BMW 320d M-Sport Review & Pictures: Bavarian Madness


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350Z

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BMW 320d M-Sport Review Synopsis:
  • BMW 320d M-Sport price tag is Rs.45,90,000 (Ex.showroom, Delhi). It made official debut in India on 27th January 2016.

  • BMW 3-Series range starts at Rs.36,90,000. It's available in total four variants: Prestige, Sportline, Luxuryline and M-Sport.

  • Most prominent updates in the facelift include revised bumpers, headlamps, alloys, paddle shift and new engine with retuned output.

  • The 3-Series is available in a 1995 CC diesel engine (190 BHP and 400 Nm torque) and a 1998 CC petrol engine (181 BHP and 270 Nm torque).

  • Newly introduced flagship variant (M-Sport) features Estoril Blue exterior color, carbon fiber interior finish, M-Sport badges, sportier bumpers etc.
 
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350Z

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BMW 320d M-Sport: Overview and Design


The BMW 3-Series has been one of the hot picks among compact luxury sedans in India. But with competition pulling up their socks, namely, new Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Jaguar XE making their local debut, it was only obvious for BMW to do something about it. The company officially launched a revamped avatar of the 3-Series ahead of Auto Expo 2016 to make sure the car receives adequate media limelight. This upgrade not only guarantees that 3-Series will continue looking young for the time being but it also weeds out certain shortcomings that previous model suffered from. Some of the quickly noticeable changes on the outside include revised bumpers design, full-LED headlamps, taillamps and foglamps as well as redesigned alloys. However, real talking point is newly introduced M-Sport version.

As obvious as it appears, M-Sport version of BMW 3-Series is spruced up enough to tempt anyone to give it a second glance. Apart from the eye-catching Estoril Blue metallic shade, it gets a set of sportier bumpers, side skirts; 18” star spoke alloys, plenty of M-Sport badging and some small yet nice-to-have features like M-Sport projector on front doors. The list of improvements becomes even longer when it comes to the interiors. This comes for a fat premium of three lakh rupees over its regular counterpart. If you’re someone who prefers much show with the go, then it’s worth considering. Overall design of the car is same as earlier. i.e. sleek, low-hung profile with a typical German build quality. Even though 3-Series is the smallest BMW sedan on offer, it’s still decently sized to command a respect of its own.
 
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BMW 320d M-Sport: Interiors, Features and Comfort


The term cockpit aptly fits to describe the cabin of BMW 3-Series. And it’s not surprising why since the company’s history dates back to manufacturing aircrafts. From throttle-like gearlever to circular instrument cluster dials and a heads-up display, everything seems to be inspired from an aircraft. You sit low in the car like a sports-car so ingress isn’t something I’d call convenient. Otherwise, the interiors are ergonomically designed. The welcome additions in this facelift include paddle shifters, improved material, ambient lighting, integrated GPS navigation system etc. Normally the interior trim color is matched depending upon the exterior shade but M-Sport package takes it to the next level with carbon fiber finish. Furthermore, leather upholstery, leather stitched steering wheel, front sports seats, anthracite-colored individual headliner add to the excitement of M-Sport package.

Front cabin is quite spacious with adequate arrangement of storing your knick-knacks. Driver’s seat offers a neat all-around view. The front sports seats (equipped only on the Sportline and M-Sport) are well-cushioned. You can in fact also stiffen their side bolstering in case of those tight cornering situations. The same, however, cannot be commented about the rear seats. First, there’s an excessively raised transmission tunnel which makes seating the third occupant difficult. Then the rear cabin in itself is very claustrophobic. Headroom is definitely going to be an issue for those taller than 5’11”. For me, the underthigh support and legroom were average though there was sufficient knee room. That said, 3-series is best when you’re seated on the driver’s seat. If chauffeur driven is the criteria, look elsewhere.
 
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BMW 320d M-Sport: Performance, Braking, Ride and Handling


Sheer driving pleasure. That’s the BMW’s tagline and 3-series testifies the same. Unlike usual facelifts, the one on this model isn’t simply limited to beautification treatment. BMW has plonked in a 4-cylinder, 1995 CC B47 common rail diesel engine unit which is a successor of the N47 motor that was fitted previously. It’s capable of delivering 190 BHP @ 4000 RPM and a torque of upto 400 Nm @ 1750 – 2500 RPM. It’s a couple of kilograms lighter (thanks to an aluminum crankcase), meets Euro-6 emission norms and is claimed to be more refined and efficient. Now there’s a 2.0 liter twin-power turbo 4-cylinder petrol engine on offer too that churns out 181 BHP @ 5000 RPM and torque of 270 Nm @ 1350 RPM mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. But since we’ve driven diesel, we’ll be specific to it.

The diesel motor too is a rear-wheel drive, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission which does 0 – 100 Kmph quickly in 7.2 seconds with a top-speed of 230 Kmph. Its output benefits from further improvements in internal friction and responsiveness through the use of anti-friction bearings instead of plain bearings. Additionally, C02 emissions have been reduced by more than nine per cent over its predecessor. Gently press accelerator and 3-Series moves on effortlessly. There isn’t any noticeable lag whatsoever and the overall NVH levels have been improved. Precise and a light-weight steering helps making those tight U-turns a breeze.

