The 2016 BMW 320 M-Sport has all the show of the coveted //M branded cars but not the go-to-back-it-up, even though the car is a capable cruiser in its own right. MotorBeam.com reviews the executive luxury sedan to measure its sporty quotient.
The BMW 3-Series sedan is a sensible car for sensible people who want all the creature comforts available at their disposal and have a decent driving experience at the same time.
The BMW M3 is a whole different animal altogether, a feline cat which offers edge-of-the-seat action at every poke of the A pedal. Not every person can handle the exhilarating experience but many still want the sporty looks and quality of an //M car.
Thus here we have a kind of amalgamation of the two kind of cars called the BMW 320 M-Sport and we try to find out how good the car is as a comfortable and sporty sedan.
The current generation 3-Series or as the fanboys at the Bimmerpost forums say - the F30 chassis car is a beautiful looking vehicle. As part of a recent facelift, it now sports LED headlamps and tail lights along with a revised front bumper and new alloys.
The M-Sport variant that we have here comes with the M-Sport package.
The low slung M-Sport seats which offer terrific support and feel very comfortable, and the HUD display is available only on the M-Sport variant and not the other trims.
The HUD display works well and displays a lot of info like phone records, tracks, radio stations apart from the speed. You also get a sunroof and the usual iDrive infotainment system with an 8.7-inch screen. However, the 320d misses out on a rearview camera.
The 2016 BMW 3-Series M-Sport continues with a 2.0-litre diesel engine, which is the new B47 unit that also made its way to the X3 recently.
The powerplant makes 187 HP of power and 400 Nm of torque which is slightly more than the older unit’s output.
The mid-range rocks a strong power-surge while the engine is a gem even at higher RPMs. Acceleration is just marginally quicker and the 0-100 km/hr time is dismissed in 7.55 seconds.
The power delivery feels very linear and the engine feels very peppy.
The 4-cylinder unit is fun right up to the redline of 4500 RPM for automatic and slightly more in manual mode.
The engine is married to the same 8-speed ZF gearbox but the ratios now seem to be better tuned than the pre-facelift model. The gear shifts are lightning quick and the transmission is smart enough to understand the driver’s inputs.
The new engine comes with driving modes like Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ and is overall more refined now. Comfort is best chosen when you plan to cruise while Eco Pro results in the car losing some of its steam in favour of fuel efficiency.
In Sport+ mode, the car switches off the DTC so you better not try this mode on public roads. Being an oil burner, the 320d will also keep your wallet happy with 12-13 km/l fuel efficiency figures.
BMW cars are renowned for their driving dynamics and handling characteristics. The ride quality is pretty sorted and the 3 feels comfortable over most surfaces.
The 3-Series is revered for the awesome steering feel but the new M-Sport wheel that comes on the 320d felt very light and lacked any sort of feedback.
The M-Sport comes with bigger and low profile wheels though and hence the ride will be slightly better on the lower variants.
The BMW is a well specced car and comes with all the bells and whistles which a four million rupee sedan should have. The 2016 BMW 320d is loaded with a ton of safety tech like six airbags, ABS, Dynamic Traction Control and Automatic Stability Control.
If you really want the M bits and pieces then the M-Sport variant is worth buying but do consider the fact that the lower trims will also offer the same levels of drivability and the fun factor will also remain unchanged.