THE ENTRY LEVEL 3 SERIES SEDAN 318i

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Bavarian Motor Workshop or simply known as BMW is one of the best-selling premium German cars in the world after Audi and Mercedez Benz. With a beautiful exterior, along with the iconic kidney grill, ergonomic and simple interior, ZF transmission, rear wheel drive and the best of all the personalized iDrive system, it becomes one of the most popular choices. BMW sedan that consists of the 3 series, 5 series and the ultra-premium 7 series is one of the iconic choices for the sedan car lovers. Among all this sedan, the favorites amongst the car lovers are the 3-series due to the price range (in Malaysia) and the most popular choice of 3 series in Malaysia that we can see in the Malaysian road is the BMW 320i. Although the latest 330e hybrid also in the price range of the BMW 320i due to tax incentive and had more specification than the BMW 320i but in the reality, not many of us loved the plug-in hybrid cars.

Before the 320i, they are another BMW 3 series that also is the popular choices and that is the 316i previously. On 2015, BMW had launched the successor for the 316i and it was 318i. Although both have the same horsepower of 132hp but in the latest 318i, BMW had decided to introduce their new 1.5-litre three-cylinder BMW TwinPower petrol engine that is used in the BMW i8. The BMW 318i can be considered as the entry level for the 3-series sedan but it still is one the best choices for the car lovers.

 

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BMW 316i 

 

The BMW 318i although had the least horsepower and it can be considered the cheapest new BMW model to be bought, they are no feeling of the car interior had been minimalized or the car is underpowered. Even I had noticed when I had the chance to test drive this car and it does not have any feel of under power as the speedometer can jump to 3 digits in an instance. And maybe this is due to the optimized ZF transmission for the car. Although the power is not rapid and instance as the BMW 320i but for our Malaysian road, the 318i is more than sufficient. BMW had done a decent job with this 3-cylinder engine as they are no feeling of power lost or vibration when driving the car constantly. The seating of these  BMW  is low and it giving a feeling of driving a sports car which is a great experience for the owners.

When the car is priced at the lowest price that is available, the interior will be minimalized but not in this 318i model. The interior is still as good as the other far pricier BMW model and with the Dakota Saddle Brown color, this model does look luxury as it prefixes 318i Luxury. The iDrive of these 3 series have the BMW ConnectedDrive that include the Concierge Services, Intelligent Emergency Call, and the Remote Services. Although the GPS navigation system can be installed in these model but with the smartphone, most of us can use Waze or Google Maps to reached the preferred destinations.

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Dakota Saddle Brown interior. Image credit Paultan.org

In term of warranty, this model and all the other 3 series is providing a 5 years / unlimited manufacturer warranty, 5 years / 100,000 free scheduled maintenance and they are also providing a 2 years’ tire warranty and for now only BMW providing this tire warranty option. The warranty is something that is a necessity in the current model and the BMW had gone the extra mile by providing the tire warranty too. All of the BMW model from the 1 series, 3 series, 5 series, 7 series, X series, M series and the i8 is running on the RunOnFlat tire which can cost nearly RM1000 per tire and the warranty for this can gave the owner a peace of mind if anything happens to their tire.

 

In term of price the 318i model had been priced as RM205,000(without the insurance) which can be considered the cheapest for the 3 series, with the great interior, a length warranty, and also the EEV status, this can be considered a best choice for the first time BMW owner and also for some whom does not want to pay more for the 320i and feel the 318i is sufficient enough. In term of the value for the price, the 318i is one the best choices in the markets. You can proceed to watch the one and only Malaysia BMW 318i review by our Keegan Durai and in this video, he had clearly mentioned he loved this car and so I believe those who had purchased this car they will also love this 318i.

But for the all the pros they are some cons too. The BMW 318i although does not have a minimal interior or performance but it does not have one of the necessary features in the modern car the keyless entry although it had a push button start. It absolutely a let-down as the most of the modern car is equipped with the keyless entry feature even for the most basic price car. And with the competition from the latest Passat 1.8 ComfortLine and 2.0 Highline where it cost less than BMW but at some time has more gadget, feature and more horsepower in it compare to the 318i.  The Volkswagen Group of Malaysia is pretty determined to make the Passat as the top seller amid all the controversy with regards to the DSG issues and we can see in their latest model.

 

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The Passat B8 Highline.

 

The BMW 318i may face stiff competition from thHighline Passat B8 but they are many of car lovers whom still prefer the BMW due to this premium status compared to the Volkswagen. The BMW 318i is still one the best choice for the 3 series like its predecessor the 316i. And with the excellent price range and at the some except for the keyless entry does not have down any letdown in the interior and the performance, the 318i model can have some popularity as the predecessor the 316i.

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