Car reviews - BMW - 3 Series - 320i sedan
BMW takes the fight to Mercedes with the new 320i
1 Jun 2012
By TIM NICHOLSON
BMW’s top-selling 3 Series variant in recent years, the entry-level four-cylinder 320i, has returned to the fold after a model-change hiatus.
The 320i is now armed with a more powerful and more fuel-efficient turbocharged direct-injected 2.0-litre petrol engine – a detuned version of the N20 engine from the 328i that kicked off sales of the new sixth-generation F30 3 Series earlier this year.
Alongside the 320i at the bottom of the 3 Series range is a new model, the diesel 318d, that uses a detuned version of the 2.0-litre diesel engine in the existing 320d, while also losing a few bells and whistles to create a price leader to attract fresh customers to the Bavarian brand.
With sub-$60k pricetags, these most affordable 3 Series models are expected to do much of the heavy lifting in the showroom as BMW looks to claw back Mercedes-Benz C-Class’s lead in the medium-size luxury-car class.
Model release date: 1 May 2012 to 1 September 2015
February 2012Family Tree: 3 Series
BRANDISHING all-new ‘flame surfacing’ styling that defined BMWs in the 2000s, the fifth-generation 3 Series sedan grew in every department compared to its popular E46 predecessor.Get the full story: BMW's E90 3 Series sedan has landed, but does it improve on the accomplished E46?
It also introduced the company’s controversial iDrive system to the long-lived range.
Six-speed gearboxes prevailed, even in the base 320i (110kW/200Nm).
Models included the 160kW/250Nm 2.5-litre inline six-cylinder 325i (joined later by a detuned 130kW/230Nm 323i version), as well as the 190kW/300Nm 330i – until a 225kW/400Nm 335i twin-turbo six-cylinder range-topper arrived.
For the first time, a diesel 3 Series was released in 2006 (115kW/330Nm 320d). Along with a raft of changes, that was uprated to 125kW/340Nm during 2008, as was the 320i (to 115kW).
A powerful 180kW/520Nm 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder turbo-diesel was added in 2009 (330d), but the performance flagship was the 309kW/400Nm 4.0-litre V8-powered M3 – the first in Australia in four-door sedan guise.
There was also the E91 Touring wagon (from 2006) and E92/E93 Coupe/Convertible variants.
Minor trim and visual changes were introduced during 2010 and 2011.
Share with your friends
Enquire on or Test Drive a New 3 Series
Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires
This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).
By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.
Terms and Conditions
- In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
- We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
- You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
- We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
- While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
- You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
- You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.
- We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
- We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
- From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
3 Series pricing
320d Gran Turismo
330i Gran Turismo
M3 Pure sedan
Motor industry news
GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.