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BMW 328i: Contending with its own standards

Except that it’s not. It doesn’t ruin the 3 Series. In fact, the new 328i is a blast to drive in any trim, not just…

Except that it’s not. It doesn’t ruin the 3 Series. In fact, the new 328i is a blast to drive in any trim, not just Sport. Lest you think that loping off two cylinders has neutered the 3, consider the numbers. Our eight-speed automatic-equipped tester blew through 60 mph in 5.6 seconds and ran down the quarter-mile in 14.2 seconds at 97.8 mph according to MT magazine. BMW claims the turbo-four-powered 328i is actually quicker to 60 mph than the infallible E36 M3, which BMW pegs at slow-by-today’s-standards 6 seconds flat.

What the numbers don’t tell you is just how good it is to drive. There are more than a few cars out there that put down big numbers but aren’t all that great to drive. The ride is noticeably suppler than the previous model, with a more relaxed nature that makes cruising along country roads and freeways less tiring than the 3-Series of old.

There’s still a hint of stiffness from the new-generation run-flat tyres – which have harder sidewalls than the average tyre – but they don’t niggle over bumps as before.

At times the suspension borders on floatiness, a very un-BMW-like characteristic, but any fear that the 3-Series has lost any of its famed agility are quickly dispelled in the first set of corners.  The 328i achieves both. The new electro-hydraulic power steering system reduces vibrations in the wheel and with it some feedback, but still transmits more road information than most cars on the road today.

In all, what most Nigerians will be worried about is the fact that for most BMW as side ones brought in from Coscharis, parts will be time consuming to get which has a way of soiling sales.


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