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BMW 3-Series Saloon 320d EfficientDynamics 4d (2012/12)

BMW 3-Series Saloon 320d EfficientDynamics 4d (2012/12) - Owner Review

Much improved rear leg and shoulder room compared to E90. Folding rear seats are a cost option, which is just ridiculous. Thankfully, the boot is a decent size.

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Review submitted by
Dan Post on

BMW 3-Series Saloon (12-19)


4 out of 5

What does this car say about you?
Don't care.

What do your friends / family / neighbours think of the car?
Don't care.

Would you buy this car again and why?
Possibly, although only if I could spec some options (adaptive suspension for starters). Build quality and reliability are both very disappointing so far and would certainly stop me assuming German = reliable from this point forward.

What are you likely to buy next?
Depends what the company car choice list is next time around. BMW tax advantage is massive though due to very low CO2.

Buying experience

4 out of 5

Type of dealer you bought from?
Didn't buy from a dealer

Did you buy this car new?

What price did you pay?

When did you buy the car?
March 2012

Did you get a good deal and why?

Is there any special reason why you bought this car?
Low CO2 = low company car tax. Also good experience with previous E90 model.

What was the dealer like?

Driving it

4 out of 5

What's it like to drive?
Engine is very gutsy, albeit very gruff and noisy by modern diesel standards. Good performance, and excellent on motorways where it is an effortless mile muncher. The electric power steering is quick and accurate, but doesn't have much feel. There's typical BMW balance in the corners, but there's too much slop and body roll without the expensive adaptive suspension. The Michelin Energy tyres on the ED model are also shocking in the wet. On balance, the E90 (mine was a humble 318d ES) was a much nicer, tauter and more enjoyable to drive hard.

What's it like to park?
The standard fit parking sensors are accurate, and the good all round visibility, light steering and progressive clutch make it a doddle in any situation.

Living with it

3 out of 5

Have you had any problems with the car?
Reliability has not been great. The windscreen wipers and stop/start system started playing up, requiring a new control module which took six weeks to order from Germany. Front suspension won't make first service without attention as it's getting increasingly clonky over bumps. General build and material quality is lacking compared to previous E90 with a few rattles here and there, and some marked plastics at just 12k. There are also a couple of silly intermittent faults that come and go by themselves. A nearside front indicator fault, and headlamp levelling system fault are just two that spring to mind. Disappointing on a well looked after, near £30k car that's six months old.

What's most practical about your car?
Much improved rear leg and shoulder room compared to E90. Folding rear seats are a cost option, which is just ridiculous. Thankfully, the boot is a decent size.

Favourite gadget, option or accessory?
IDrive is a doddle to use, and works really well.

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