BMW 3 Series Review (320d xDrive M Sport Saloon)
By Tim Barnes-Clay – Motoring Journalist - Tweeting @carwriteups
The BMW 3 Series has always been an awesome car to lease. Take, for example, the BWW 3 Series xDrive. It’s got the same 190PS four-cylinder diesel unit as the standard 320d saloon, but it has the added advantage of four-wheel drive.
You might suspect that four-wheel-grip means this BMW guzzles fuel. Well, I’ve got news for you - it doesn’t. The 320d xDrive M Sport returns a very respectable 58.9mpg, while CO2 emissions are low at 126g/km.
I got behind the wheel of the 320d xDrive M Sport saloon, but the German car maker has also fitted the xDrive system to the 320d Touring version. BMW expects xDrive models to comprise around four per cent of all 3 Series BMWs sold or leased in the United Kingdom.
The xDrive system is light and, crucially, it works laudably, meaning the set-up is every bit as satisfying as a rear-wheel-drive 320d. Actually, its greater adherence to the asphalt gives you utter confidence when positioning the nose of the 320d xDrive M Sport into curves at speed.
Switch to the Sport setting on the M Sport suspension and that self-confidence grows, because the suspension becomes harder and the BMW’s steering weights up agreeably. Naturally, the BMW’s ride is marginally more chilled out if you leave it in the Comfort setting, but even in Sport mode it never becomes merciless – even over Britain’s pothole damaged roads.
The 320d's oil-burner is a sharp player. However, it can sound a little overexcited on start up, and while the diesel hubbub soon wanes, there is sometimes a bit of wind noise around the door mirrors on motorway commutes.
The 3 Series xDrive is the same inside as other 3 Series models; nearly everything is tasteful to touch and look at. And there is abundant space for tall occupants in the front and rear. The boot is an admirable size as well, but you’ll need to fork out a bit more via BMW’s options list if split-folding rear seats are a ‘must-have’ for you.
You don’t need to lease or buy the M Sport if it’s not your cup of tea; the 320d xDrive can be purchased in entry-level SE trim for just £30,690 - and this is well stacked-out with rear parking sensors, alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, automatic lights and wipers - and a USB connection.
For those of us who've been held prisoner by tough winters, or who live in a rural area where owning a vehicle with all-wheel-drive vehicle is a prerequisite, BMW’s 3 Series xDrive makes a lot of sense.
Pros ‘n’ Cons
- Comfort √
- Kit √
- Looks √
- Wind Noise X
Fast Facts - 320d xDrive M Sport
- Max speed: 145 mph
- 0-62 mph: 7.5 secs
- Combined mpg: 58.9
- Engine: 1995cc four-cylinder 16-valve turbo diesel
- Max. power (PS): 190
- CO2: 126 g/km
- Price: £34,270