Critics are calling it a minor update of the 3-series and not “BMW's most ambitious program to date” as claimed by BMW. That statement was made by BMW's R&D Chief Klaus Draeger and it seems that not many people are buying it as automotive journalists, forums and people here and there claim it to be otherwise when it comes to its styling.
Van Hooydonk also claims that it is very recognizable as a BMW even if one were to take the badge off. But he goes on to say that the BMW 3-series is the “core of the brand" or in layman's terms, the bread and butter model. This means that this is the cash cow for BMW and it need not be overtly adventurous. And that is why we're getting something that we've basically seen for the past six or so years. It only gets a new front end and keeps everything from the A-pillar rearwards.
While the car is longer, therefore slightly bigger and sports a whole lot of change under the skin, I cannot help but think that the car is an E90.5 instead of a 3-series called the F30. But then again, the last time BMW went and did a total change they came out with one of the ugliest luxury sedans ever produced – the E65/E66 BMW 7-series. Nearly everyone who had good taste felt their stomach churn and their tastebuds go sour at the mere sight of that car (people still bought it nonetheless).
So maybe it was wise that BMW has played it safe kept to a tried and true formula for the F30 3-series.