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BMW 3 Series
    Change Model
Customer Rating
: 4/5
Expert Rating
: 9/10
Warranty
: 2 Yrs / Unlimited kms (Whichever is earlier)
Ex-showroom price in 
Delhi
 help (Rs.Lakhs)
    Change City
39.9 Lakhs-47.3 Lakhs

Strong Areas

  • Sporty design
  • Racy performance 
  • Excellent build quality
  • Powerful twin-turbocharged diesel 

Weak Areas

  • Mediocre space
  • Jarring slow-speed ride
  • No paddle-shifter
  • Pricier than rivals
BMW 3 Series
 
 

BMW 3-Series Returns With Petrol Engine

It is loaded with luxury features and innovative technology. The rear seat is spacious and comfortable. But what’s new in the BMW 3-Series line-up for India is that the petrol model is back again. 


Author

By

ecardlr.com National

In 2015 BMW had decided to remove the petrol model from its popular 3 Series line-up but things did not go well in the Indian market where many luxury car buyers turned towards petrol mainly due to higher excise duty and oddball policies against the diesel. So BMW has brought back the 320i to India. There are two trims available - Prestige and Luxury Line that are priced at Rs. 36.90 lakh and Rs. 42.70 lakh (ex-showroom, all-India) respectively. The German sedan is imported into the country as a completely built-up unit (CBU). 
The engine that powers BMW 320i is a 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder TwinPower turbo petrol unit. It churns out 181 bhp and 27.53 kgm of torque. And it is coupled with an 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. As in all other conventionally fabricated BMWs, the power is transmitted to rear wheels.


              BMW 3 Series
 

The 3 series was recently facelifted and ecardlr reviews the refreshed petrol model of this BMW sedan.

The External Impression 

External looks of the car are not different from the diesel powered 3 Series. Its design language has a universal appeal and the styling has only improved over the years. Design cues also remind you of the larger 5 Series. 
 
In terms of length the BMW 3 Series is shorter than rivals Mercedes C class and Audi A4 but these substantial dimensions (Length=4624mm, Width = 1811 mm, Height = 1429 mm, Wheelbase = 2810 mm) give it enormous road presence. 

There are trademark corona rings inside the LED headlamps and these function as daytime running lights (DRLs) too. The headlamps taper to meet the kidney grille.

 
               BMW 3 Series Headlight

 

On the front of this car you see angular projections especially at the ends of bumper. This can make changing directions somewhat tricky when compared to car with roundish arcs on its bumper edges. 
For the Prestige (base) variant, BMW has fitted 16 inches V-spoke style alloy wheels with 225/55 R16 tyres. The upper Luxury Line version comes with 17 inch multi-spoke style alloy wheels. Rubber around them is sized at 225/50 R17. And yes, these are run flat tyres with reinforced sidewalls. The electrically foldable ORVMs have automatic anti-dazzle function. They are heated and memory optimised, and have LED turn indicators.

 
              Power full Grille

 

The split tail lamps have the distinctive BMW L-shape and look like smaller versions of 5 Series tail lamps. Reflectors on the bumper have housing with protruded edges and there is a chrome lining below them (on the bumper). The 320i gets double exhaust tips. 

     
              Aluminium Wheel with Multi Spoke Styling

 

BMW 3-Series has a 50:50 weight distribution on the front / rear axles. Overall, the build quality is impressive as in European cars. Only the excess of chrome may look flashy to some classes of buyers. 

The Interiors 

BMW has updated the 3-Series cabin recently and we see the changes in this petrol model. The quality of materials has improved and the ambience feels brighter, plusher. But the Mercedes C Class still leads the segment in this segment..


              The Ultimate Performance
 

The lower half of the dashboard is in beige, in continuation with the beige upholstery. The upper half in black has lot of metallic highlights. You will find the 3-spoke steering wheel perfectly sized and nice to hold. Paddle shifters are provided only on the upper Luxury Line variant. Dials on the instrument cluster are easy to read. 

Front seats are very comfortable with electrical adjustment and the one for driver’s seat is memory optimised. 

