BMW India recently launched the all-new sixth generation BMW 3 Series sedan which has received a good response and has emerged as one of the preferred models in the entry level luxury sedan segment. Ammar Alvi takes to the wheels of the BMW 320d luxury line and makes a quick trip to Jaipur to test this new wonder on wheels. He comes back impressed.
For long it has been the world’s best-selling premium car and the all-new sixth-generation sedan has set a new benchmark in terms of sporting prowess, elegance and comfort. The pioneering history of the 3 Series serves as inspiration for the new sports sedan, whose powerful styling represents a fresh interpretation and conscientious development of traditional BMW design cues. To experience this new change and test the dynamics of this German pedigree, I took the 320 diesel luxury line for a quick spin to the city of palaces, Jaipur.
When you greet the BMW 3 series you witness the new BMW face, with flat headlights reaching along as far as the BMW kidney grille, emphasizing the elegantly dynamic design of the new BMW 3 Series. The sixth generation of the 3 Series has grown in size compared to its predecessor, with its wide track (front + 37 mm, rear + 47 mm) particularly prominent, and the car’s increased length (+ 93 mm) and augmented wheelbase (+ 50 mm) also accentuate its sporting silhouette. By clearly accentuating the width of the car, the multi-faceted surfaces of the expressive front end give the BMW 3 Series a sportier face than ever.
The drive to Jaipur from Delhi is around 260 kilometres and the national highway which used to be the best connecting roadway is now on repair mode, which means open roads, bad surfaces and more time to reach the destination. I had second thoughts to drive the car to Jaipur as I feared I would punish the car way too much if I chose this route, but to my surprise the BMW 320d luxury line turned out to be one of the best cars I have driven on battered, open Indian roads.
BMW is the first carmaker to offer an eight-speed automatic gearbox in the premium mid-size segment. It is specified in combination with any of the petrol and diesel engines in the range and links up with the Auto Start-Stop function that comes as standard. The new eight-speed automatic brings together shift comfort, dynamic performance and efficiency of the highest order, making it the perfect partner for the new sedan’s dynamic potential. The high-output BMW TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder diesel engine puts an even more efficient foot forward. The cutting-edge unit gives the BMW 320d 135 kW/184 hp and 380 Nm (280 lb-ft) of torque. The new BMW 320d’s average fuel consumption in the Indian test cycle is 18.88 kmpl.
BMW ConnectedDrive meets the most advanced standards of infotainment: high-functionality interface technology enables the driver and passengers to make extensive use of external mobile phones and music players inside the sedan. New Bluetooth office functions allow text-based messages (SMS and e-mail), to be viewed in the Control Display of the iDrive operating system.
A wide range of storage compartments enhance practicality: two large drinks holders are now integrated into the centre console ahead of the gearshift lever; these can be replaced by the oddments tray also included in the range of standard equipment. The front and rear door pockets now contain generous stowage surfaces, and the front doors have space for drinks bottles up to one litre in size. Boot capacity has increased by 20 litres.
I drove the luxury line which has discreet high-gloss chrome elements lending the exterior of the sedan a particularly elegant and exclusive appeal. The BMW 320d luxury line starts at over `33 lakh (ex-showroom) and is available in different trim levels. In the end this Made-in-Chennai Beemer is all out to impress Indians who are looking for a comfort, efficiency, luxury and above all value for their money.