The sixth incarnation of BMW’s best-selling model recently arrived to Bassoul Heneine showrooms. They gave us a preview of the car already, but we decided to take things a little bit further by test driving it.
You immediately feel at home the moment you enter the car, which boasts beige high-quality leather upholstery, wooden trim, a multi-function steering wheel and an intuitive easy-to-use iDrive system connected to an LCD panel mounted on the dashboard. The most striking feature, though, is BMW’s famous gear knob that looks like a joystick; you just wouldn’t take your eyes off of it.
On the outside, the 3 Series takes its bigger sister’s (5 Series) dynamic and curvy lines. A beautifully sculpted front bumper, LED accent lights positioned above the bi-xenon headlights with corona rings, merged with BMW’s famous kidney grilles, give the car an aggressive front fascia. The back end ditches the infamous bangle-butt seen on its predecessor for a more refined boot, L-shaped LED taillights and chrome dual exhaust pipes. Our 3er was painted in imperial blue metallic and equipped with 17” wheels.
Agile and Responsive
The 328i was an absolute delight to drive; it quickly responds to driver input and goes very smoothly on our not-so-perfect Lebanese roads, you just wouldn’t feel a bump. The car is well-balanced and handles accurately around corners, which gives the driver confidence to push it even further.
The cockpit is sealed from road noise, making it an enjoyably silent ride – great for everyday driving, while the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine feels like a 6-cylinder; no need to hammer the throttle to get a push, it just feels quiet and powerful simultaneously. The 8-speed automatic gearbox on our car has a manual shifting mode with paddle shifters on the steering wheel.
BMW offers the stop-start system which stalls the engine whenever you stop the car in case of traffic or a red light, the engine then turns back on when you take your foot off the brake pedal – a great way to save fuel. The clever system can be disabled with a button near the ignition.
The premium sedan accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 5.8 seconds (Automatic gearbox) and returns an estimated average fuel economy of 270km/20L (7.4L/100km). Safety is also a necessity as the new BMW 3 Series comes with 6 air bags and state-of-the-art electronic safety systems, which are integrated into the Dynamic Stability Control system.
In conclusion, the new 3 Series continues the success story of older generations. A luxurious and practical interior, a dynamic and aggressive design combined with exceptional road-handling makes the 3 Series the ultimate everyday premium experience.