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BMW goes for value jugular with new 3 Series

Sharp pricing, generous equipment and high efficiency for BMW’s new 3 Series in Oz

21 Dec 2011

BMW Group Australia says its new F30 3 Series sedan line-up will represent greater value for money when three launch variants arrive in February priced from $60,900 (plus on-road costs) for the diesel-powered 320d.

The 328i, which replaces the 325i, will be priced from $66,900 – a $5000 reduction that undercuts the Mercedes-Benz C250 by $1000 – while the price of the 335i flagship will plummet $16,300, to $91,900.

Pricing of the 320d has increased by $1200, but BMW claims a “huge” increase in standard equipment on this variant, which will serve as the base model until the 320i arrives in June.

BMW says equipment additions to the 320d include electric seat adjustment with memory for the synthetic leather seats, keyless entry and start, and front and rear parking sensors.

Buyers of the 320d will also get dual-zone climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, a six-speaker MP3-compatible CD sound system with 6.5-inch multi-function display, Bluetooth connectivity, USB socket and auxiliary audio input, cruise control, automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers.

The mid-spec 328i gains leather upholstery, satellite-navigation and upgraded nine-speaker audio system, while the 335i upgrades to 16 Harman Kardon surround-sound speakers, a 12-gigabyte music storage system, Bluetooth streaming, voice control, internet connectivity, bi-Xenon headlights and 18-inch alloy wheels.

14 center imageAll 3 Series variants will come standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle-shifters – claimed to be a segment first – and a four-mode Driving Experience Control offering Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Eco Pro settings to enable drivers to customise the car’s responses to their mood and road conditions.

Standard safety equipment includes six airbags, electronic stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes with brake assist and cornering brake control.

The new 3 Series will also come as standard with BMW’s Active Protection system that automatically tensions seatbelts, closes the windows and moves the front passenger seat to the safest position if a crash is imminent.

Although the F30 3 Series is claimed to weigh 40kg less than its predecessor, despite being larger overall, having grown 93mm longer and 9mm taller (but 4mm narrower).

That weight loss, combined with adoption of an eight-speed transmission, idle-stop and the Eco Pro driving mode has helped BMW achieve significant reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Also key to the improvement in environmental credentials is the brand’s new N20 downsized four-cylinder petrol engine, which is being used to phase out BMW’s naturally-aspirated straight-six.

In the 328i, the 180kW/350Nm N20 provides a 20kW power boost and 100Nm gain in torque over the 2.5-litre unit from the outgoing 325i, yet yields a 30 per cent cut in fuel consumption to 6.3 litres per 100 kilometres.

Meanwhile the new 320d – already an efficient variant in the outgoing model at 5.3L/100km – sips a class-leading 4.5l/100km, representing a 15 per cent improvement.

Following the ‘lines’ concept introduced with the F20 1 Series in October, the new 3 Series will be offered with styling and equipment themes comprising Modern, Sport and Luxury.

Applying the Modern line to the 320d will cost $3100, with Sport or Luxury lines commanding an extra $4100.

On the higher-specified 328i and 335i, the Modern line adds $1000 to the price, while the Sport or Luxury lines are $2000.

Speaking at the recent four-cylinder Z4 launch, BMW Group Australia said the Australian market was unusually privileged to be one of the first in the world to receive the F30 3 Series.

He said this was aided by the short delivery times from BMW’s South African factory and because the local operation is embroiled in a heated three-way battle for luxury-segment supremacy with rivals Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

BMW 3 Series sedan pricing:
320d $60,900
328i $66,900
335i $91,900

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