By Otsile Kadiege
The BMW 3 Series has been the German car manufacturer’s bread & butter for decades and it is arguably the benchmark in the highly competitive compact executive sedan segment. Now in its 7th generation, the 3 Series, codenamed G20, is set to continue being the bestselling BMW despite a growing interest in SUVs.
What’s underneath the bonnet?
Our test car was the 330d which is the most powerful diesel 3 Series in South Africa. It is powered by a 3-litre straight-6 engine, which is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. It produces a respectable 195 kW and a hefty 580 Nm. It has a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 5.5 seconds. The oil burner has a 59-litre tank which gave us just above 1000 km of range.
How does it drive?
The 330d is one quick car. It is very responsive to throttle inputs. It is planted but the tail will step out when exiting bends at full throttle. Aural pleasure is at an all-time low due to this being a diesel engine. That said, our spirited jaunts ended with a cruise on the highway and we enjoyed driving through some choppy roads, which the sports suspension handled well. We were only able to achieve 7.8l/100 km, but we believe the manufacturer’s claimed 5.5l/100km can be achieved.
Our 330d looked elegant with a touch of sportiness thanks to silver grille surrounds, silver door frames and the MSport package. It had the optional Dravit Grey metallic paint (+/- R30 000) which made the 3 Series look stunning under the African sun.
The minimalist interior looks and feels premium and most panels are soft touch materials. The Cognac interior with contrasting black panels looks good, but gets dirty easily. There is a 10.25-inch touchscreen running the intuitive iDrive 7 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, “Hey BMW” voice command and the gimmicky gesture control. It is flanked by a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster with a heads-up display. There is plenty of storage compartments, ample knee and head room for rear passengers.
Though removed from the BMW South Africa online configurator, the 330d is priced from R829,200.
Leave a comment