Fleet News

BMW gets new grille - and price increase

BMW has announced price increases for its 1997 model year cars but has reduced the cost of some options. On average, prices rise by 2% for 3 series Compact models, 2.3% for other 3 series, 2.4% for 5 series and 1.3% for 7 series.

All 3 series cars get a new grille similar to the 5 series, pyrotechnic seatbelt tensioners, storage nets on the front seat backs and wide angle door mirrors (heated on all but Compact models). BMW says changes have been kept low key to protect residuals for existing owners.

BMW's traction control, ASC + T will now be standard on all six cylinder models except the 325tds automatic and M3, formerly a £1,360 option and for SE saloons and six cylinder Tourings, the fully automatic air conditioning/ delete sunroof option price will reduce from £1,235 to £560 - a 55% cut.

The 323i Saloon will replace the 320i. Using the 2.5 litre 170 bhp engine from the 523i, this newcomer accelerates to 62 mph in eight seconds. The 323i will cost £21,500 on the road - just £355 more than the 320i would have been without the traction control.

The SE model will cost £23,170 on the road and the 535i will cost £36,360, manual or automatic with Steptronic. All 5 series cars gain side airbags for both front doors as standard. Both 520i and 523i receive the Steptronic control for automatics while the 728i, 735i and 740i standard wheelbase models can be ordered with Alpina sports suspension priced at £1,500.

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