It is by far BMW’s bestselling and most important car.
Now, the 3 Series saloon and Touring estate have been refreshed for 2015.
The latest version of the German executive car has a more efficient engine range, revised chassis settings, lower CO2 emissions and improved equipment and options list.
The 3 Series is the biggest selling car BMW has ever produced. Nearly 14 million drivers have owned one since the first generation 3 Series rolled off the production line four decades ago, in 1975.
It’s been a strong performer in the UK and is the only executive car that has regularly made it into the top 10 top-selling cars, sitting alongside much cheaper fare.
So what’s new with the 2015 model? You’d need a pretty well-trained eye to spot the differences.
The only significant visual change is the use of LEDs in the light clusters: all new 3 Series models feature full-LED rear lights and optional LED headlights.
For the real changes, you need to look beneath the surface.
The engine range has been given a complete overhaul with lower emissions and better economy.
The biggest addition is the new 318i, which gets a three-cylinder turbo petrol unit borrowed from Mini.
A new four-cylinder petrol also debuts in the 320i, bumping power up by 14bhp to 181bhp, yet pushing emissions down to 124g/km with the eight-speed automatic transmission.
All of the four-cylinder diesel engines are new. There are 316d, 318d, 320d, 320ED, 330d and a six-cylinder 335d model. The most frugal EfficientDynamics diesel unit returns 72.4mpg, or 74.3 with automatic transmission.
A plug-in 3 Series will go on sale next year and should offer 135mpg and CO2 emissions of 49g/km.
The new 3 Series looks an impressive offering but then it will need to be to stay ahead of the Jaguar XE and upcoming Audi A4.