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There’s been an interesting uproar about the release of the 2023 BMW 3-Series lately. Many different social media posts have been praising BMW’s decision to go back to the smaller kidney grilles. After all, the giant grilles you see on the M3 and M4 are still pretty hotly debated. Lots of folks hate them. So, if you’re one of the folks who are excited to see them go away, there’s only one question: you know the 3-Series never had those giant grilles…right?

Standard 3-Series models never got the massive BMW Kidney Grilles

the red 2022 BMW M440i is a stylish sedan that is going to be ready to make make your every drive a much better experience
2022 BMW M440i | BMW

The Drive recently reported on the facelift to the current generation of the BMW 3-series. The article’s title seems to point toward BMW doing away with the massive front grilles. Additionally, a myriad of social media posts celebrating the facelift doing away with the giant BMW kidney grilles came flooding in after the facelift reveal.

Here’s the thing, though. Those massive grilles were reserved only for the M3 and 4-series cars. Apart from the M3, no other models of the BMW 3-Series got the massive grilles.

In a weird sort of Mandella Effect sort of situation, it seems the world universally recalls the 2022 3-Series lineup featuring the giant BMW kidney grilles that are oh-so hotly debated among BMW enthusiasts and haters alike. Of course, the styling decisions seem not to have affected the sales of 4-Series cars. Nor do the giant grilles seem to have hindered the sales of M3s and M4s.

Front view of gray 2023 BMW 3 Series, highlighting its release date and price
2023 BMW 3 Series | BMW

Perhaps the angle of The Drive’s article is expressing a bit of relief that BMW opted not to apply the shrink ray’s reverse function on its kidney grilles to match the 4-series. After all, there’s no shortage of people that would have been upset if BMW did go that route.

Aside from that, the 3-Series facelift seems to have eliminated the chrome trim around the grille and done a bit of re-shaping to the bumper aero. Additionally, the 3-Series now is available with an enormous screen taking care of the infotainment system.

The massive grilles are likely here to stay

The all-new BMW M440i xDrive Gran Coupé in red
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé | BMW Group

So, yes, take solace in the fact that BMW didn’t decide to throw the massive grilles at the standard 3-Series range. However, there’s a good chance that those massive kidney grilles are here to stay.

Of course, the first evidence pointing to them staying is the recent reveal of the all-new 7-Series lineup. As if BMW is playing some game to see how big they can get the kidney grilles before people stop buying them, the 7-Series comes equipped with some colossal sniffers.

Additionally, Motor1 recently put out some spy shots and footage of what appears to be a wagon version of the M3 testing at the Nurburgring. Theories point toward it being the new M3 Touring There’s no official confirmation of that at the moment. However, what’s undeniable is that it still has those now-signature gargantuan BMW kidney grilles.

So, no. BMW certainly did not shy away from the massive kidney grilles. Furthermore, it seems like they have zero intention of doing so.


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