Luxury manufacturer BMW has a fair bit of new stuff heading our way for the 2021 model year, and some of it — like the giant grilles on the new 4 Series and M3 and M4 — will be pretty hard to miss. The most sweeping change in the lineup is that SiriusXM satellite radio will be standard in every 2021 BMW model.
Related: BMW Charges Up Luxury Electric SUV Competition With 2022 iX
For the rest of the updates (or relative lack thereof), let’s take a look model by model.
BMW X1 and X2
Model-year 2021 sees minimal changes for the two baby Bimmer SUVs with the addition and subtraction of some paint colors, and price reductions for the Convenience, M Sport and Premium option packages for the 2021 X1.
Like its X1 sibling, the 2021 X2 gets some new exterior colors while losing others, as well as option package price reductions. The Dynamic Handling Package for the X2 28i, which added adjustable dampers and an M Sport steering wheel, is no longer available.
BMW X3 and X4
Bigger changes happen with the 2021 X3, which adds the plug-in hybrid X3 xDrive30e; both Android Auto and BMW’s Active Driving Assistant safety tech are now standard.
The 2021 X4, the coupe version of the X3, also adds standard Active Driving Assistant and Android Auto compatibility, along with option package price reductions and the usual changes to exterior paint and interior upholstery choices.
Both the X3 M and X4 M now offer the Competition Package as optional equipment instead of as a stand-alone model.
BMW X5 and X6
The 2021 X5 lineup loses the xDrive50i trim level but adds the xDrive45e plug-in hybrid. Both the X5 and the X6 gain Android Auto compatibility and 40i models for both now have a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. Like the X3 and X4 M cars, the larger X5 and X6 M switch to an optional Competition Package instead of a separate Competition model.
BMW X7 and Alpina XB7
Model-year 2021 X7s equipped with a 22-inch wheel and run-flat tire package get a top speed increase to 155 mph, and a 75-unit limited-edition X7 Dark Shadow will be available. The Alpina XB7 began production in August.
Sedans, Coupes and Convertibles (and Gran Coupes)
BMW 2 Series
The 2021 2 Series coupe and convertible add standard Apple CarPlay compatibility, while the four-door Gran Coupe gains standard Android Auto. A Driver Assistance Package is now available for the Gran Coupe. There are no changes for the M2 Competition.
BMW 3 Series
Plug-in hybrid 330e and 330e xDrive models are new for 2021, and the M3 returns, too, using the gigantic grille of the 4 Series. M340i models also get a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. A new Shadowline appearance package adding dark exterior trim is also available. A manual transmission is still available on the M3, too, though not on the regular 3 Series.
BMW 4 Series
Redesigned for 2021, the 4 Series gets a new, polarizing face to go with more power and technology, which we have covered in more detail than will fit here. The convertible version switches to a soft top from a power retractable hard top, and the new M4, too, deserves more words than this space allows.
BMW 5 Series
More of a refresh than a complete redesign, both the 2021 5 Series and the higher-performance 2021 M5 see updates to exterior and interior styling, and the non-M 5 Series also gets powertrain updates.
BMW 7 Series and Alpina B7
Both the regular 2021 7 Series and the 2021 Alpina B7 lose their in-dash CD players (sorry, audiophiles) while adding a drive recorder to capture and store driving footage. The 7 Series also makes the Cold Weather Package standard equipment and makes heated seats, steering wheel and armrest standard, too.
BMW 8 Series
BMW will not be importing 2021 M8 coupes and convertibles, only the four-door M8 Gran Coupe, so buyers looking for a two-door M8 will have to find a 2020 model. Like its M SUV brethren, the M8 replaces the Competition model with a Competition Package.
Last among BMW’s cars, at least alphanumerically, the Z4 adds Android Auto compatibility and sees prices on its various option packages change slightly.
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- BMW Makes SiriusXM Standard on All 2021 Models
- 2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible Drops Its Cover, and Its (Soft) Top
- 2021 BMW M3 and M4: M Stands for Manual
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