The first BMW 3 Series was introduced in 1975 as the E21—a two-door model that had four generations follow after its release. The four-door E30 was released in 1982, packing in 16-valve and diesel engines. The E36 generation came in 1990 as the series’ compact hatchback, along with the 318tds, the company’s first four-pot turbodiesel 3-series.
The design has vastly improved since the BMW 3 Series E90, sporting a masculine look that any car lover would appreciate. Its three box proportions remain in spite of a 93mm increase in length, still offering the same compact look seen in previous generations. Although little has been done to change its well-loved look, the weight has become 40kg lighter and has increased its high-strength steel body with 10 percent rigidity. The wheelbase also features a 50mm increase in the wheelbase and has increased its track width by 48mm at the rear and 37mm at the front. The look is also improved by a wider rear track, resulting in a hunkered down image if seen from the rear angle. Strong horizontal creases define the bootlid.
The BMW 3 Series exterior boasts of a double swage line that goes from the front wheel until the rear light and from the headlight until the front door panel. Optional design additions are available for anyone after specific features. You can have the BMW 3 Series with adaptive headlights that swivel or an upgrade to a bi-xenon headlight. But the standard headlights are made of LED eyebrows, more than enough for the average user.
Both diesel and petrol engines in the BMW 3 Series offer fuel economy and optimum performance. The three available petrol engines are 218bhp 325i, the 258bhp 330i, and the 150bhp 320i. All manual vehicles are able to go to 62mph in just 9 seconds. These engines were eventually improved to give the 318i an additional 14bh, while the 318d and 320d continued to impress with a 60mpg improvement for the 318d. The 320d went from a 163hp to 177hp.
Driving is made more luxurious with the Drive Performance Control dials’ Comfort mode. You don’t need to worry about that nagging noise from dirt roads. If you want to be more adventurous with your driving, switch to Sport Mode so you can gain better vertical body control. Some of the equipment you can expect to enhance the drive are 16-inch alloy wheels, airconditioning, CD/radio, a leather covered streeing wheel, rear-seat Isofix child seat attachments, four electric windows, run-flat tyres, dynamic stable control, and a trip computer. The ES models boast of front fog lights, the SE of automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, and a multi-function steering wheel.
The BMW 3 Series delivers in every aspect for the interior, save for the unstable cupholder cover. It's an inconvenient addition tha trequires you to get it from the glovebox then place it on the bin lid before you can actually start using it. It would be more practical to have it built on the designated surface.
The overall performance is stellar, but we can't overlook the mediocre mechanical refinement. Otherwise, the driving is smooth, fast and agile.
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