The eight-speed steptronic sports automatic transmission (now coupled with paddle shifters) has following modes to choose from, suitable for all types of driving conditions: Comfort, EcoPro, Sport and Sport Plus. The Sport Plus, which is available on all variants except Prestige, allows you to rev the engine right up to the rev limiter and also performs multiple sequential downshifts. This intelligent transmission system also helps optimize fuel efficiency by using navigation data to work out in advance where the driver will have to slow down on the upcoming route and accordingly adapts the powertrain strategy. The other energy saving features includes Auto Start Stop function and Brake Energy Regeneration. The on-demand coolant pump, electronically controlled oil pump and electromechanical power steering consume no electrical power when steering straight ahead. Also, whenever the air conditioning is not being used, its compressor is automatically disconnected.

The New 3-series rides on a re-tuned suspension that improves both transverse and longitudinal dynamics under all payload conditions. This is expressed in reduced roll, unwavering directional stability and an exceptionally high level of steering precision. The ride is on the stiffer side but if you’re an enthusiast, it’s not something that you’d complaint about considering better handling dynamics. However, at the same time, the suspension gulps potholes well when driving in a sedate manner. BMW claimed mileage figures for diesel variant is 22.69 Kmpl (and 17.61 for Petrol) although in real-world it delivered us around 12 Kmpl in cities and 15 Kmpl on highways under mixed driving conditions with AC on full-time. Safety features include front, side and head airbags, ABS, cornering brake control, traction control, stability control etc. So the final question arises: should you buy one? If you’re someone truly obsessed with driving, 3-series is a car that still ticks all boxes and additionally, supports it with an equally performance oriented design.
 
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350Z

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BMW 320d M-Sport: Likes, Dislikes and Star Ratings


You'll Love: [thumbsup]

  • Fantastic engine performance and driving dynamics.

  • Eye-catching exteriors design and a tough build quality.

  • Neat interior design. Superb quality plastics and upholstery.

  • Decent fuel efficiency figures for a performance-oriented luxury car.

  • M-Sport package with useful features like paddle shifts is a welcome addition.

You'll Loathe: [thumbsdown]

  • Cramped rear seat space. Headroom is an issue.

  • Stiff ride quality wouldn’t be most pleasing for the passengers.

  • Next generation model is due for launch in next couple of years.

  • Low-hung profile might cause inconvenient ingress and egress for some.

  • BMW’s aftersales network is lesser than that of Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

BMW 320d M-Sport Star Ratings:

  • Design and Quality.................:

  • Comfort and Features............:

  • Engine and Performance.........:

  • Handling and Ride Quality.......:

  • Safety and Security Levels.....:

  • Overall Fuel Consumption.......:

  • Sales and Service Network.....:

  • Value For Money Factor.........:

  • The Automotive India's Verdict:
Here's how to interpret above ratings: The Automotive India Reviews Star Ratings Explained.
 
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350Z

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BMW 320d M-Sport: Price, Specifications and Brochure


BMW 3-Series Price (Ex.showroom, Delhi)

Petrol

  • 320i Prestige: Rs.36,90,000

  • 320i Luxury Line: Rs.42,70,000

Diesel


  • 320d Prestige: Rs.36,90,000

  • 320d Sportline: Rs.42,70,000

  • 320d Luxury Line: Rs.42,70,000

  • 320d M-Sport: Rs.45,90,000

BMW 320d M-Sport Specifications

  • Engine: 1995 CC

  • Power: 190 BHP

  • Torque: 400 Nm @ 1750 - 2,500 RPM

  • Transmission: 8-Speed Steptronic Sport Automatic

  • Acceleration (0–100 Kmph): 7.2 seconds

  • Fuel Efficiency: 22.69 Kmpl

  • Top Speed: 230 Kmph

  • Front Brakes: Disc

  • Rear Brakes: Disc

  • Front Suspension: Aluminium Double-Joint Spring Strut Axle

  • Rear Suspension: Five-Link Axle in Lightweight Construction

  • Fuel Tank: 57 Liters

  • Length: 4633 mm

  • Width: 1811 mm

  • Height: 1429 mm

  • Wheelbase: 2810 mm

  • Tyre Size: 225/45 R18

  • Turning Radius: 5.65 m

  • Ground Clearance: 157 mm

  • Kerb Weight: 1430 Kgs

BMW 320d M-Sport Exterior Colors:

  • Estoril Blue

  • Alpine White

  • Melbourne Red
Asterisk (*) denotes our preferred color options.
 

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350Z

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BMW 320d M-Sport: Pictorial Review

BMW 3-Series is unarguably the sportiest looking entry-level luxury sedan on sale in India right now.



No major changes on the exteriors though Estoril Blue color adds to the charm.



Looks like a mini 5-series from rear. Doesn’t it?



These 18” star spoke style alloys are exclusive to M-Sport package.



