The executive’s decision
BMW’s 320i is smooth, packs a punch and comes with a wide array of personal options, PETER BARNWELL writes
WE turn the spotlight on the car world’s newest and brightest stars as we ask the questions you want the answers to. But there’s only one question that really needs answering: would you buy one?
This is BMW’s main model, accounting for more sales than any other. The 320i is a favourite of the “executive buyer” and “user chooser”.
It’s now up to $60,500 but the options list is longer than your arm, which means you could crank up the price to eyewatering levels pretty easily.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4, Infiniti Q50, Volvo S60, Lexus IS250
The 320i is a (twin scroll) turbo 2.0-litre petrol fourcylinder with variable valve timing and valve lift for efficiency gains and direct fuel injection. It achieves 135kW/270Nm and drives the rear wheels through an eightspeed auto with launch control.
Really well. The figures don’t suggest a sporty drive feel but the 320i is a driver’s car with plenty of punch.
Drinking 95 octane fuel, the 320i can sip as little as 6.0litres/100km. We actually achieved this figure.
It gets 4.5 stars, has auto stop/start, regenerative braking. low rolling resistance tyres and sophisticated engine management.
Five stars with a bunch of active and passive safety features to protect in a collision or to avoid one in the first place.
Comfort plus enhanced by more spec since late last year that brought BMW ConnectedDrive technology for phone, computer and other digital solutions.
Generous standard equipment includes leather upholstery, decent audio, professional navigation system, upgraded iDrive controller, drive assist features electric adjust driver’s seat, rain sensing wipers and auto headlights, multi-function wheel, park distance control, cruise with brake function, three-mode drive select with Eco, Sport and Sport+, keyless start.
Really good. We can totally understand why the 320i is a popular choice because it’s an engaging, comfortable, attractive, quality car with a sporty flavour. Minimal cost at the bowser, high safety.
Against the competition, the 320i is right in there but the stove is getting hotter.
Features added last year are a step in the right direction.
Yes, we’d carefully shop it against the competitors and, depending on the deal, would have no problem with one of these in the drive.