- Most significant changes: All BMW 3 Series models get a standard backup camera and LED headlights. The latest version of iDrive adds a touchscreen as an alternative interface to the console-mounted knob controller and buttons. Traffic reporting is enhanced using vehicle-to-vehicle communication. A new Shadow Sport Edition is available.
- Price change: Price increases range from $1,050 for the top 340i xDrive sedan to $1,500 for the 330i model; prices for the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo rise $150. The destination charge remains $995.
- On sale: Summer
- Which should you buy, 2017 or 2018? The 2018; the price bump is a bit steep, but the new lighting and backup camera are worthwhile features. However, the big news comes in mid-2018 when a redesigned BMW 3 Series is expected to debut for the 2019 model year.
BMW's 3 Series receives a few significant upgrades for the 2018 model year ahead of a redesign in 2019. The new Shadow Sport Edition is available for 328d, 330e, 330i and 340i models, and it includes 18-inch black wheels, a gloss-black grille surround and air-dam insert, dark headlight and taillight accents, and a grippier, leather-wrapped sport steering wheel. The M Sport Package, meanwhile, is now available with new 19-inch wheels and dark trim.
Related: 2017 BMW 330: Our View
In addition, ConnectedDrive Services, previously known as BMW Online and BMW Apps, is now standard. Changes to the option structure have eliminated some packages, and select features are available as standalone options in the new BMWs.
Powertrain choices carry over unchanged in BMW 3 Series models, with the 2018 340i Gran Turismo hatchback and 340i sedan sharing a 320-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. The 330i Gran Turismo shares a 248-hp, turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder with the 330i, while the 320i sedan uses a 180-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder; the 328d's turbo-diesel 2.0-liter four-cylinder is also good for 180 hp. The 330e plug-in hybrid combines a turbo four-cylinder gas engine with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack to make 247 hp.
Shoppers are showing ever-increasing demand for SUVs, but BMW's 3 Series remains an important and popular model in the automaker's lineup, with a range of available body styles. While it's still entertaining to drive in certain configurations, newer competitors are more fun to drive overall. We're interested to see whether the next-generation BMW 3 Series takes back the title of sports sedan benchmark.