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Three steps forward

Tweaked: BMW's 323i sedan and wagon cop a 10kW performance boost.

More power and features arrive just in time for BMW's 3 Series sedan and wagon

14 Jun 2007

BMW Australia has added extra equipment across the 3 Series sedan and wagon range in a move that it clearly hopes will revive a worrying sales dip - as well as provide a spoiler for arch-rival Mercedes-Benz's imminent launch of a redesigned C-class.

The mighty 3 Series still leads its market segment, but sedan sales are down 11.8 per cent this year compared to the same period last year, according to official VFACTS figures.

Although the fresher Coupe and Convertible variants have more than compensated overall, the company must be concerned about the trend for its long-time staple only two years into its model life.

The model upgrade also includes refinements to the six-cylinder engine in the 323i that result in an extra 10kW of power and improved fuel consumption.

The 323i sedan and wagon's in-line aluminium-magnesium six-cylinder engine now produces 140kW. In the auto sedan, it now returns average combined fuel consumption of 8.8L/100km, while the 323i Touring auto returns 8.9L/100km (and 8.5L/100km as a manual).

As a result, both the 323i wagon and sedan now also accelerate more quickly than before, with the latter claiming a 7.8-second 0-100km/h sprint time.

14 center imageAll 3 Series sedans and wagons now include "Comfort Access", which allows the car to be unlocked and started without taking the key out of your pocket, while all four-cylinder models gain rear parking distance sensors, automatic interior mirror, through-loading to the boot and an adjustable front armrest.

Buyers ordering the narrow-screen Business Navigation system (recently reduced to $2500) will now also get bi-Xenon headlights, headlight washing system, high beam assist and a USB/audio interface included as part of what BMW calls its Innovations Package.

The 325i now gets Business Navigation as standard, so the Innovations Package features are basically included in the $3300 Professional Navigation system option, which has a wider colour monitor, a TV and voice recognition.

A special Luminance Edition 3 Series, which is limited to a build of 300 sedans, has been added to introduce customers to the company’s Individual program, which has been providing customised interior and exterior choices for the past 16 years.

BMW Australia has selected a limited number of combinations across the 3 Series range, including paint, wheels and interior trim, including high-grade Merino leather.

This Luminance Edition package offers a choice of three special exterior colours as well as sports seats and adds $7500 to the price of the car.

2007 BMW 3 Series sedan and wagon rance pricing:
320i $51,000
320i (a) $53,600
320i Executive $55,900
320i Executive (a) $58,500
320d (a) $56,700
320d Executive (a) $61,500
323i $65,000
323i (a) $67,600
323i Touring $68,900
323i Touring (a) $71,500
325i $73,800
325i (a) $76,400
335i (a) $104,500

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