U.S. magazine MotorTrend performs a test drive of the 2013 BMW 320i.
The entry-level U.S. model sports a TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder engine and went on sale this Spring. 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.
Preliminary fuel consumption estimates for the 320i with 6-speed manual transmission are 22 City / 34 Highway, while 23 City / 33 Highway are estimated for the 320i equipped with 8-speed automatic.
So what are some of the reasons to have a 320i model in the United States? Our own Hugo Becker said in a previous article that “There is a new generation of buyers attracted to premium automobiles and the BMW 320i will offer them an opportunity to enjoy the essence of BMW’s driving experience. BMW hopes that they’ll go on and reward the brand with future purchases. Who knows, the 20 something 320i buyer, may become a 50 something 7er buyer. At least that’s the hope.”
Now let’s see an excerpt from the review:
Our 320i tester finished the quarter mile in 15.2 seconds at 90.1 mph, down from the 14.2 seconds at 97.8 mph posted by the automatic 2012 328i that dominated an eight-car comparison. It took the 320i 106 feet to stop from 60 mph, one foot shorter than the 328i’s performance. And when you do come to a stop, the engine’s stop-start system might kick in. I appreciate the car’s quiet cabin when the engine turns off at stoplights, but another staffer found the system jarring enough that he quickly turned it off. Around the figure-eight course, the automatic 320i performed nearly as well as that 328i. The 320i completed the figure eight in 26.2 seconds at 0.70 g (average), compared with the 328i’s 25.9 seconds at 0.69 g. The 2014 Lexus IS 250 F Sport finished in 27.1 seconds at 0.65 g, while the all-wheel-drive 2012 Audi A4 from a previous comparison test came in at 25.9 seconds at 0.69 g.
Out on the road, the 320i doesn’t feel like a 3318-pound rolling compromise. Executive editor Ron Kiino felt there was “plenty of power to enjoy the chassis.” The car’s 180 hp won’t leave you wanting power in most situations, though when you’re not in the transmission’s S mode, there’s a slight delay before the car really takes off. At wide open throttle, the resulting engine growl combined with a slight transmission whine is not a sound we’ll be dreaming about anytime soon.