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BMW 3-series (2008) facelift first photos

Fri, 11 Jul 2008 00:00:00 -0700

By Tim Pollard

First Official Pictures

11 July 2008 14:20

BMW has just lifted the embargo on photos of the new 3-series, after an American website published photos early. So here they are: a pair of photographs revealing the look of the – very lightly revised – 'new' 3-series. It's a compact exec with a few surprises up its sleeve, including the ability to travel 60 miles on a single gallon of fuel...

Thankfully, the facelift has abolished some of the Three saloon's dumpier overtones; there's always been a bit too much Mitsubishi Carisma for our liking in the rear lights, for instance. It looks a lot better now – trust us, we've seen it in the metal.

Saloon and estate: both new Threes at once

That's right, the four-door and Touring come first, but you can expect some of the facelift to spread across to the coupes and convertibles in fullness of time.

What's new? Well the headlamps are subtly reprofiled, the bonnet is new and there are numerous detail changes to the styling that add up to a classic Germanic, evolutionary redesign.

And inside the facelifted 3-series?

Inside, there's new trim but it's hardly that different. The press material talks of 'ergonomically optimised positioning of the window lift operating panel on the driver side', for goodness' sake. Rather more noticeable is the latest iDrive, which has been honed and improved some more – and now includes programmable short-cut keys. There's also the BM joystick gearlever on certain auto models.

Look out also for BMW ConnectedDrive; the revised 3-series is the first BMW to get this gadget, which allows unlimited internet use from inside the car. We suspect we'll be hearing a lot more about this particular gadget...

Click 'Next' for more tech details on the new 3-series

By Tim Pollard