Sprint Review: BMW 320d (Sport)

One new car, lots of information in random paragraphs.

Some facts: The BMW 3-Series has always been the sporting driver’s choice and I’ll get straight to it – it still is. While other car makers are trying to infuse youthful dynamism into their machines, BMW just keeps filing away little-by-little at this winning recipe. In fact, this new model looks like they haven’t filed at all…

That’s right, you’re actually looking at the latest Dreier from München. Not a whole new model but the usual mid-life update each car range receives. Retaining its edgy good looks and efficient cockpit is great news for resale values (either way of 2015) so BMW spent most of their time on efficiency and new technology.

More information: Among the fresh additions is BMW’s cellular-based connectivity package. Next to live traffic updates, detailed maps and internet browsing you also get a Concierge (butler) service. My call to this centre was met by miniscule VOIP delay and an extremely helpful gentleman with a European accent.

We liked: Weighing down the nose of this accomplished sedan is BMW’s four-cylinder turbo-diesel, which means that this 320d has 400Nm and the bouncy 3-Series front end was less so. Our test car’s eight-speed Steptronic automatic gearbox (N$18,900) did well to smooth out the power delivery.

BMW claims average fuel use of four point something, we got 7.2L/100km for a week of mixed driving. The 4-way drive mode selection (N$13,900) makes a marked difference in the car’s responses while handling (with a N$19,400 Sport Line option fitted here) was excellent.

We didn’t: Like most ultra-modern cars, surpassing the 320d’s grip levels takes some rather rough driving. In this application, it also required red-lining the diesel engine. Eww. Ride comfort is good (stay away from low-profile tyres) with sufficient space for four adults, five if the ones at the back all like each other.

Our only other complaint was pricing. You need to start at N$479,000 and budget quite a bit more if you’re addicted to gadgets. As is usually the case with local press demonstrators, ours was groaning under the load of almost every optional extra you care to mention. Its final price was about that of a base 5-Series.

Why you’ll want one: BMW’s 3-Series isn’t just good at dynamic driving, this little Diesel is a true mile muncher and the recent updates to the range bring it up to date with innovative tech. Your 320d won’t be unique on the road but it’ll give you years of sheer driving pleasure; and should be easy to sell, too.



0-10km/h: 0,39 seconds
0-20km/h: 0,88 seconds
0-30km/h: 1,34 seconds
0-40km/h: 1,92 seconds
0-50km/h: 2,56 seconds
0-60km/h: 3,34 seconds
0-70km/h: 4,16 seconds
0-80km/h: 5,09 seconds
0-90km/h: 6,12 seconds
0-100km/h: 7,32 seconds
0-110km/h: 8,69 seconds
0-120km/h: 10,22 seconds
0-130km/h: 11,91 seconds
0-140km/h:  13,90 seconds

0-100m: 6,51 seconds @ 93,38km/h
0-200m: 9,90 seconds @ 117,84km/h
0-300m: 12,74 seconds @ 134,65km/h
0-400m: 15,30 seconds @ 146,41km/h

Maximum acceleration G-force: 0.73G

Altitude: 65m

All data captured by Racelogic® Performance Box

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