MotorTrend puts together an interesting comparison between BMW’s entry-level into the U.S. market, 320i, and some other models that are not in the same segment. One is the Mercedes-Benz CLA250, a front-wheel drive four-door coupe. The other two are products not usually considered premium, VW CC and Buick Regal.
Sporting a TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder engine, the new 2014 BMW 320i Sedan went on sale last year and it is the most affordable BMW in the U.S. lineup. The 2.0 liter TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder engine produces 180 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 200 lb-ft of torque from 1,250 rpm – 4,500 rpm. 0-60 mph acceleration for the 320i Sedan is estimated to require only 7.1 seconds with either transmission choice. Top speed is an electronically-limited 130 mph. Fuel consumption is also astonishing: city/highway 24/36 mpg EPA.
Here is an excerpt from their review which puts the BMW 320i ahead of its competitors.
That the CLA250 was the only one to show an external stress marker wasn’t totally surprising. Before leaving on the road trip, each car had been sent down a quiet but beat-up-in-sections road at 65 mph to judge ride quality. The CC and Regal were plush all around, able to float over dips and bumps, with the Buick heaving up and down a little more than the Volkswagen. Even though the 320i came fitted with the passive M sport suspension — unique springs, shock absorbers, and bushings, with 0.2/1mm thicker front/rear anti-roll bars — as part of the $1300 Sport Package, it rode confidently on its staggered 18-inch wheels. The BMW suspension delivers a reassuring ride that’s more adept than those of the Regal or CC at snuffing motions after the wheel impact, rather than letting the car oscillate on its own. The purest of BMW purists have harangued that the current F30 3 Series isn’t as laser-focused on handling and as rewarding a driver’s driver as the E30, E36, E46, and E90. We counter the F30 is still an admirable all-around vehicle.
First and second place were clear. First goes to the 320i, with its easygoing, composed chassis. It’s the most eager to go driving in by a long shot. Knocks against it: It’s weaker on wind-noise abatement and doesn’t come with as many features, although there are plenty of a la carte options to inflate the final price. Second sits the Regal, exceptionally outfitted with goodies including a heated steering wheel and AC power receptacle and boasting ride comfort for all ages. There’s no embarrassment in (inadvertently) taking it through a canyon.
4th Place: Mercedes-Benz CLA250
It’ll be a star when rough-riding luxury cars become all the rage.
3rd Place: Volkswagen CC 2.0T R-Line
Beauty craving more substance.
2nd Place: Buick Regal T
Nearly bucked the “3 Series always win” trend.
1st Place: BMW 320i
Prepared for any road, anywhere, any time.