Changes to 2021 BMW Models Include New 4 Series, Upgraded PHEV Models

Jack R. Nerad | Dec 15, 2020

BMW has announced its changes for the 2021 model year, and prime among them is an all-new 4 Series coupe and convertible. In addition, BMW debuts new M3 and M4 models, offers more plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) models, and unveils a list of upgrades and equipment changes across the lineup. Most BMWs also get Android Auto smartphone projection and SiriusXM 360L satellite radio, too. 

2021 BMW M3 and M4

2021 BMW 2 Series Changes - Find the best BMW deals!

Changes to the 2021 BMW 2 Series coupe, convertible, and sedan are limited to minor equipment modifications. The 2 Series Gran Coupe (the sedan) adds standard digital instrumentation and a tamer 8-speed automatic transmission replaces the previous 8-speed sport automatic on the 228i xDrive model.

2021 BMW 3 Series Changes - Find the best BMW deals!

While the BMW 330i sedans stand pat for the 2021 model year, the M340i performance models get a new 48-volt mild hybrid powertrain for incremental gains in fuel efficiency. Furthermore, the BMW 330e plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) returns with a new and more powerful 4-cylinder gasoline engine, giving it a combined 288 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque in combination with an EPA-estimated 22-mile electric-only range.

The BMW M3 high-performance sedan also returns to the lineup for 2021, equipped with a 503-hp, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine, and a choice between a manual gearbox or an automatic transmission. It is rear-wheel drive unless you specify a new M-tuned xDrive all-wheel-drive system. 

Standard equipment across the 3 Series lineup now includes keyless entry, automatic high-beam headlights, and a rearview camera system.

2021 BMW 4 Series Changes - Find the best BMW deals!

A redesigned 2021 BMW 4 Series lineup debuts, in coupe and convertible format and each with a controversial new grille design. Both new 4 Series cars feature more power, torque, and overall performance than the previous generation while also delivering updated safety, driver-assistance, and infotainment technologies. You’ll choose between a turbocharged 4-cylinder, a turbocharged 6-cylinder, and in M4 variants, a twin-turbocharged 6-cylinder engine, each driving the rear or, with xDrive, all four wheels. A manual transmission is offered only for the M4.

2021 BMW 5 Series Changes - Find the best BMW deals!

BMW has made a few styling and functional changes to the 2021 5 Series sedan. In addition to exterior and interior styling updates, the digital instrumentation and infotainment technology boasts next-generation iDrive 7.0 software and comes with a larger 12.3-inch touchscreen display on the dashboard. A 48-volt mild-hybrid system is new for the 540i models, while a more powerful 530e PHEV version of the car offers 288 hp and 310 lb.-ft. of torque.

2021 BMW 7 Series Changes - Find the best BMW deals!

BMW’s flagship sedan was updated inside and out for the 2020 model year, so it receives only mild changes for 2021. Say a fond goodbye to the throwback in-dash CD player. In exchange, a driver recorder system is now standard along with heated seats, heated armrests, and a heated steering wheel. Some exterior paint color, interior upholstery, and trim choices are also different this year.

2021 BMW 8 Series Changes - Find the best BMW deals!

The BMW 8 Series coupe, convertible, and Gran Coupe sedan slide into 2021 with minor changes. Lane-departure warning is now standard, while the 840i coupe and Gran Coupe get anthracite (dark gray) headliners. The M8 coupe and convertible are not on the menu for 2021, leaving the M8 Gran Coupe as the only high-performance model.

2021 BMW i3 Changes - Find the best BMW deals!

BMW assures us there will be an i3 electric car for 2021, but no information was available as this article was published. Meanwhile, the i3's sibling, the i8 PHEV sports car, is dropped from the lineup. Production ended in June 2020. 

The next I Series model is the upcoming 2022 BMW iX, which BMW calls its technological flagship. It will use the fifth generation of BMW's eDrive technology to deliver 500 horsepower and an EPA-estimated range of 300 miles before a recharge is needed. 

2021 BMW X1 Changes - Find the best BMW deals!

After substantial updates to 2020 BMW X1, no additions or significant deletions accompany the small SUV into the 2021 model year. 

2021 BMW X2 Changes - Find the best BMW deals!

A new mesh grille differentiates the M35i performance version of the 2021 BMW X2, and the company reports that LED fog lights are no longer available. The X2 is a BMW X1 with sportier styling, less utility, and a higher price tag.

2021 BMW X3 Changes - Find the best BMW deals!

A new X3 xDrive30e PHEV was added to the lineup in early 2020, so changes to BMW’s compact SUV are few this year. Every 2021 BMW X3 gets standard Active Driving Assistant safety technology, while digital instrumentation is standard for the X3 xDrive30e and M40i.

2021 BMW X4 Changes - Find the best BMW deals!

The 2021 BMW X4 sports activity coupe gets standard Active Driving Assistant safety systems. Wireless smartphone charging and a Wi-Fi hotspot with a 3GB free trial are new for the X4 M40i.

2021 BMW X5 Changes - Find the best BMW deals!

The 2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e PHEV is a new version of the company’s midsize SUV, featuring a 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder turbocharged engine, a larger 24-kWh battery, and an estimated 30-mile electric-only driving range. In other powertrain electrification news, the X5 40i models get a new 48-volt mild-hybrid system. BMW also adds remote engine start and ventilated front seats to the X5 M50i model’s standard equipment list.

2021 BMW X6 Changes - Find the best BMW deals!

The changes to the 2021 BMW X6 mirror those made to the nearly identical BMW X5, except there isn’t a PHEV version of the X6.

2021 BMW X7 Changes - Find the best BMW deals!

Just one year after the debut of BMW’s flagship SUV, the X7 xDrive50i model is dropped for 2021, leaving the xDrive40i, M50i, and new-for-2021 Alpina BX7 in the 2021 BMW X7 lineup. A limited-production BMW X7 Dark Shadow Edition is also available this year, but the company will build just 75 examples of the SUV. Heated front seats, armrests, and steering wheel are now standard across the X7 line.

2021 BMW Z4 Changes - Find the best BMW deals!

The 2021 BMW Z4 roadster, available in sDrive30i or sDrive M40i model designations, is carried over for the new model year.

BMW North America is the source of information in this article. It was accurate on December 14, 2020, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker's website or your local dealership.

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