How Much Has The Facelift Changed The BMW 3 Series?

You’ll probably need a big magnifying glass to be able to spot the differences – in design – between the 2016 BMW 3-Series facelift and the outgoing model. Not even eagles can tell the cars apart…

One could think BMW’s designers have pulled a “Porsche” stunt and didn’t change anything on the exterior. At least at a first glance, that is.

The main theme around the car seems to be “wider” and it can be seen best of all on the slightly tweaked front end. The bumper’s revised side air intakes give the car a more bloated look, which make the headlights feel narrower. It’s like the 3-Series got punched in the face, on both sides.

Speaking of headlights, they do feel a little further apart. That’s because the former ‘angel-eyes’, within the optical block, were moved away from each other and placed near the corners. That apparently strengthens the car’s broad stance on the road, or so the BMW design crew says. Moreover, full-LED headlights can now be specified as an option.

The rear-end remains clean and almost untouched. The most significant changes can be seen on the revised taillights, which now come with LED technology as standard. For those of you who are wondering why they didn’t come with standard LEDs in the first place, maybe it was an option reserved for the facelift model – so there can be proof that BMW actually changed something on the car. Oh, and the light bars within the rear clusters units are now curvier, giving the car a more modern look.

In the interior, it’s business as usual, although some chrome highlights made their way on the majority of the controls. As you can see, the center console now has a standard high-gloss piano black finish, giving the interior a sleeker, cleaner look. And let’s not forget the most important aspect of all; the cup holders now have a sliding cover.

By Bogdan Zoltan

Note: 2015 BMW 3-Series on the left, 2016 BMW 3-Series facelift on the right

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  • Six_Tymes

    “Not even eagles can’t tell the cars apart…”

    Improper grammar

    It should be > Not even eagles can tell the cars apart…

    Thanks for the post.

  • Kash

    I’m so mad! they moved the reverse light from the top to the bottom! How dare they! They’ve ruined the entire design! Trash!
    But the biggest difference is the front air intake. they made it slimmer for the new one and they redesigned the area around the lower rear reflectors, the old one looked better, now they look like they’re on a pedestal.

    • GreenApple18r

      Glad to know I’m not the only one annoyed by new reverse light’s location.

  • BlackPegasus


  • Axiom Ethos

    Bimmers look more and more pedestrian every year. I really miss the classic designs from the 70’s 80’s and even 90’s. Those headlight contour lines are so jagged and uninspiring. I’ll keep my 1984 528e with the quad circle lamps and inverted front angle.

  • mavro

    dam, now I have to trade in my BMW, I cant drive around with the old model

    • Miroku

      haha yeah, better do it quick before everyone notices cause it’s a huge difference!

  • Raymond_in_DC

    So, a tweak here, a change there just to suggest something has improved over a three-year old model. The more significant changes may be in the chassis and engine (at least for the six-cylinder variant). But I’m not sure BMW has given me reason not to wait a little longer for the Jaguar XE, which is a very new car.

  • KT

    Nice headlights and taillights. Are turn signals optional?

  • KC

    seriously ? No panoramic roof ? No upgrade to the interiors ? wow .. How does this compete with the C class or even the XE ? Wake up BMW, or perhaps its the end cycle of the 3 and they couldn’t care less (other than the new headlights)

  • Mynameis Taylor

    the quality is there, but the interior design is boring as fuck.

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