SINCE its debut in 1975, the BMW 3 Series has remained an important brand for the German company, and continues to remain on the right side of relevance.
The sedan has grown as the whole BMW portfolio has swelled with new models and platforms coming into play
The latest iteration of this bread-and-butter model of the BMW stable has grown and been loaded up with the expected latest features, to keep pace with the industry’s and customers’ expectations.
It’s comfortable at the back as it is engaging in front, and there’s no need to squeeze; not in the cabin, and certainly not in the large boot. This wasn’t the case when the first 3 Series was rolled out. But over time, everything has grown.
The entry-level 318i Sport reviewed here sets a good example for the rest of the range. Loaded with a 2L inline 4 cylinder, it’s been tweaked to give you 115kW of power. One of the issues with previous 3 Series generations was the slight lag when kicking down for power. That’s been eradicated here, and the flow of juice is smooth, if not rapid.
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0-100kmh in 8.4 seconds is not breathtakingly fast, but it does a good enough job. The handling is sharp and, with a choice of driver modes, you can cruise comfortably or have a bit more grunt in the drive.
It’s a tad soft in hard manoeuvres, squatting in slightly, but there’s some slipping on slick surfaces, which add to the fun.
The 8-speed transmission takes you through the gears, landing with accuracy in the one you need, but you can opt for manual and shift through the paces as you require, though paddle shifters would have been nice for this.
The new generation of instrument displays — 12.3″ Live Cockpit and 10.25″ control display with navigation — give you a crisp and sharp view of how your car is performing, what’s playing on your sound system and where you’re headed. Touchscreen features let you connect your device via Bluetooth, or CarPlay or Android Auto.
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Updates for the software can be downloaded remotely and over the air, adding a level of safety to the car.
The MyBMW app also keeps you informed of the status of your car and lets you ventilate it remotely or send directions to your next destination ahead of departure.
While the 3 Series has grown, so too has the price tag, especially at a time when COE prices are unpredictable. If you have *$213,888 to spend on this, you might want to consider some other brands with equivalent engines at lower prices.
But then, you wouldn’t have the same driving pleasure.
BMW 318i SPORT RATING
*Please reconfirm price with dealer.
Read more STORM-ASIA car reviews HERE.
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