BMW 320d Driving Impressions

Over the past ten years BMW has often been in the top 10 best selling cars list with their 3-series, despite - or perhaps because of - the fact that these cars are perceived as being quite upmarket.  BMW used to describe the car as "the ultimate driving machine."

 

The most recent 3-series was launched in 2005 - and there was little wrong with it, except that it was, in the end, a disappointingly ordinary car.  We were, therefore, looking forward to seeing what BMW had done to make the car more interesting.

 

The new 320d (more engine options to follow) doesn't look significantly different from the previous model, except for the bulging bonnet and sharper detail between the front grille and the headlamps.  The car is a little more spacious and lighter, though.

 

The interior returns to the "driver-centred" approach we were used to in BMWs once upon a time, with the dashboard and centre console shamelessly shaped around the driver of the car.  The finish and fit are impeccable and various trim levels are available.

 

Once on the road, the car's steering is precise and it handles with that natural, easy balance that always used to be a BMW attribute.  These cars are agile and crisp, yet they have a smooth and quiet ride - even with the optional active dampers set to the firmest position.

 

The 2-litre 4-cylinder engine delivers 184bhp.  Its top speed is 146mph and the 0-62mph acceleration time is 7.5 seconds.  Unless you have access to lots of cash, prepare yourself for price tag of about £27,080 if you want to own this one.

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