UK magazine AutoExpress takes a first stab at comparing the new F30 BMW 3 Series against its classic competitors: the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Audi A4.
The model of choice was the highly-efficient 320d Sport. Mercedes brought to the table the C220 CDI Sport that delivers 168 horsepower from a 2.1 liter diesel engine. Audi responded to the challenge with its 175 horsepower A4 TDI S.
The new F30 BMW 320d is powered by a 2.0 liter turbocharged engine that delivers 181 horsepower.
After an extensive review, the UK magazine gives the top spot to the new 3 Series. Here is an excerpt from their review:
So the 3 Series can now challenge the Audi A4 for interior quality. But the BMW has traditionally held the upper hand when it comes to driver enjoyment, and losing this long-standing advantage would make all the cabin improvements pretty pointless.
Unsurprisingly, that hasn’t happened, but the engine’s thrummy nature at start-up and low revs contrasts with the smoother diesel in the Audi. However, thanks to its effortless power delivery, the BMW has the punchiest in-gear performance here. It also sprinted from 0-60mph in 7.3 seconds – which is 1.1 seconds faster than the A4.
The engine is much more refined at cruising speeds, so aside from a slightly gruff noise as you accelerate, it’s actually one of the car’s real strong points. As is the slick six-speed manual gearbox.
Crucially, BMW hasn’t tampered with the 3 Series basics, and the rear-wheel-drive chassis, 50:50 weight distribution and agile handling make it a pleasure to drive. The 320d reacts to driver inputs faster and with more precision than its rivals, while body control is excellent.
Click through to read a detailed review on each vehicle.