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John Diether
Automotive Editor - September 2, 2015

Expert Rating

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24 City / 36 Highway

Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.


The most affordable model in the compact BMW 3 Series, the 320i sedan focuses on efficiency and value while retaining its luxury car credentials. Although you can't get every BMW feature on the 320i, all the essential ingredients of the successful 3-Series are present.

What's New for 2016

The 320i receives sharper front-end styling and revised suspension tuning. The newly standard eight-speed automatic transmission has been tweaked for greater efficiency and smoothness. A new Track Handling package promises greater control in spirited driving.

Choosing Your BMW 320i

The 320i carries a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder engine that's good for 180 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic transmission is now standard, but a six-speed manual remains available as no-cost option. Like most BMWs, the 320i starts out as a rear-driver, and you can opt for the xDrive all-wheel drive system. You can expect a healthy 28 mpg in combined city and highway driving.

Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth phone and audio, and a premium nine-speaker sound system with HD radio. Seats are upholstered in leather-like vinyl that BMW calls SensaTec, and wood trim is available as an upgrade.

You get a major injection of luxury of with the Premium package, which adds leather upholstery, power front seats with driver memory, satellite radio, keyless ignition, a hands-free power trunk lid, a sunroof, and auto-dimming heated mirrors.

The Cold Weather package gets you heated seats all around, a heated steering wheel, and headlamp washers. For safety's sake, the Driver Assistance package equips the 320i with a rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors. There's also a Lighting package with LED headlights and foglamps.

For a more aggressive feel, the Sport package tacks on 18-inch wheels, a black headliner, sport seats, and an M Sport steering wheel. Dedicated enthusiasts might want to consider the new Track Handling package, which includes an adaptive sport suspension and upgraded steering and brakes.

Navigation remains a standalone option. You can also order many of the Premium features (power seats, leather, etc.) on an individual basis.

CarsDirect Tip

Adding too many options to the 320i spoils its best attribute: value. We would simply add the Premium package (which is loaded with goodies for $3,100) and call it a day.

Get your price on a BMW 320i »

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