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BMW 320i Sedan (2012)

by John Ewing,reviewed October 2012

The new three series BMW offers appealing affordability, with the entry level 318d diesel and 320i petrol listing for less than $60,000. Both undercut starting money for rival Mercedes C-Class.

Our test 320i was fitted with the $3152 Sportline option pack. Ambience lighting, interior and exterior trim detail upgrades, leather trim sport steering wheel, double-spoke 17” alloys (alternative pattern, size and tyres same as standard), and MW Sport aluminium sill finishers are included in the pack. Also Sportline inclusions, the Dakota leather trim sports seats with adjustable width bolsters for the front passengers, comfort and support occupants admirably.

Performance from the new engine with its twin-scroll turbo is more impressive than mere numbers suggest. The engine, with its wide spread of torque and refined delivery free of turbo-lag, is mated to a new eight-speed auto that’s its perfect partner.

The EcoPro drivetrain control and stop-start system help deliver good fuel economy, too.

Ride comfort is now tolerably comfortable, even on the standard runflat tyres, which is more than can be said of some of the brand’s offerings. The 320i offers accurate steering and sporty handling to please more demanding drivers, though the improved ride quality appears to have come at some reduction in the car’s overall dynamic focus.

The new 320i proved a very easy and pleasant car to live with.

BMW 320i Sedan 2012

For

Performance, powertrain refinement, fuel economy, ride quality

Against

Seating limitations centre rear, sat-nav not standard

Key features

Dual front climate control, cruise control with braking function, 17” alloys, keyless start, front/rear park sensors, auto-dim mirror, power seat adjustment, CD, bluetooth, leather trim

Safety

Dual front/side/curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake distribution, brake assist, dynamic stability/traction control

Car Details

Vehicle make BMW
Vehicle model 320i Sedan
Vehicle type Medium Over $50,000
Year 2012
Price when new $57,600 (auto) MLP
Current price range $ - $
ANCAP crash rating
5 out of 5 stars
Insurance

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Technical advice

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Engine 2.0-litre, turbo petrol 4-cyl
Max power 135 kW @ 5000 rpm
Max torque 270 Nm @ 1250-4500 rpm
Economy ADR 6.0 litres/100 km
Emissions rating
4 out of 5 stars

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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.