After tasting success in the last two years, BMW has decided to give the 3 Series Gran Limousine a facelift and has pulled the plug on the standard 3 Series. Ever since Mercedes-Benz launched the long-wheelbase version of the E-Class in 2017, BMW has also joined the bandwagon and has left no stone unturned by regularly updating the 3 Series Gran Limousine and the 5 Series will soon be replaced by a long-wheel version. Getting back to the 3 Series Gran Limousine, we highlight its new features.
2023 BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Review: Exteriors
The new-age BMWs make quite a profound statement with the gargantuan front fascia, but thankfully, that’s not the case with the 3 Series Gran Limousine’s kidney grille. It is proportionate to the nose’s design and the blacked-out grille with chrome inserts adds a subtle luxury quotient. The LED headlamps are designed and are now angular in shape and slenderized. It sports slanting L-shaped LED DRLs and compliments the front apron’s composition. The bumper has been redesigned and houses bigger air intakes, which may come across as quite radical but it also helps in cooling the brake system.
The side silhouette retains the 3 Series’ signature swooping roofline, but at this angle, the Gran Limousine showcases its long-wheel proportions. Even though the new 3 Series Gran Limousine retains the additional 110 millimetres, which translates into a spacious cabin and better legroom for the rear passengers, at 4,823mm in length, it is 4mm longer than its previous edition.
BMW is offering the completely souped-up 3 Series Gran Limousine as it comes standard with the M Sport package, which includes dual-tone 18-inch alloy wheels.
2023 BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Review: Interiors
This is where BMW has made a lot of effort in sprucing up the cabin. The cockpit is completely changed and the 3 Series Gran Limousine comes with a massive 14.9-inch digital display along with a 12.3-inch driver’s console. The giant curved screen has been inspired by the i4 and the iX. The 2023 Gran Limousine comes equipped with the latest iDrive Operating System 8, which makes the entire experience more user-friendly, and intuitive and has faster data processing capabilities.
Another new feature of the updated 3 Series Gran Limousine sports is a toggle controller lever instead of the traditional joystick-like gear shifter. Personally, we miss the gear stick, but with a certain Stuttgart-based iconic German sports car maker also taking the same route then who are we to complain?
Giving the centre console a cleaner look, BMW has replaced the physical climate control buttons beneath the air condition vents with touch buttons. Again, we aren’t a big fan of this as its functionality isn’t so convenient while driving, but then, we are in the minority with this school of thought because many car makers are opting for touch buttons.
2023 BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Review: Comfort
Upping the ante in the comfort department, the 3 Series Gran Limousine has new luxurious Vernasca leather upholstery, which translates into improved and better cushioning for both the seat squab and the backrest. For additional relaxation, the rear headrests are soft cushions. The seat extension facility remains for both the driver and the front passenger while the rear bench pampers the passengers with under-thigh support.
The 3 Series Gran Limousine’s USP continues the spacious legroom in the rear which is the best in the segment by far. Three adults can easily sit in the back as there’s enough shoulder room, but with a tall central tunnel, the leg space is limited for the middle passenger.
2023 BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Review: Driving experience
The Gran Limousine is a true blue BMW and remains a driver-oriented machine. It retains the 255bhp 1,998cc, four-cylinder in-line petrol and the 1,995cc four-cylinder in-line diesel with an output of 188bhp. Both powertrains churn out 400 Nm of torque.
We drove the petrol version the 2-litre petrol which offers three drive modes — Comfort, Sport and Eco Pro. It also comes with Auto Start/Stop function, which automatically kills the engine while waiting for the traffic light to turn green.
In comfort mode, the engine responds in a linear fashion, but still offers enough spunk to blank out most vehicles on the roads. Put the pedal to the metal and the sedan blasts past the three-figure mark at ease. This mode can be used in both the city and on highways, but if you want to add a bit more spice then it has to be the red-hot Sport mode. Not only does the engine takes the high revving approach but even the steering wheel’s weight increase as well as its responsiveness. As expected the suspensions tighten up ensuring that you sweep past corners without a hitch.
A lot of credit for Gran Limousine’s involving driving experience goes to the 8-speed automatic that shifts according to the person behind the wheel’s requirements. It up-and-down shifts instantaneously. Hence, it was the best driving experience in its segment.
The ride quality is another stand-out feature of the 3 Series Gran Limousine as it sails over potholes and cushions any booby traps on the road. In terms of handling, it isn’t razor sharp as the erstwhile standard 3 Series, but with mild body roll in sharp curves, in reality, it is still a very good driver’s sports sedan.
2023 BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Review: Verdict
The 2023 3 Series Gran Limousine is the complete package as it offers comfort and doesn’t compromise on the driving experience. It does feel a lot more luxurious with the new cabin displays and new lush upholstery. The 2023 version retains its strengths like its class segment cabin space. With its updated chiselled looks and a long list of features, it could make the C-Class slightly nervous. Only time will tell which thoroughbred will take the podium position this year.