The 318i badge has returned to BMW Group South Africa’s 3 Series range, slotting in at the foot of the Bavarian firm's sedan line-up.

Expected to hit local roads at some point in the second quarter of 2020, the latest 318i will take its place just below the 135 kW 320i and 140 kW 320d in the G20-generation range. As a reminder, the line-up also includes the 190 kW 330i, the 195 kW 330d and the 285 kW M340i xDrive.

Pricing for the 318i will start at R610 000 (before CO2 emissions tax, which should equate to an additional R6 624), making the standard model some R30 000 less expensive than the 320i.

Upgrading the base 318i to Sport Line trim will push the starting price to R633 600, while opting for the M Sport package will see the figure increase to R655 400. Expect various options to be offered as well.

While its F30-generation predecessor employed a 1,5-litre three-pot, the new version uses a turbocharged 2,0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine offering the rear axle 115 kW (between 4 500 and 6 500 r/min) and 250 N.m (from 1 300 to 4 300 r/min).

An eight-speed automatic transmission will ship standard, while the Munich-based firm claims a zero to 100 km/h sprint time of 8,4 seconds (and a top speed of 223 km/h). Claimed combined fuel consumption, meanwhile, comes in at 6,3 L/100 km for the SA-spec model.