Whenever BMW reveals an all-new (or facelifted) model, some dread seeing an overly-sized front grille. Whether it be a high-performance M model, a luxury X crossover, or a stately sedan, BMW's styling direction when it comes to big grilles hasn't exactly been well-received by enthusiasts or by critics.
So when BMW announced that the 3 Series was going to receive a facelift, some were understandably worried that it will receive a grille makeover. Fortunately, fans of the 3 Series need not worry as the Bavarian automaker appears to have held back in giving it a bolder front end.
Based on a supposed leaked image of the soon-to-be-revealed updated 3 Series, it appears that the four-door will continue to have a pair of moderately-sized kidney grilles. Sure, the grille itself may not be present at the time the picture was taken, but at least we can confirm that it will not have the (almost) vertical grilles found in the all-new M3 and M4 models revealed last year.
What's new, however, are the sharper-looking LED headlights and the restyled front bumper which appears to have been derived from the recently-refreshed X3 crossover. Also worth noting on this particular 3 Series is the presence of a carbon fiber trunk lid spoiler – meaning this could be an M Sport version of the upcoming facelift.
Powertrain details regarding the refreshed sedan remain a mystery. However, we won't be surprised to see it powered by a range of turbocharged inline-four or inline-six engines. An eight-speed automatic gearbox may also continue to see use in the 3 Series.
While some might say BMW is going overboard with the overly-sized grilles, it appears that the brand will actually limit its use on certain models. Could this mean BMW is actually taking hints from customers or enthusiasts? BMW is adamant that the big grilles are here to stay, but perhaps they want to use it sparingly from here on out.