On the centre console, the infotainment system called BMW Connected Drive has 16.5 cm colour display screen for the Prestige version and 22.3 cm colour display for the Luxury Line. The latter is iDrive touchscreen with handwriting recognition, DVD drive and integrated hard drive with 3D maps.

 
             Front Seat

 

The interior rear view mirror has automatic anti-dazzle function and lights package comprises soothing ambient lighting.

At the rear there is plenty of legroom and good thigh support. Seat-back is more supportive than most cars in its class. Roller sun blinds are provided for the rear windows and the centre arm rest with cup holders offers more luxury. 

The 480 litres boot space can accommodate lot of luggage. 


Engine, Transmission and Performance 

With 181 bhp of power available, there is a lot to be expected from this petrol engine and does impress. In terms of refinement, yes the BMW is not as good as the Mercedes and even the Audi. Indeed at times you may wonder if it’s really a petrol.


               
 

On a positive note, the 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder TwinPower turbo petrol motor has smooth power delivery. Turbo lag is minimal. There are no abrupt spikes in power. And the power builds up delightfully from as little as 1500 rpm. The gearbox also upshifts early within the city making the drive stress-free. In traffic of urban India, you will rarely drive beyond 2000 rpm. Keep a light foot on the accelerator and it will give you a fuel economy of about 9-10 km /litre. 

A very strong pull is experienced on the open roads past 3500 rpm and this 4 cylinder engine can work all the way up to 4500 rpm but there is not much zeal beyond that. And it also begins to sound harsh on nearing peak rpm level.

 
             Eco Pro Mod

 

The 0-100 km/hour acceleration comes in 8.14 seconds and you can go up to 140 km/hour in 15.05 seconds. 
BMW 320i offers you three driving modes to choose from:

The Eco Pro mode as the name suggests is about fuel economy. Throttle response is lazy in this mode and the 8 speed auto gear box tried to drive in the highest ratio possible. The climate control settings also get adjusted to conservative settings. 

The Comfort mode is what you will like to use most frequently for your commutes within the city. It keeps the desirable balance between performance and efficiency. The gearbox also shifts seamlessly and the steering remains super light for moderate driving speeds.

 
              Front Head on

 

The Sports mode adds weight to the steering feel. The gear shifts get quicker and more aggressive, and the throttle becomes more responsive. A different ECU map comes into action in this setting. Also, the petrol engine holds on to a gear for longer. Naturally then, this is the mode you will want to choose for enthusiastic drive. Remember, that there are more of sudden jerks in the Sport mode because of the frequent downshifts to deliver more power. So it is better to drive only in Comfort or Eco Pro mode when you have other passengers on board.

There is also a Sport + mode that disables DSC, but enables DTC.


Ride and Handling

The ride package of the 3 Series has improved over the years. Low speed ride in the city is smooth and the sedan can now dismiss poorer, broken tarmac with aplomb. But the flip side of soft suspension becomes evident in the dynamics. The grip levels are smooth and the chassis feels composed under most droving conditions but there is some vertical movement. The body roll that was very pronounced in the earlier model has lessened now. It goes around the corners more confidently.

Despite its huge length and width, the 320i is easy to maneuvere in the city thanks to the super light steering. And the braking capability is good enough to match the kind of power this engine has to offer.  Under emergency braking conditions that we tried once, the tyres did squeal as the ABS kicks in, but it did not cause nervousness. The sedan stops confidently in a straight line.

Thanks to raised ground clearance of 157 mm the sedan does not scrape under belly on bumps.


Verdict 

Once again the BMW 3-series has managed to bring together comfort and fun to drive factor in a unified package. By buying this German luxury, you get nice enthusiastic performance and there is adequate comfort for the rear seat occupants. The pricing which is more than the diesel model (even though this is a come-back model) will dishearten some. The Prestige variant costs Rs. 36.90 lakh and the Luxury Line variant is priced at Rs. 42.70 lakh (prices ex-showroom, India). But if you have money to splurge and can maintain this class of sedan, the 3-Series is pure affluence to drive on roads.

Comfort: 4/5
Refinement: 3.5/5
Safety: 4/5
Ride: 4/5
Handling: 4/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5

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