The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Head To Head -


BMW lopped $2200 off the 420i in June but it’s still over the odds com­pared to the newer Benz. The 420i gained Sport Line or Lux­ury Line pack­ages at no ex­tra cost. Servicing is con­di­tion based or pay $1340 up­front to cover the cost for five years/80,000km. Gen­er­ous fea­tures in­clude leather, pre­mium au­dio and sat­nav, ad­vanced in­fo­tain­ment, am­ple driver as­sis­tance and head-up dis­play.


The 420i looks big, if in­nocu­ous, on the out­side. Cabin is first-class in terms of style and func­tion in generic BMW fash­ion. It gets a gen­er­ous help­ing of the lat­est BMW tech­nol­ogy, in­clud­ing up­rated con­nec­tiv­ity and ex­tended phone func­tions..


The fo­cus of the 2.0-litre twin scroll turbo four-cylin­der is on smooth­ness and ef­fi­ciency rather than out­right sporti­ness, un­der­lined by the mod­est out­puts (135kW/270Nm) that are still good for a 7.5-sec­ond 0-100km/h sprint and 5.8L/100km on 98 RON. Drive is to the rear axle through an eight-speed auto — six-speed man­ual is a no-cost op­tion.


Lacks lit­tle in terms of ac­tive and pas­sive safety, has six airbags and earns a five-star crash rat­ing. The en­try level 420i gains the lat­est driver as­sist fea­tures, in­clud­ing pedes­trian warn­ing, light city brak­ing, park dis­tance con­trol, head-up dis­play, re­verse camera with sur­round view, ap­proach con­trol ... and plenty more. The feel is pos­i­tive — the 420i ac­quits it­self ad­mirably when pushed. En­gine de­liv­ers ac­cept­able per­for­mance and ex­cel­lent fuel econ­omy. The eight-speed auto is silky-smooth, aided by slick pad­dle-shifters and four-mode driv­ing, from Eco to Sport+. The steer­ing is sharp and well weighted, the sus­pen­sion is sup­ple and con­trolled mak­ing the 420i a fun car to drive. But there’s not much siz­zle.

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