It’s BMW doing what it does best

Some would call the 3-Series conventional, a formula that for decades has in many respects been the same. It’s also been very successful, building on the simple concept of a RWD sedan with enough class to do business, enough space to do family and loaded with enough tech and powertrains to appeal to most. It was the bread and butter for BMW for a while and though sales numbers have waned, it’s still one of the popular sedans on our roads today. 

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In this 330d, BMW continues the recipe for the most part not forgetting that other quality for which 3-Series have always been known, driving pleasure as they called it. A dynamic competence coupled with a vainglorious soundtrack is the stuff of 3 legend. Here, the handling remains but that sound is lost, giving way to a refined and relatively silent diesel flutter. 

It’s all good though and whilst this diesel is never going to sound sporty in any way, the BMW 3-Series still has all the goods. It’s become quite a large car and despite the jarring or polarising looks of its larger siblings a la X7, 7-Series and even 4-Series now, the 3-Series design hasn’t quite found its way into internet memedom. The design is by and large quite clean and understated even with the M-sport Launch edition package included on our test unit. It’s more business than overt sport and it certainly doesn’t scream for attention as far as its looks are concerned.

You’ll find a cabin that is in keeping with its more expensive and luxurious siblings. The cabin is a mix of fine leather and sporty trim matched to an advanced offering of on-board comfort, safety and convenience technology. 

 It’s an upmarket cabin for sure, and depending on the optional extras thrown in, you can specify this car with almost R300 000 worth of extras. 

The truth is, you will need spec quite a few things should you want to enjoy the full state-of-the-art offering that a G20 BMW 3-Series can offer you. Why not? Our test unit featured almost every level of tech you could opt for. You may not need the Driving Assistance package but it offers semi-autonomous driving and adaptive cruising. Why not? It’s a R34 000 option. The Infotainment Propackage will set you back R29 000 but once again, it unbundles the full connectivity and media interface as well as every option of function-control you can think of. Yes that includes gesture control, touch, controller use and even voice-activated commands. If anything, the heads-up display is not a game changer and at R17 000, have it if you must but it won’t detract from what is a luxurious and technological driving experience – if you have the above of course.

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