A class act

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
01 Mar 2013
What we like:
pros
Impressive standard equipment list
pros
BMW driving dynamics and $10
pros
000 CEVS rebate.
What we dislike:
cons
Gearbox drags the first three gears longer than necessary. 

In keeping with its tradition of offering a sporty drive, the 316i as in the entire 3-series range these days has the Dynamic Drive Control (DDC) as standard. On the north end of the rocker switch is ‘Sport’ mode where the throttle and steering inputs are sharpened. Despite jumping onboard with the electric steering rack popular with manufacturer these days, I’m happy to report the same sharp BMW steering is still there.

The 3-series excellent rear wheel drive chassis precedes itself and is truly sublime in the twisty bits. The car is agile in the corners and carries little inertia with each direction change. Coupled with the sharp communicative steering, this is one executive sedan that isn’t afraid of a few twists and turns. In fact, so enjoyable is the drive that you’ll find yourself hunting down proper driving roads to enjoy it further.

Driving dynamics isn’t all that BMW was concerned about. The 316i is quite efficient too. Claiming an economy figure of 16km/litre. Impressive for something that weighs 1.4 tons. How it achieves this is with BMW’s patented ECO PRO mode.

In this mode, the ECO PRO system optimises for the best gear, throttle position and climate control temperature for the most efficient settings. This BMW claims can help you save up to 20% of fuel. Part of this EfficientDynamics package is the Brake Energy Regeneration that charges the battery every time you apply the brakes.

Conclusion

Dropping its most popular model into this lower category is a brilliant move by BMW. Offering a quality package with excellent driving dynamics that most models in the under 1600cc category would find hard to mimic.

Coupled with the fact that the 316i enjoys a $10,000 CEVS rebate for its 137g/km carbon emission, one would seem silly to look elsewhere for an efficient, dynamic and well-equipped executive sedan.

Credits: Story and Photos by Benjamin G. Kline

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