The sixth-generation BMW 3 Series was revealed to the media this morning at the Mines Convention Centre. Codenamed F30, the latest compact sports sedan from Munich is available in three variants here – 335i, 328i and 320d.
The two petrol powered units can be had in ‘Luxury’ or ‘Sport’ trim lines. ‘Modern’ is not offered here, and the 320d gets no such choice, appearing quite basic in spec compared to its petrol siblings.
The trim lines are being introduced for the first time in the F30, which made its market debut in Europe just last month – good job to BMW Group Malaysia for introducing it so soon after! Sport and Luxury trims feature different lower front bumper designs and 18-inch wheel designs, among other details.
The Sport Line car’s kidney grille, window frame and and tailpipe trim are finished in gloss black, as opposed to chrome for Luxury. There’s also a small badge on the fenders that spells out the trim. The red car you see here is obviously the Sport.
Inside, Sport Line comes with sports seats, sports steering wheel, red stitching (steering and seats) and red accents on the dash – the latter is repeated on the key fob, quite a cool touch. There are also additional rings on the two dials.
Luxury Line features a “selection of classic colours”, chrome accents and wood trim. Many will opt for visually aggressive Sport, but I personally find Luxury very handsome in its own way, like a mini F10. Click here and here for hi-res galleries of the Sport Line and Luxury Line.
Moving on, under the 335i’s hood is BMW’s award winning TwinPower Turbo 3.0L inline-six with 306 hp and 400 Nm, good enough to propel the saloon to a 0-100 km/h time of just 5.5 seconds. Unlike before, this is the only six-cylinder unit available in a new all-turbo engine range.
Like the six-pot, the 328i’s 2.0L four-cylinder engine has twin-scroll turbo, direct injection and Valvetronic. It makes 245 hp and 350 Nm of torque, and is not much slower with a century sprint time of 6.1 seconds. That’s eight tenths faster than a Golf GTI, mind you.
The 320d is a great all rounder, marrying 184 hp/380 Nm output and 0-100 km/h in 7.6 seconds to a claimed fuel consumption figure of just 4.5 litres per 100 km. All self-shifting F30s use an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Another new feature is ECO PRO mode, which can be activated from the “Driving Experience Control” button. Doing so reduces engine power delivery, air con output and non essential electric comfort functions to deliver up to 20% extra fuel savings. The savings can be seen as “bonus kilometres” added to the car’s range, so you can pat yourself on the back. Auto Start/Stop is also standard across the range. It can be switched off, if you wish.
BMW ConnectedDrive has been upgraded to include BMW ConnectedDrive Apps, an interface system which integrates the car’s Video Playback and iPod Plug-In functions to allow direct access to web radio, Facebook and Twitter directly through the on-board Control Display. This is enabled on the 328i and 335i.
The range topper adds on HUD and Variable Sport Steering that changes steering ratio based on angle.
The F30 range starts from RM268,800 for the 320d, moving on to RM309,800 for the 328i. The range topping 335i will set you back RM488,800. All prices are on the road, without insurance, but with BMW Service + Repair Inclusive.
Like how BMW Malaysia always does it, the initial batch of around 450 cars will be CBU imported units. It will take around three months from now for the CKD programme to start. The locally assembled units should be more competitively priced, with more kit for the money, but CKD prices have not been finalised as we type.
Click here to read our comprehensive test drive report of the new 3 Series from Spain.