Monday, 12 July 2010
BMW 320d Sports
If the BMW 320d that you see above epitomizes the dawn of the modern turbo-diesel passenger cars in Malaysia, it is very promising indeed. Promising because it sips a maximum of only 8.1l/100km even with my persistent ('DS' mode) and absolutely maniacal highway blasts - with a power delivery that is absolutely intoxicating albeit churned out from a narrower powerband than a petrol motor. Even more promising is that it will beat the petrol-powered 320i hands down and renders it irrelevant. Most promising when the newer 'facelift' 320d will boast even higher outputs come year end (?) versus the current stock state-of-tune's 177 bhp + 350 Nm combo.
Needless to say, the E90's handling dynamics and steering's ability to convey agility/confident feel/feedback are one of the best in business. However, this is one selfish car. It will make the driver very happy, but less so the other occupants. Okay, perhaps the babe (or as the case may be: guy) riding along side will still be quite alright. Unlike the Mercedes W204 C-Class the rear seats are quite useless. They are cramped - with high central transmission tunnel not helping things and awkward curving side bolsters at the lateral shoulder level - ouch!
On rough and bad road surfaces, it just gets too jarring for the rear occupants . This sports suspension equipped E90 will easily induce car-sickness for back passengers, especially on B-roads as attested by my young ones. The other turn-off - for me at least least - is the gruffy idling (read: loud) and the incessant idling vibrations transmitted through the steering column, seat bottom and door trim which makes the 320d rather unbecoming for a premium Conti junior executive.
So in conclusion, if you love the drive of say, a Mk6 Golf GTI but would like something with a proper boot, a 'classier' badge and something that returns way higher kilometers to the litre of fuel, this should be top in your list. There is no other diesel-powered saloon like this at this price point, with such engaging and sporting intent. Just make sure you are a single yuppie - and loving it - or if you are married (without kids) you have a mother-in-law whom you would like to shake off from following you on roadtrips!
2009 BMW 3-series facelift
Test Driven: BMW 320i SE