BMW 3-Series LWB : Our observations after 5 days of driving

The 320LD continues with the B47 diesel engine which was launched a couple of years ago. Power and torque remain the same at 188 BHP and 400 Nm. 0-100 is claimed at 7.6 seconds, which is 0.8 seconds slower than the regular sedan.

BMW 3-Series Gran Limousine 2.0L Diesel AT Review

Will be a tough choice for enthusiasts between the terrific 330i petrol (Review: BMW 330i (G20)) and this diesel which is equally a jewel of an engine!

The 320LD continues with the B47 diesel engine which was launched a couple of years ago. Power and torque remain the same at 188 BHP and 400 Nm. 0-100 is claimed at 7.6 seconds, which is 0.8 seconds slower than the regular sedan. The difference is only 0.4 seconds for the petrol variant.

After plonking myself into the driver’s seat and pressing the start button, one immediately notices how much more refined it seems as compared to the older F30. The engine is a distant hum rather than the semi rattle of the older gen, and the vibration is greatly reduced too. The refinement feels a level up.

The 8-speed gearbox in this seems even better calibrated (one would doubt its possible) than in the older F30 gen, and the shifts are a tad bit smoother and less jerky under part throttle. Driving inside the city at low to moderate speeds is perfectly comfortable with the gearbox keeping the engine relaxed, and it will definitely be a good experience for the rear passengers. Driving enthusiastically, the gearbox is even more responsive, downshifting even quicker, and with faster feeling upshifts which give a small jerk in Sport mode. All in all, it does the job perfectly.

When it comes to the powertrain, not much is needed to be said. Its tried and tested, and been available for over 5 years, with a good reliability record in my opinion. Its got the same power figures as before, but it feels a tad bit more peppy in the newer chassis. More than enough torque is available to push you back into your seat, and it revvs freely to the red zone, which is now more pleasing with the better refinement. Like all German 2.0 diesels, this one too is an all-rounder. It will happily cruise in the city, give you fast performance on the highway, and consistently deliver respectable fuel economy.

The car comes equipped with speed warnings for 80 and 120 km/h and the beeps are loud and annoying. Further, the music volume is lowered when the beeps come on (Related thread)!

The suspension, I believe has been tweaked for the long wheelbase. There wasn’t much to complain about in the regular 3, which is a near perfect setup. And this seems a tad bit more passenger-focused, with better refinement at low speeds (though the 330i we drove was on 18″, while this rides on 17″). Bumps and general unevenness are taken care of without much noise or vibration being felt inside, and on the whole, the ride feels comfortable. At the same time, what is heartening to know is that the long-wheelbase 3 is still fun to drive. With the communicative and well-weighted steering, the suspension isn’t sloppy at all, in spite of being softened for the LWB. The car needs to be really hustled, for one to feel that there is a tad bit more body roll, and a very slight bit of resistance to quick direction changes as compared to its sibling with a shorter wheelbase. This really makes the 320LD into a proper all-round package, one which can be sat in behind the chauffeur, and a car which can be pushed to the limit when needed.

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