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Car reviews - BMW - 3 Series - 318i Executive sedan

Overview

More power and new looks keep BMW's 318i atop the executive compact sedan heap

BMW logo20 May 2003

BELIEVE it or not, the 3 Series BMW in its current form has already been with us for five years. Where styling is concerned, it now represents previous BMW thinking and this is probably a good thing in the eyes of many. Over the years, it has picked up a number of improvements, not the least of which is the 318i's most recent adoption of a 2.0-litre, twin cam, multi-valve engine. Connect this with a five-speed automatic transmission and the base 3 Series starts to perform more like a BMW should. The driveline changes, in fact, virtually eliminate previous criticisms of the 318i's tendency to be a somewhat strained performer on the road.
Model release date: 1 October 2001 to 1 May 2005

Previous model

BMW 318i

Released: September 98
Ended: October 01
Family Tree: 3 Series

BMW's new E46 sedan arrived in Australia in September, 1998, and only served to cement the Bavarian marque's established position as inventor of the compact executive sedan. A subtle midlife facelift in October, 2001, resulted in the vehicle tested here, which also boasts more power and, from March, 2003, the standard fitment of stability control.

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