BMW has released local pricing of its already highly rated new 3 Series. All models are available in either Standard, Sport, Modern or Luxury lines, while the current four engine options will be expanded later in the year.
Kicking off the range is the 320i in six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission guises. The single-turbo 2,0-litre petrol develops 135 kW at 5 000 r/min and 270 N.m of torque from 1 250 to 4 500 r/min, enough to propel it from 0-100 km/h in only 7,3 seconds (7,6 for the auto). It consumes 6,1 litres/100 km in the combined cycle and emits 144 g/km (or 5,9 and 138 for the eight-speed, respectively). Prices start at R363 052 for the 320i manual and go up to R405 739 for the 320i Sport Line with the eight-speed Sports Automatic transmission.
Next is the 320d, which features a direct-injection turbodiesel delivering 135 kW at 4 000 r/min and 380 N.m spread from 1 750 to 2 750 r/min. The manual reaches 100 km/h in 7,5 seconds and consumes a miserly 4,5 litres/100 km. CO2 emissions are pegged at 119 g/km, allowing it to slip under the 120 g/km emissions-tax barrier. The 320d costs from R390 500 to R433 700 for the Sport Line Sport Auto.
Possibly the most eagerly anticipated model is the 328i, which replaces the 330i and its hugely charismatic naturally aspirated 3,0-litre straight-six. The 2,0-litre turbopetrol delivers a stout 180 kW at 5 000 r/min and 350 N.m all the way from 1 250 to 4 800 r/min, which sees the version with the manual gearbox reach 100 km/h in a scant 5,9 seconds before being limited to 250 km/h. Pricing stretches from R440 980 to R483 309.
Lastly, the turbocharged 3,0-litre petrol soldiers on. The 335i is available only with the Sports Auto and, thanks to 225 kW at 5 800 r/min and 400 N.m from a low 1 200 r/min, obliterates the 0-100 km/h sprint in 5,5 seconds. It costs a not-insubstantial R547 190 to R561 390, depending on the equipment line.
Price comparison between the 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class:
|320i: R363 052||A4 2,0T FSI (132 kW): R349 500||C200: R379 000|
|320d: R390 500||A4 2,0 TDI (125 kW): R367 500||C200 CDI AT: R380 000|
|328i: R440 980||A4 2,0T FSI (155 kW): R399 000||C250 AT: R469 000|
|335i AT: R547 190||A4 3,2 V6 Quattro AT: R485 000||C350 AT: R520 000|
All cars have manual gearboxes unless otherwise stated.