The key to exclusivity
When the world’s best-selling premium car adopts a 1.6 litre engine, making it more accessible, it is bound to make some noise ! The buzz around this 3 Series, the F30, is the TwinPower Turbo Technology of the engine, that is set to turn things around for BMW’s entry level 3 Series.
The BMW 3 Series needs no introduction really ; so for the Bavarian’s sixth generation of the 3 Series – the F30, we could have presented it as the Blah Mlah Wlah 3 Series and you’d have still known what we are talking about. The F30 has easily been one of the most anticipated 3 Series, and why wouldn’t it, as this new Beemer has grown in many ways. The pioneering history of the 3 Series serves as inspiration for sports sedan, and this F30 actually shows us that the guys at BMW know how to improve…well, perfection. This model is already doing oh so well around the world, with the sales figures going in only direction : up. But now, BMW has given its flagship a 1.6l engine, and this is the chance for many to be a part of this legendary legacy, and to own a piece of history at a reasonable price.
This is the original sports sedan, and is the yardstick which all other sports sedan are weighed against. It is also only fair to say that none has ever come to close to clinch the 3 Series title as the undisputed sports sedan. 3 Series has, and since a long time now, been seen as a symbol of aesthetic, dynamics and sporting capability of BMW in this segment – and the F30 has further enhanced the perfect mix of sportiness and elegance that has made the 3 Series what it is. Just look at it ! Even if it has been around since last year, the F30 is still an eye-catcher – a real head turner ! That bold and sleek front end design is the most prominent element of this model. From the side, the long and down pointing noise enhances the noticeable sporting silhouette of the F30. As we said earlier, this has grown in many ways compared to its predecessor – in size with its wide track (front + 37mm, rear +47mm), in length (+93mm) and in terms of wheelbase (+50mm).
The F30 comes in 3 derivatives : BMW Luxury Line, Modern Line and Sport line – and it’s a no brainer really that we opted for the Sport one with the eight stylized black grille bars that give the front a commanding appearance of particularly sporty flair. You may also opt for the M Sport Package, that brings the ultimate in sporting makeovers to the F30 in terms of aerodynamic, performance and definitely the looks ! The M pack is available on demand only at Leal. Anyway we are still very happy with the Sport Line.
Inside, the 316i is dressed up in the typical class to the standards of the Bavarian Motor Works. Everything falls into place, in the correct position for you to reach without constrain – the dashboard is a treat to look at and every single button swears testimony to the highest standards of ergonomics ; and the Idrive system enhances the life on board. The dashing red line across the board, and ‘Sport’ badge on the door panels are reminiscent of the Sport Line too. The seating position is… we’ll talk about it when we talk about the 316i’s driving performance.
Well we could go on and on about the interior & looks ; and the F30 looks great, but we are actually here to talk about the latest engine in the F30 lineup – the 1.6L of the 316i (obviously). If you look at it, well it looks the same as the 320i/d or the 328i. It all happens under the hood and while this is the entry level, it is not one that will be easily sidelined by its more powerful counterparts. For our review, we opted for the 6 speed manual, and boy that box is responsive. The short gear shifts reminds you of the sports DNA of the 3 series and coupled with a 136hp & 220Nm of torque, you just want to keep driving – be it on the straights or push it to its limits in the corners – it won’t let you down. This sporty six-speed manual transmission makes for powerful sprinting performances and fast mid-range acceleration – with the high-torque and fast-revving engine that will take your driving experience to a whole new level. The gear box maybe only falls behind in terms of a tad hard gear shifts, but that’s about it, as overall it is excellent.