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Photos: 2009 BMW 3-series preview

A couple of weeks after BMW released photos and details of its new 7-series, the company released these pictures of the updated 3-series. Although not considered a major update by BMW, the new 3-series gets new in-dash electronics and a lighting upgrade. BMW also adds the diesel-fueled 335d to the line-up.

CNET Reviews staff

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The 2009 3-series comes in a variety of flavors: the naturally aspirated 328i, the twin-turbo 335i, and the new twin-turbo diesel 335d. The 328i and 335i can also be had with BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system. Only the sedan and wagon versions are getting the updates shown here; the coupe and convertible versions remain the same.
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With the Xenon headlight option, the new 3-series uses LED turn signals in the headlight casing.
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BMW made slight changes to the trunk lid and rear bumper to give the 3-series a sportier look. It also uses LEDs in the tail lights.
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Much of the interior design remains familiar, although BMW made small ergonomic changes, such as moving the window controls. But there are big changes in the cabin electronics, including a hard drive-based navigation system with room for music storage.
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BMW expects the diesel version to offer the same level of performance as the gasoline versions. With the twin-turbo diesel, which will be sold in all 50 states, the car gets 265 horsepower and an astounding 425 pound-feet of torque. BMW claims 6 seconds from 0 to 60 miles per hour.
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The most apparent change with the new 3-series will be the new iDrive controller and menu. We saw an example of the new iDrive screen in the 7-series preview. This new iDrive controller includes hard buttons for quick access to the sound system, telephone, and navigation.

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