BMW Australia has confirmed the prices and specifications of the entry-level variants in the all-new BMW 3-Series range.
The 318d kicks off the new line-up at $56,400 (before on-roads), while the 320i is priced from $57,600. The 318d is just $300 more expensive than the starting price of the previous 3-Series range, while the 320i has gone up by $1500.
The price makes the 3-Series $4300 dearer than the base model Audi A4 1.8T and $1300 cheaper than the entry-level Mercedes-Benz C200.
Production of the two new variants will begin in March. They will join the 320d, 328i and 335i variants that launch in Australia in February.
The 318d is powered by the 105kW/320Nm 2.0-litre diesel engine from the smaller 118d hatch. In the 3-Series, it uses just 4.5 litres of fuel per 100km, and is capable of accelerating from 0-100km/h in 9.3 seconds.
The 320i gets a 2.0-litre TwinPower turbo direct injection petrol engine with 135kW of power and 270Nm of torque – up 20kW and 70Nm compared with the previous model. Equipped standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the new 320i hits 100km/h in 7.6 seconds – 2.2 seconds quicker than before – yet uses 6.2L/100km on the combined cycle – down 18 per cent from 7.6L/100km.
The 320i is equipped identically to the 320d. It comes standard with full-colour display with iDrive controller, dual-zone climate control, cruise control with brake function, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, electric front seats with memory function, automatic headlights and wipers, front and rear parking sensors and AUX, USB and Bluetooth connectivity.
Compared with the 320d, the 318d is fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels (rather than 17s), manual seat adjustment and only rear parking sensors. It also misses out the paddle shifters (but still gets the eight-speed auto as standard) and anti-dazzle rear-view mirror, and gets a simpler interior lighting package.
2012 BMW 3-Series sedan manufacturer’s list prices (excluding government and dealer charges):
Modern line: 318d – $3900, 320d/320i – $3100, 328i/335i – $1000
Sport/Luxury line: 318d – $4900, 320d/320i – $4100, 328i/335i – $2000