In his recent video, noted journalist, racing driver, and Twitter/YouTube celebrity, Chris Harris has almost gone full monty What Car? style to review a car that brings more customers to BMW dealership around the world than any of the ‘usual’ vehicles that he drives. It’s a bog-standard (okay, with a few extras, but not OTT) F30 3-Series in the 320d avatar.
Unlike the BMW M3/M4 duo, which represents sportscar performance but with a bit of added practicality, the 320d is all about the latter. Or so is the notion. Because as CH proves it in the video, the car manages motorway speeds without really stressing. And while it might take some time to reach there (BMW claims a very respectable 7.5/7.6-second run to 100kmph from standstill, depending on the version; latter's applicable in India), it is, by no means, a slouch.
Powering the car is a 2-litre inline four diesel engine that makes 135hp and 380Nm of torque. And while there’s a manual gearbox on offer in markets like the UK (as can be seen in the video), BMW only offers 8-speed automatic transmission in India. The power is, in true BMW fashion (yet), is sent to the rear wheels, while the front ones take care of steering the car.
You can check out the rest of the details in the videos below, it goes on to show how lukewarm cars might not be able to stand neck to neck with their sporty cousins, but they needn’t be boring, either. And while a sportscar might throw a tantrum or two while stuck in traffic, a car like the 320d will waft along without any fuss.
In India, it’s available between INR 35.90 lakh and 39.90 lakh, ex-Showroom. You can read more about the list of BMW’s on sale in the country by checking our new car listing.
And as far as a bit more useable and powerful car is concerned, there’s also the BMW 530d, which uses a larger, 3-litre, twin-turbocharged inline six diesel engine that makes 258hp and an enormous 560Nm of torque. Its ‘Q’ car status is somewhat marred by the ‘M’ emblems, though.
Of course, while we are far away from the ‘less Is more’ strategy here, but it appears that these not-so-powerful variants have a lot going for them, especially in terms of everyday usability. And that’s where cars like the 320d excel.
BMW is going to launch an updated 3-Series (LCI - midlife update) this year. While it remains to be seen when it comes to India, there will be new, smaller 3-cylinder engines that are bound to make the 3er more efficient. And that's good news for those who appreciate the car's talents.