BMW 3-Series Ultimat3 raises the bar in entry-luxury segment

BMW India launched its sixth generation 3-Series sedan in India on July 27, called the F30 or Ultimat3. The car comes if five variants, four diesel and one petrol priced between Rs. 28.9 lakh and Rs. 37.9 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi.

The BMW 3-Series line up, includes two trim variants across the five variants – Sport Line and Luxury Line – which differ in the kind of upholstery and interior color styling combinations they offer.

bmw-3-series-sportline-photo

Variants and prices

Diesel

BMW 320D: Rs. 28.9 lakh
BMW 320D Sports Line: Rs. 31.5 lakh
BMW 320D Luxury Line: Rs. 31.5 lakh
BMW 320D Luxury Plus: Rs. 36.9 lakh

Petrol

BMW 328i Sport Line: Rs. 37.9 lakh

 

Design and looks

The BMW 3-Series is about 93 mm longer than the version it replaces, and has a 50 mm longer wheelbase, which translates to more interior space. The styling cues also have taken on an even sportier nature, with the trademark corona-ring headlamps now meeting the kidney grille, and getting an eyebrow design. The car has a coupe-like stance. The rear is typical BMW with the tail-lamps wrapping across the boot. The boot itself has become a little bigger at 480 litres.

On the interiors, the car has a very driver focused design. All the controls and even the center console are angled towards the driver, putting everything within easy reach. Beige and black interiors with a choice of wood and leather finishes, give this car a pretty classy look, a lot better than the previous model.

bmw 3 series photo

Comfort and features

The BMW 3-Series boasts of a host of new gizmos which raises the bar vis-à-vis competition, such as the Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4. The iDrive driver information system has a pop-up 6.5 inch display. The Luxury Line gets an 8.8 inch display with a GPS system and rear view camera in the top-end Luxury Plus. The petrol 328i also gets a heads-up display that shows essential information reflected in the windscreen.

Fuel-economy features have been added which include a start-stop system (which switches the car off when idle for a long period of time), brake energy regeneration – which charges the battery when decelerating, Eco-Pro mode which optimizes gear shift and engine rpm range for better fuel economy, and electronic power steering which has taken some load off the engine, enabling the car to deliver better fuel economy.

Safety features include 8 airbags, ABS, stability control, cornering brake control and run-flat tyres.

 

Performance

The BMW 3-Series comes with a choice of two engines. Both engines boast of twin-turbos which help it deliver better mileage and better power across the rpm range. The diesel is powered by a 2-litre engine that puts out 184 bhp of power at 400 rpm and 380 Nm of torque at 1750-2750 rpm. The petrol engine is a 2-litre twin turbo fuel-injected engine that puts out 245 bhp of power at 6500 rpm and 350 Nm of torque at 1250-4800 rpm. Both engines are mated to 8-speed automatic transmissions.

All variants have 140 mm of ground clearance, light weight aluminium construction (with an average weight of just 1340 Kg) and alloys, which help in achieving faster pick up and fuel economy. BMW claims a 0-100 kmph figure of 7.6 seconds for the diesel and 6.1 seconds for the petrol.

bmw-3-series-front-photo

Fuel economy

For a luxury car, the BMW 3-Series is pretty efficient. It has a claimed mileage of 18.9 kmpl while the petrol, because of its twin-turbo tech, also has a claimed 14.8 kmpl. The Eco-Pro mode of the automatic transmission helps with fuel economy.

 

What we think

BMW has always been an aspirational brand, and it is the largest-selling luxury brand in India at the moment, slightly ahead of Audi, with Mercedes in the number three spot. BMWs are bought by people who love driving, and are therefore more driver focused. The new 3-series continues this appeal, and has added a little more features to make it one of the best entry luxury sedans in India. The styling cues on the new 3 series make even the 5-series look a little bland in comparison. BMW has sold 8,356 3-Series cars in India since 2007 and hopes the new 3-Series will boost sales further. Looking at the styling it’s got, we think this car is going to see plenty of takers in its segment. It’s a car that any successful young-at-heart entrepreneur, businessman or executive must own at some point!

 

Technical Specifications

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