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BMW slashes 323i prices

Down she goes: The price of the six-cylinder BMW 323i is now priced against four-cylinder German rivals.

Almost $5000 sliced from the price of BMW’s six-cylinder 323i sedan and wagon

BMW logo1 Sep 2009

BMW has taken an axe to the price of its entry-level six-cylinder 3 Series variant, the 323i, which is now $4900 less expensive than before in both sedan and wagon guises.

Powered by a detuned 140kW/230Nm version of the 160kW/250Nm 2.5-litre straight six fitted to the 325i sedan ($75,900), the 323i sedan price falls from $63,200 to $58,300, while the 323i Touring now costs $62,500 (down from $67,400).

BMW says the sharper new pricing makes the rear-wheel-drive 323i more powerful than similarly priced four-cylinder sedans such as the front-drive 132kW Audi A4 2.0 TFSI ($59,600) and rear-drive 135kW Mercedes-Benz C200K ($57,900).

However, the Benz and Audi have more torque with a respective 320Nm and 250Nm, while the rear-drive 2.5-litre V6-powered Lexus IS250 delivers 252Nm and a class-leading 153kW of power. In entry-level Prestige form, the Japanese sedan costs $58,990.

Audi’s cheapest six-cylinder A4, the 3.2 FSI quattro, costs $90,900, while the V6-powered C280 costs $89,500. BMW says 30 per cent of E90-generation 3 Series buyers purchase a six-cylinder model.

Specified with a six-speed manual transmission as a no cost option, BMW says the 323i sedan is also quicker than its most direct rivals, with claimed 0-100km/h acceleration in 7.8 seconds (auto: 8.7 seconds). The Lexus is just one-tenth slower at 7.9 seconds in both manual and auto forms, with the auto-only Audi and Benz taking a respective 8.2 and 8.8 seconds.

With the lowest kerb weight of the quarter (1415kg manual), the 323i sedan is significantly more fuel-efficient than the Lexus, which returns 9.1 litres per 100km as an auto and 9.8L/100km as a manual. However, while the 323i sedan auto returns 8.8L/100km (8.4L/100km manual), the auto-only Audi and Benz sedans are more efficient at 7.1 and 8.1L/100km respectively.

BMW Group Australia managing director Stavros Yallouridis said Australians loved the refinement and linear performance of BMW’s in-line six-cylinder engine.

“Now, more customers than ever can treat themselves to the unique driving pleasure of an in-line six-cylinder BMW 3 Series,” he said.

“Our customer feedback indicates that introducing a BMW straight-six engine into what is mainly a four-cylinder market segment will be very well received.”
BMW 323i pricing:
323i sedan $58,300 (was $63,200)
323i Touring $62,500 (was $67,400)

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