The BMW 3-Series has always been a driver’s car and the current generation (F30) car was launched in India in the 320d and 328i guises. The 328i was later discontinued but the 320d continues to remain on sale. While we sampled the 320d M-Sport last year, this time around, Indian automobile website MotorBeam.com reviews the 320d in the Sport Line trim.
On the outside, the BMW 320d Sport Line has minor differences compared to the Luxury Line trim. However, it misses out on the body kit that is offered on the M-Sport. The 320d looks elegant and there is a certain aura about the car that draws you towards it. The red colour looks striking and the styling of the car is a blend of sportiness and luxury.
The interiors of the BMW 320d are well laid out. The dashboard and centre console have the typical BMW design and we’re not complaining. The insides feel very premium and the quality of the materials on the dashboard, centre console, door pads, etc. is fantastic. There are a plethora of buttons everywhere though. The steering wheel is great to hold and gets paddle shifters and audio & phone controls.
Talking about the seats, they are one of the best in class and offer a snug feel. The seats are electrically adjustable for height, reach, rake, lumbar and even come with under thigh extensions. The large armrest at the front is comfy and comes with USB and AUX ports too, along with a storage space. The rear seats are a bit tight when it comes to headroom and knee room and are best suited for two passengers.
The BMW 320d is loaded with features including iDrive. However, the Sport Line trim misses out on the HUD that is offered on the M-Sport version. Another feature which is missing is a reverse parking camera which is indeed surprising. The driving position is low slung and all round visibility is very good.
Under the hood, the BMW 320d gets a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder, B47 unit that gives out 187 HP and 400 Nm. The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic ZF transmission. 0-100 km/hr comes up in 7.55 seconds.
The motor has punchy performance. Turbo lag is well contained and post 2000 RPM the car accelerates with good pace. Power delivery is linear right up to 4500 RPM and the oil burner never really feels strained or out of breath.
BMW offers the usual driving modes like Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ on the 320d too. While we ended up using Comfort for daily usage, the Sport mode on the highways made sure the car always remained in the power band. The ZF gearbox is very smooth in its operations and the 320d is pretty efficient too.
The steering doesn’t really have that sort of feel what we have seen on older BMWs but it still feels very direct and precise. The handling is very good with body control being on the positive side. Since the car is a RWD, the tail tends to slide out when you want it to and comes back in line once the DTC kicks in. The ride is pliant on good roads but on potholes it feels a bit stiff.
Ground clearance is a bit low and the car tends to scrape some nasty speed-breakers if you’re driving with a full load. The tyres have very good levels of grip and the vehicle feels stable all the time. Braking performance is good too.
The BMW 320d continues to remain a fun to drive car that offers good looks, efficiency and performance but it could have done with slightly more space in the cabin. It is a very good purchase for someone looking for a self-driven luxury sedan.