The New 2023 BMW 3 Series Avoids A Huge Grille Mistake

The internet is awash with leaked photos of the 2023 BMW 3 Series. Although the updated seventh-generation 3 Series won't formally make its global debut until July 2022, BMW was kind enough to satiate our appetites by unveiling what to expect from its best-selling sport-luxury sedan. The German automaker has sold more than 16 million units of the 3 Series since the marquee debuted in 1975. The current G20 3 Series has been the most popular across its lineage, and BMW claims "demand has been stronger in the first three years of this generation than for any of the preceding 3 Series generations over the same period." 

The automaker is fortifying its 3 Series lineup with an all-electric variant called the i3 eDrive35L, but it's a China-only model that won't see the light of day in Uncle Sam's territory. Instead, the refreshed U.S.-bound 3-Series features updated design themes, new technology features, and an interior makeover.

But first, about that front grille

The 2023 BMW 3 Series is a refreshing sight, and it mainly has to do with its normal-sized kidney grilles. BMW's been adamant about keeping those terrifyingly snouty, oversized front grilles on its new cars. You'll see it in the magnificent yet odd-looking 7 Series, the 4 Series, and the all-electric iX crossover, but the new 3 Series begs to differ. The front grilles are still more prominent than before, but you can't mistake the new 3 Series for any other German car. Good job, BMW.

Typical of a BMW, the new 3 Series has crisp, sculpted surfaces and dynamic body lines, while all 3 Series variants get slimmer full-LED headlights with inverted L-shape driving lights (DRLs). Meanwhile, the redesigned LED taillights and flared wheel arches give the car a more planted, muscular stance. All 3 Series models get redesigned 18-inch alloy wheels as standard. Still, the optional M Sport package adds 19-inch alloys (wrapped in all-season or mixed-performance tires) along with other goodies like sportier styling elements, variable sport steering, and adaptive M suspension, among many others.

2023 BMW 3 Series trim variants

BMW has yet to unveil the performance numbers, but it did reveal a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder engine for the base 330i. We reckon it'll have 255 horsepower and 294 lb-ft of torque like the outgoing 330i. The 330e PHEV could probably soldier on with the same 2.0-liter turbo engine and a plug-in hybrid system with 288 horsepower, 310 lb-ft of torque, and about 23 miles of all-electric range. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but all models are available with optional xDrive AWD. All new 3 Series models have an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

On the other hand, we expect the range-topping M340i to have the same turbocharged inline-six engine with a 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain as the outgoing variant. Capable of churning out 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, the M340i looks the part with M-specific exterior detailing like mesh-type kidney grilles, unique 18-inch alloy wheels, trapezoidal tailpipes, and a body-color M rear spoiler. In addition, the 2023 BMW M340i gets treated to a 50th-anniversary design package to mark the 50th birthday of BMW M GmbH. It includes classic BMW Motorsport roundels on the hood, trunk, and center caps.

Generous standard features

The base 2023 BMW 330i and 330e PHEV get a moonroof, power front seats, open-pore wood oak interior trim, a sport steering wheel, interior ambient lighting, and sport seats. Also standard is BMW's curved display comprising a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch center touchscreen powered by the latest-gen iDrive 8 OS. The system includes cloud-based BMW Maps with connected parking, a BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant (that replies to touch and speech commands), 5G connectivity, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto with Sirius XM.

Meanwhile, the M340i has M sport brakes with blue calipers, variable sport steering, an M sport differential, M sport suspension, and an aero body kit with a rear spoiler. Optional features include the Driving Assistance Package (lane departure warning, active blind-spot detection, park distance control, and more), the Dynamic Handling Package, and the Premium Package (heated steering wheel, lumbar support, heated seats, etcetera). BMW will announce pricing for its 2023 3 Series nearer its official July 2022 launch date, but we expect base prices to start at $42,000 for the 330i and about $55,000 for the M340i. The first deliveries will arrive later this year.