To give you a perspective of things from last year, remember the most debatable topic – the Diesel Ban that spanned across entire Delhi NCR region. It was an initiative taken on part of National Green Tribunal to help the National Capital curb alarming levels of pollution. The outcome of which was that the car and SUV manufacturers faced uncertainty of their diesel models that were currently on sale in India above the 2000cc category.
Thus to make the best out of the situation manufacturer’s like BMW resorted to petrol derivatives rather than highly popularized diesel which played a crucial role in determining the sale number for premium cars in the country. Therefore the second quarter of 2016 saw the coming in of BMW 3 Series petrol. This is the new 320i that replaces the 328i which was present in BMW’s portfolio earlier. In order to get to know BMW 328i better let us now take a closer look at this premium sedan.
BMW 320i – Exterior Design
Now with more and more models being reinvented plus the phenomenon of having something new to offer to the end consumers, premium cars have started to look similar to their elder sibling. Which in BMW 320i’s case holds as true it shares many design traits with that off the 5 Series. Having said that for what it is, the 320i has a personality of its own. It looks great upfront courtesy the BMW symbolic kidney grille, the long nose that makes its appearance all the more expressive. Carrying forward that expression in true sense are a pair of rather angry looking headlamps that feature Day Time Running lights.
The presence of sharply design front bumper with elements that circular fog lamps and chrome highlights definitely making it a great looking sedan. To the sides, its coupe-like appearance and short overhangs provide substance to the exteriors while a distinctive alloy wheel design just ups the appeal. Towards the rear elegantly shaped tail lights lend it great looks while the sculpted bumpers puts a tick mark on its premium feel.
BMW 320i – Interiors
When it comes to the interior, we find that most of the models from this German manufacturer’s stable have similar looking cabin. The treatment given to the dashboard for that matter is very much the same as what we have been seeing on the 5 Series that has trickled down to the 320i as well. Nevertheless the insides provide a dual tone interior (beige & black) and the abundant use of metallic inserts further push up its premium appeal.
Since this was the top of the line ‘Luxury’ variant it came loaded with a new and larger 8.8-inch iDrive screen with features like navigation, 205W-nine speaker audio system and 20 GB of internal storage. While comfort is maintained right on top with ample of head, shoulder and leg room for both occupants seats in the front as well as the rear.
BMW 320i – Engine and performance
We know that any BMW for that matter is known to be a driver’s car and the 320i in this case reiterates the company’s claim to that. Unlike the diesel which had gained immense popularity the new petrol motor in this case is a good package altogether. Thus the BMW 320i comes planted with a 2.0 litre Twin Power Turbo 4 cylinder petrol engine that is capable of churning out a power output of 184 BHP with 270 Nm torque.
This when translated into performance figures states that the acceleration from 0 – 100 stands at just 8.14 seconds. Mated to an 8-Speed Steptronic Sports Automatic Transmission, this particular BMW does well to leave an impression on the mind. For instance is seamless power delivery instantly catches one’s attention and does the input provided by the 8-speed automatic gearbox. To add in the availability of peddle shifts further enhances the driving experience which can enjoyed via 4 different Driving Modes – Sport Plus, Sport, comfort and EcoPro.
The stand out to take note off is not just the performance but the way this sedan behave on road. For starters, we really liked the subtle roar that the engine makes especially when pushed to the limit. As mentioned already the use of peddle shifts further helps one enjoy the powertrain by either going up or down the gears. Having said that it’s low-end isn’t that great however post the 1000 rpm mark things start to lighten up as it can rev all the way up to 6800 rpm.
With performance out of the way, let us now focus on two very important aspects ride and handling. BMW 320i offers a good ride quality to its occupant’s courtesy a brilliant suspension set that allows this sedan to glide over potholes and broken road surfaces with ease. While the handling is spot-on as the steering wheel allows the user to steer the vehicle in which ever direction they would like it to and car responds precisely to that much of input. Attacking corners is a pleasurable experience as one really gets to feel the powertrain and suspension coming together to provide that extra level of excitement from a pure drivers perspective.
BMW 320i – Verdict
Coming back to our original question can the BMW 320i win itself some appreciation if not all? Well in comparison to the diesel, the 320i is good offering in the market today. It is well balanced, be it in the looks department or for that matter the comfort which it provides. The metal finish inserts given to the cabin along with leather upholstery definitely push up the premium factor from within. While the performance might not give you goose bumps but nevertheless it does thrill the enthusiast inside to be able to enjoy this 2.0 litre power plant to its fullest. It might not be as frugal as the diesel but do you really care for a car of this kind? In our mind it is all about the experience which was great and did make us feel as if we were in paradise.