What is the 3 Series?
The seventh-generation BMW 3 Series has been on sale for a few years now, which means it's time for a refresh to keep it competitive. We knew a styling update would be in the picture for the 2023 BMW 3 Series but feared that the snout from the 4 Series and M3/M4 would be transplanted onto the mild-mannered luxury sedan, too. Thankfully, BMW hasn't fussed with the exterior too much — the grille is slightly wider than before, the headlight cluster no longer has the little notch in the middle, and the front and rear bumpers are redesigned.
There are significant changes to the interior, however. For starters, the digital instrument panel and central touchscreen now share a singular, curved housing. The central screen is upgraded to measure 14.9 inches — nearly double the size of the previously standard 8.8-inch screen — and will once again offer touch functionality.
BMW has also trimmed the center stack, so there are almost zero physical controls for the climate system. Instead, these functions are moved to the touchscreen in a Climate menu, though the driver and passenger temperatures are always displayed. We're not huge fans of making attention-sapping touchscreens even more convoluted, but at least you can use the car's voice recognition system to change the temperature as well. The useful set of eight preset buttons, which can be configured for anything from radio stations to navigation destinations and specific menus, also disappears. Finally, the shift lever has been replaced by a toggle switch.