’s trademark notch between the beams. We’ve done a very deep dive into the styling changes, and you can compare new and old here.

Absolutely nothing wrong under the hood so the 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engines continue along with the familiar Steptronic Sport eight-speed torque converter automatic, which sends drive to the rear axle.

The 320i’s B48 has 184 PS/300 Nm and a 0-100 km/h time of 7.4 seconds, and top speed is 235 km/h. The 330i’s more powerful version of the same engine gets a significant bump to 258 PS/400 Nm, which is good for a 5.8 seconds century sprint and 250 km/h top speed.

The 330e is as fast to 100 km/h and has a 230 km/h top speed from a total system output of 292 PS/420 Nm. The plug-in hybrid is assisted by a 109 PS/265 Nm electric motor integrated into the ZF gearbox, and when fully charged, the motor alone powers the car for an EV experience up to 50 km, until 140 km/h. The PHEV compromise is 245 kg of extra weight over the 330i (1,845 vs 1,600 kg) and a boot that’s around 100 litres smaller (375 vs 480 litres).

This could well be the first time that all variants of a new BMW are M Sport-only at launch, and the package includes a honeycomb mesh for the central air intake, M aerodynamics package in gloss black, Shadow Line trim, small M badges on the sides, M entry sills, M pedals (and footrest), sports seats, black headlining and an M specific instrument cluster display. There’s also M badging on the keyfob. Count the Ms in this paragraph and win nothing.

The shoes are 18-inch M light alloys in a double-spoke style (848 M Bicolour Jet Black) with staggered tyre sizes (wider rears). Surprisingly, all variants get the same rims, which will be good news to 320i buyers. The pre-facelift maxed out at 19″ on the 330i Runout Edition.

The pure petrol variants ride on M Sport suspension while the 330e gets adaptive suspension. Note that there’s no more comfort suspension as per the regular pre-facelift 320i, but BMW Malaysia hinted that the upcoming 330Li could have the more forgiving setup – LWB, more space, more comfort, makes sense.

Inside, the big news is the introduction of the BMW Curved Display, an impressive-looking long screen that combines a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch central touchscreen, running BMW Live Cockpit Professional on the latest BMW Operating System 8, which features BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. A head-up display is standard. This setup replaces the pre-facelift’s smaller individual screens and OS7.

Screen aside, the layout is familiar, but the traditional gear lever has all but disappeared. Black Vernasca leather is the default upholstery, but 330i and 330e owners can opt for Mocha. By the way, the dashboard now matches that of the i4 EV.

Digital features that are standard include of Comfort Access, Remote Software Update and BMW ID. Connected Package Professional, which includes digital services such as Remote Services, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (now free, no fee needed), is also present. With the My BMW App, you can access a suite of functions. The 320i has six speakers while the ’30’ models have 10.

In the safety department, we have Driving Assistant as standard. The pack includes 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. Still no ACC and Level 2 autonomous driving though.

2023 BMW 320i M Sport

There’s also Parking Assistant with Park Assist, Active Park Distance Control, Lateral Parking Aid and Reversing Assist Camera.

Once again, the 2023 BMW 3 Series facelift starts from RM283,800 for the 320i, while the 330i goes for RM317,800. The 330e PHEV retails for RM298,800. Prices include BMW’s five-year unlimited mileage warranty with free scheduled service programme, which comes along with roadside assistance, the BMW Group Loyalty+ app, BMW Privileges Card and BMW Service Online. Without the extended warranty package, which you’ll surely want, the prices are RM263,600, RM278,600 and RM297,600 respectively.

Ever so desirable, isn’t it? What do you think of the 3er’s new look and interior features? For a side-by-side comparison between LCI and the pre-FL, check out this post.

GALLERY: 2023 BMW 330i M Sport

GALLERY: 2023 BMW 330e M Sport

GALLERY: 2023 BMW 320i M Sport