When the first-generation (E21) BMW 3 Series was launched more than 40 years ago BMW would not have guessed it would turn out to be the most successful model in the brand’s history. More than 15-million units have been sold worldwide, many thousands of those in SA, over six generations. Last week BMW SA launched the all-new 3 Series into the local market, hoping to significantly add to the sales tally. Considering its importance to BMW’s bottom line, it’s not surprising that the firm’s design team hasn’t mucked about too much with the aesthetics of its medium-size sedan. The styling is a gentle evolution of the existing 3, but refreshing at the same time. BMW’s design director, Adrian van Hooydonk, is adamant that each model in its line-up has a distinctive appearance. It seems BMW has been careful not to fall into the trap of some of its rivals. The face, in particular, has a bold treatment with large kidney grilles flanked by (standard) LED headlamps with an interesting notch in t...

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