BMW 3 Series Convertible 320i Review
Strike a pose

Story and Photos by Raymond Lai
15 Nov 2010
 

With the facelifted 3 Series Convertible, BMW has introduced a more affordable four-cylinder variant.

Introduction, styling

Style is hugely important when it comes to topless convertibles. It doesn't matter what badge it has or how cramped it is inside, the topless car just has to ooze style and be able to strike a pose.

The current generation BMW 3 Series Convertible (E93) had things on its own in the premium mid-sized convertible sector when it was introduced in 2007. Things have not been as rosy for the topless model from Munich in recent times though. Audi and Mercedes-Benz have introduced credible rivals to the 3 Series Convertible in recent times with the A5 Cabriolet and E-Class Cabriolet with both the Ingolstadt and Stuttgart models stealing 3 Series Coupe sales. In addition to the Germans, Lexus too wants a slice of the four-seater premium convertible pie with the ISC. The Audi and Mercedes-Benz models are also helped by the fact that they are available with tax friendly, sub-2-litre motors that are also more affordable than topless 3 Series models with straight-six motors.

So just short of four years since the topless 3 Series was launched, BMW has recently given its popular convertible a mild update. For the Singapore market, the makeover also sees the return of an entry-level 320i Convertible model that was last seen with the last generation E46 3 Series. With the 320i coupe variant, BMW can now be on a closer level playing field against the likes of the Audi A5 Cabriolet 2.0 TFSI quattro and the Mercedes-Benz E200 CGI BlueEfficiency cabriolet.

Outwardly, the updated topless 3 Series is a smidgen hard to differentiate from the outgoing car. Only the keen eyed or 3 Series aficionados will notice the wider double kidney grille, new front and rear bumpers as well as the new head and tail lamps with LED turn signal lenses. New colours and alloy wheels complete the 3 Series convertible's transformation.

The base 320i model can be differentiate from its more expensive siblings via the badge on the boot lid, its single exhaust tail pipe and the smart looking 17-inch five spoke alloy wheels that looks like they are inspired by the ones on the E36 M3 saloon.
The new model doesn't look very much different from the old car but details like the new grille and lights give it a somewhat more contemporary outlook overall.


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Engine

Engine Capacity 1995cc
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 12:1
Power 156bhp @ 6400rpm
Torque 200Nm @ 3600rpm
Power to Weight 91.8 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 10.9s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 214 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 15.2 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Steptronic
Drive Type FR

Measurements

Body Type Cabriolet
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4580 x 1985 x 1384) mm
Wheelbase 2760 mm
Kerb Weight 1700 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 63 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs