Basically, any car enthusiast worth his salt would pick up a 3’er over most other executive luxury sedans with pretty much his eyes closed. However, the current gen, F30, 3-series is already over five years old now. Heck, even the mid-cycle refresh (Life Cycle Impulse in BMW speak) has been around for a couple of years. But boy do we so fall in love with this machine every time we get behind her wheel! Still, to keep things fair to both the 3’er and its oh-so-capable adversaries, we talk about the various aspects of this car in our BMW 320d Edition Sport review here.
BMW 320d Edition Sport Review – 5 Things We Love!
#1 Design – Right Mix of Sporty and Classy
With every generation, the 3-series has evolved as a showcase of the grandeur and sporting characteristics of BMW sedans. The current-gen car, complete with its wedge-like silhouette, wide track and a long hood, looks very sporty whilst maintaining an aura of classiness about it. Like we said, this is the Edition Sport variant, which went on sale in India in August last year. The Edition Sport is available in three exterior paint options- Alpine White, Black Sapphire, and Mediterranean Blue. There aren’t many new bits on offer; the fresh elements are limited to a high-gloss black finish for the trademark twin-kidney grille and ‘Sport Line’ badges on the fender. Overall, the design has aged gracefully and the 3’er holds its own even in the company of newer, more modern cars.
#2 Engine – Vigorous yet Polished
7 years is a lot of time for any car to lose its performance edge, right? No, most certainly not! The 320d Edition Sport, akin to other trims of the 320d engine variant, comes with a 2.0-litre, four-banger turbo Diesel engine that outputs 188 BHP and 400 Nm. To put things into perspective, the C-Class offers only 170 German stallions, while the Jag XE comes with 177 horses. Even the A4, which is the newest of the lot, can’t better the Bimmer’s figure and offers exactly the same power and torque output. Leaving the specs aside, it’s actually the way this car puts down all the power that makes it so special. It’s pretty easy to open the huge performance tap through the excellent ZF-sourced eight-speed transmission. The gearbox always keeps you in the meat of the powerband, which makes overtaking a breeze. You even get the option of shifting manually through the steering-mounted paddle shifts. 100 kmph from standstill comes in just 7.2 seconds and the top speed has been electronically nannied at 250 kmph. The icing on the cake is the high levels of refinement and the low NVH. Brilliant, we say!
#3 Steering – Sharp and Talkative
The current-gen 3’er has received some flak for not being as sharp as its predecessor (E90). However, in spite of this slight downgrade, the 3-series remains one of the most involving cars when being driven through a set of corners. Underpinning the F30 3-series is an avant-garde chassis that benefits from a lightweight construction and clever axle kinematics. The steering is as precise as a Swiss timepiece while also being as talkative as a hyperactive kindergartener. Of course, the rear wheel drive (RWD) layout is another plus point as it results in zero torque steer.
#4 iDrive – Intuitive and Idiot-proof
The BMW 3-series, even after receiving a gazillion upgrades over the years, is yet to get a touch-control interface for its infotainment unit. Well, it’s actually a blessing in disguise! The brilliant iDrive controller, which has been improved over the years, is so intuitive that it’s almost impossible to go wrong with it. The controller responds very quickly to all the inputs. Well, BMW will add the iDrive 6.0, with a touchscreen display, to the next-gen 3-series but till then, we can enjoy the sheer simplicity and brilliance that the rotary controller has on offer.
#5 Price – A Lot of Car for Your Money
On sale at an ex-showroom price of Rs 38.60 lakh (ex-showroom), the 320d Edition Sport doesn’t come cheap. However, this car is worth all the moolah. There’s a lot of performance on offer, enough tech gadgetry, many safety features and the high brand value of the BMW badge – all at a price that is considerably lower than that of its rivals. For instance, the C220 CDI range starts at Rs 39.9 lakh, while the A4 35 TDI will set you back by at least Rs 42.02 lakh. So, basically, the 320d Edition Sport is the cheapest of the renowned German trio.
BMW 320d Edition Sport Review – 2 Things We Hate!
#1 Ride – On the Stiffer Side
Well, you need to look elsewhere if the proverbial ‘magic carpet ride’ has been at the top of your wish-list. On the flip side of the great handling characteristics is a ride that might leave the rather well-heeled clientele slightly disappointed. The ride doesn’t ever get bone-jarringly harsh, mind you, but this car is definitely not for those who’ll be spending a lot of time in the rear seat. The ride remains considerably firm over the well-spread tar and gets a bit harsh on rough surfaces, which is somewhat of a concern in cities not known for their well-paved streets.
#2 Interior- Red with Beige? Oh no!
While we are all for that classy exterior, the interior has definitely started showing signs of aging. In an era where minimalism is the fad, the interior of the 3-series offers layouts that belong to cars from the previous generation. The center console has far too many buttons and knobs for a premium car sold in this day and age. Also, the Edition Sport gets red accents for its beige-black interior panels, which, at least in our books, stick out like a sore thumb.
So, what do you think of our BMW 320d Edition Sport review?