Cars

There's a Reason the 3-Series Is BMW's Bestselling Model

BMW’s 318i Sport is Bavaria’s budget-friendly compact executive sedan.
IMAGE ALVIN UY
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Since 1975, BMW’s 3 Series has gone through seven generations. The compact executive luxury sedans is the brand’s bestselling model, accounting for about a third of its historical production volume, despite the discontinuation of a coupe and convertible variant that moved over to the 4 Series. 

The 3 Series has also won numerous awards in its close to five decades of continuous production. It made Car and Driver’s annual 10 Best list at least 22 times, starting with the second generation E30 model, a high-performance M version that has become a grail collector’s car that cemented the 3 Series’ reputation as one of Germany’s most popular sedans.   

Photo by Alvin Uy.

We tried out the current model 318i Sport, the base variant in the lineup powered by BMW’s TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder engine and 8-speed automatic steptronic transmission that’s rated at 156hp and 250Nm of torque. Among the German compact sedans, the 318i Sport is the only German model in this segment that is priced below the P3-million range (P2.99million to be exact) thanks to a P200,000 discount promo until end of November 2021. 

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The seventh generation 3 Series still has the front engine and rear wheel drive configuration, which gives the car its traditional driving dynamics, better weight distribution and handling. Even the base model engine specs are good for a mildly spirited driving both along the highways or twisty back roads, and given the value, it is very satisfying to have as an executive daily driver. Of course, if one is after the ultimate driving experience, there’s always the M3, but be ready to fork over twice the amount you would pay for a base 3 Series.

Photo by Alvin Uy.

The 318i Sport has all the basic bells and whistles as well as safety features one would expect from a premium German marque, including Automatic Start/Stop function, Driving Experience Control, Brake Energy Regeneration, Cruise control with braking function, a Sport leather steering wheel with multifunction buttons, Parking Assistant feature, Park Distance Control (PDC) front and rear, rear view camera, rain sensor and automatic driving lights control and automatic tailgates. There are also airbags for the front passenger as well as side and head airbags, Isofix child seat mounting, ABS, Dynamic Stability Control with extended contents, Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Crash sensor, Follow-me-home function, Electronic vehicle immobilizer, Automatic lock when driving away and runflat tires with indicator.

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Photo by Alvin Uy.

Exterior features include LED headlights that blends very well with its contemporary looking kidney-shaped grilles and not the gaping and yawning grilles you will find in other models. It uses 18-inch V-spoke style alloy wheels with runflat tires and the design is sure to age well, just like its predecessor models. Inside, it is cladded with leather ‘Vernasca’ upholstery with interior trims in elegant black high-gloss finish, it has very supportive sport seats in front with electric seat adjustment and memory function for driver’s seat, an automatic three-zone air conditioning system, ambient lighting and a nicely packaged hi-fi infotainment system.

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