The latest BMW 3 Series is pretty new, right? Well it's been on the market for the better part of three years now. And on a typical six-year production cycle, that means it's halfway through its life. It only makes sense, then, that BMW should be preparing a little mid-life facelift, and that's just what we appear to be looking at in these latest spy shots.

The changes will likely be minimal when the revised 3 Series debuts sometime in the middle of next year, with the visual changes to the exterior centering around a new front bumper. New lighting front and rear may also be part of the package, and you can also expect some updates to the interior while those Bavarian engineers are at it. Take a closer look in the gallery of high-res spy shots above for an idea of what to expect.


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  • 38 Comments
      AGSHOP
      • 8 Months Ago
      hope they get rid of the squinty looking face + the weird hood gap where the hood opens. but it looks like they aren't from these photos. worst 3 series ever made? its got my vote.
      hboi18
      • 8 Months Ago
      I wish they would get rid of the damn halogen headlights. ..and just make xenons standard already the halogens make it look so cheap its an $800 option...which in reality probably cost them less than half that why not just streamline the assembly instead of having 3 different headlight options (Halogen/xenon/LED)
      Frisky_Dingo
      • 8 Months Ago
      That's great. How about they do something about the lifeless, overboosted steering while they're at it.
      James
      • 8 Months Ago
      It has not been on the market for 3 years, try barely 2 years (since February 2012). It is quite simple math, so I don't know where you got 3 years from and are basically giving the impression the F30 is older than it really is.
        Carmaker1
        • 8 Months Ago
        @James
        Exactly, I'm actually quite shocked to see these though, as with the E90 LCI it was caught testing just about 1 year before launch, not 18 months! I guess BMW now employs longer development and lead times on facelifts, while ushering them in rapidly(see F10 5-Series lifecycle). The F30 LCI appearance would've been finalized about 4-6 months ago (current F30 was signed off by mid-2009), making it already 2 years old upon launch in late 2015. I've only known Daimler AG for such excessive lead times (MY2014 E-Class re-do finished in 2011, MY2016 GL facelift is already completed, 2017 W222 S-Class facelift to be fully designed in another 9-12 months). Regarding BMW, only the recent X3 facelift(caught in 2012), as well as the MY06 E65 facelift(in 2003) were spotted testing very early.
        Carmaker1
        • 8 Months Ago
        @James
        Exactly, I'm actually quite shocked to see these though, as with the E90 LCI it was caught testing just about 1 year before launch, not 18 months! I guess BMW now employs longer development and lead times on facelifts, while ushering them in rapidly(see F10 5-Series lifecycle). The F30 LCI appearance would've been finalized about 4-6 months ago (current F30 was signed off by mid-2009), making it already 2 years old upon launch in late 2015. I've only known Daimler AG for such excessive lead times (MY2014 E-Class re-do finished in 2011, MY2016 GL facelift is already completed, 2017 W222 S-Class facelift to be fully designed in another 9-12 months). Regarding BMW, only the recent X3 facelift(caught in 2012), as well as the MY06 E65 facelift(in 2003) were spotted testing very early.
      S40Powered
      • 8 Months Ago
      E30/E36/E46 for me thanks. Anything post looks just plain horrible for the exceptions of the coupe. I hope they get it right with the facelift.
      KM
      • 8 Months Ago
      yep, still looks like a teenage mutant ninja turtle from the front end. How did that non-m-sport front get passed by the design team? Absolutely horrendous.
        Barry Hubris
        • 8 Months Ago
        @KM
        Could be worse. It could look like the Buick-clone e90. I owned two e90s, so not saying the rental car looks of the e90 kept me from buying them. Rather, just pointing out it's a step up from totally invisible, Kenmore-like car design.
      Eggmania
      • 8 Months Ago
      i really dislike how BMW just ever so slightly modifies styling year to year instead of changing direction every so often. evolution works but its just so damn boring.
        AronD
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Eggmania
        BMW calls it a LCI (life cycle impulse) they change the design once in the seven year life span of the car.
          Carmaker1
          • 8 Months Ago
          @AronD
          Not quite Barry, maybe for the US. EU market production began in December 2004, for a March 2005 launch during the 2005 model year. That's still >7 model years. US launch occurred around May 2005 as a MY2006.
          Carmaker1
          • 8 Months Ago
          @AronD
          No timber, only EU market production commenced in December 2004, having been sped up by 3 months from the original date of March 2005(I provided that 2004 date for Wiki wayback). The E90 was launched in Europe in March 2005, with N. America following in May 2005 as a 2006 model. Production commencement is representative of a market launch, but moreover the first dealer delivery(ies)+sales.
          Carmaker1
          • 8 Months Ago
          @AronD
          No timber, only EU market production commenced in December 2004, having been sped up by 3 months from the original date of March 2005(I provided that 2004 date for Wiki wayback). The E90 was launched in Europe in March 2005, with N. America following in May 2005 as a 2006 model. Production commencement is representative of a market launch, but moreover the first dealer delivery(ies)+sales.
          Barry Hubris
          • 8 Months Ago
          @AronD
          They did 6 years with the e90 - 2006-2011.
      burgerjoint
      • 8 Months Ago
      About time. This current front end design is horrific. The headlights look as though they were unfinished. Everything else is about right. Perhaps a look at the latest 235i for design would help...
      Hernan
      • 8 Months Ago
      I've got the perfect facelift. Ready? Tadaaaa: http://www.bmwblog.com/wp-content/uploads/bmw-4-series-gran-coupe-image.jpg
      swanmic12
      • 8 Months Ago
      There's no way BMW is going to wait until the middle of next year to unveil this refresh. I'd say this fall at the latest. You need to rethink your time frame on spy shots, AB. It messes things up, like the half of the world that thinks the new Mazda3 is a 2015 model based on old speculative reports.
      flammablewater
      • 8 Months Ago
      These changes are actually designed to improve airflow to the new FWD architecture of the 3 Series.
      bookemd
      • 8 Months Ago
      Amazing how fast time flies, feels like its brand new still.
        jessesrq
        • 8 Months Ago
        @bookemd
        Agreed. Mine just his 14 months and 12k miles, and I appreciate its understated design today as much as I did on day one. (Though of course by AB commenter standards, the car is a complete failure and embarrassment to the BMW name, and I am a douche poser for buying one.)
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