Sleek long hood and a low-hung profile very much sports-car like. Note the well-sculpted creases.



Headlamps, whether lit or not, appear extremely raging. They're now LED-equipped.



Taillamps are full-LED too. Only those with eagle-eyes can figure out that reverse lamps are now positioned below.



Look closer and you'll find BMW LED-markings on the lamps.



The popular BMW kidney-grille.



LED foglamps sit on revised bumper with broader side air-intakes.



Now you know why they’re also known as “wing” mirrors.

 
Thread Starter #9

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BMW 320d M-Sport: Pictorial Review

Traditional remote keyless system requires you to manually press the remote button to unlock.



Driving the 3 means you need to be cautious on the speed bumps.



The integrated boot-lip spoiler.



Stylish shark fin antenna.



This sporty rear bumper is a part of the M-Sport package.




A sneak peek under the body.



A clear ‘Diesel’ marking on the fuel lid.



Twin exhausts are clubbed together in the Indian-spec model.



The 3-series wears low-profile (225/45 R18) Bridgestone run-flat tyres.



BMW branded brake-calipers. They’ll look cool if painted red. Especially with this exterior blue shade.


 
Thread Starter #10

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BMW 320d M-Sport: Pictorial Review

High quality wipers. They can’t be lifted up when in their default position.



Mounts to attach roof rack are nicely concealed.



You get a good view from the wide ORVMs. Surprisingly they don't auto-fold upon locking the car.



Sunroof’s always a good-to-have feature. Also contributes to the roominess inside the cabin.



No tinted shade band on the windscreen causes huge sun glare inside.



Tyre pressure placard for all the versions of 3.



Keyfob’s color combination is based on the exterior shade that you choose for your car. That BMW logo is the lock button.



Plenty of ///M Performance badging to always remind that you’re driving the M-Sport variant.



Headlamps offer an excellent throw of beam. Shown here is low beam and high beam.

 
Thread Starter #11

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BMW 320d M-Sport: Pictorial Review

Doors open wide although ingress and egress isn’t the most convenient for elderly.



Front and rear scuff plates. The ones on front beautifully illuminate at night.



One of the ‘wow’ factors of owning the M-Sport version. ///M projection beneath the front doors.



Front seats are extremely supportive and the cabin is comparatively spacious.



The rear seats are best for two and not really spacious.



The steering any enthusiast would crave to get behind. Interiors are made up of absolutely uncompromised quality.



Steering mounted audio controls.



European-style head lamp and wiper stalks.



Sports pedals on the M-Sport package.



Heads-up display is an incredibly useful feature. Tells speed, directions and basic alerts. It’s visible only from driver’s seat.



A look at the instrument cluster in day and night time.



From L - R: MID indicates Distance to empty, average speed, date, average fuel efficiency.



Super-short throw throttle like gearshift is a joy to use.

 
Thread Starter #12

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BMW 320d M-Sport: Pictorial Review

Decent view from the IRVM.



Traditional door lock pins. Thankfully you don’t need to manually operate them. :smile:



Carbon fiber finish is elegant.



Driver’s side power window cluster also incorporates ORVMs adjust and rear sunblind controls.



Front seat bolstering can be stiffened to prepare for the tight cornering.



Fully-electric adjustable front seat controls including the memory function.



Adjustable front headrests.



Extendable front seat underthigh support.



Straight-forward dual zone climate control and audio buttons.



The 8.8” iDrive with integrated 20 GB hard disk has lots of options to fiddle around.



OBD port is located right beneath the boot unlock button.

 
Thread Starter #13

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BMW 320d M-Sport: Pictorial Review

Sunvisor lamp turns on the moment you open mirror flap.



Grab handle even on the driver’s side. Strange. BMW could have provided a sunglass holder instead.



Nifty space to charge your gadgets under the front armrest.



Manual handbrake lever wrapped in carbon fiber trim.



BMW’s iDrive comes handy. Easily accessible by both, driver and co-driver.



Sport, Eco mode and ESP buttons are situated right besides the gearlever.



Front cubbyholes when covered up can serve as a cellphone storage space.



Glovebox is sized well to accommodate regular knick-knacks.



Yet another ingenious storage space on driver’s side.



Generous lighting arrangement on the inside.



Front and rear footlamps.

 
Thread Starter #14

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BMW 320d M-Sport: Pictorial Review

Neat rear sunblinds cover the quarter glass as well.



Tall rear seat occupants will end up rubbing their head on roof for sure.



Small rear parcel shelf. Can accommodate a tissue holder.



ISOFIX child car seat hooks.



12V socket equipped right below rear AC vents.



Seatback covered with a thick plastic sheet. Net holder can accommodate a mag or two.



Practical utility hooks inside the boot.



Smart space utilization on the boot corners.



Run-flat puncture repair kit.



Boot space of 480 liters is enough for the purpose. Observe there’s not a single exposed panel / hinge (where automakers usually cut costs).



There’s still some time until the next gen 3-Series (G20) makes its debut. For now, current model continues to enthuse its drivers.



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