2012 BMW 3-Series: First Drive

Something that was lost in with time and development of technology was the soul of the original BMW. The BMW 3-Series however, is the most distinctive sports saloon that is still the icon of the German auto culture. It is amazing how perfectly this vehicle suits our world.

This is the sixth generation 3-Series, not the best bimmer, but definitely the best 3-Series. The new BMW 3-Series is packed with features, which means there was a lot of chance things could go wrong and the car was expensive. However, the new 3-Series is frightingly awesome and reliable and yes, worthy.

In a calm an sophisticated guise, the 3-Series is a whole different story when we take it for a spin. The new one from BMW will hit the Indian market by June 2012.


Coming from the house of Bavaria, the BMW 3-Series is offered in three trims – Sport, Modern and Luxury. Each line gets a different set of interior and exterior. It doesn’t come as a surprise that the new 3-Series looks like, the old one. However, not only has it grown in length, but it also fills up the space with fancy stuff to keep you occupied.

2012 BMW 3-Series

At a closer look, you’ll notice the nose getting narrower, with the front end lowering into a taller hood. Adjusting with the reworked nose is the iconic BMW twin-grille on the front. Headlamps extend almost to the grilles to give more aggressive appeal with lower air dam cleanly integrated and a longer roofline. The super masculine appeal of the 3-Series makes it look fast even when its standing still. BMW has also made efforts to shorten the front overhang to give a more distinctive sporty appeal to the car.


From the outside, you could never make out how spacious it has grown in the inside. Tough German quality and best in class leg room. Speaking of space alone, the 3-Series seems to belong to a higher breed of cars.

The Sports variant features the power and memory function that helps you adjust to a seating position best suited for you needs. Germans have paid excellent attention to the ergonomics with the driver never having to take his hands off the steering. It more like a jet-plane cockpit with everything built around the pilot. Whereas, the rest of the cabin offers uncompromised luxury. Moreover, it has the best in class luggage space offering 480-litre of room.

2012 BMW 3-Series interior

On the front is a 10-inch head-up display that comes with iDrive and sat-nav system. The seats and steering wheel were leather finish, while the dashboard was aluminum. Though the car packed with features, thanks to the upfront seating position and driving ergonomics, you never seem to lose the fun you have while driving.

Best part is the Harom/Kardon audio system with 16 speakers that can start a party wherever its parked.


Under the hood, is an all-new engine in the 328i. The naturally aspirated 3.0-liter inline-six cylinder in 2011 model is dumped for the new 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine in the 2012 BMW. The replaced motor churns a massive 240 hp and a propelling power of 260 lb-ft torque. For the 335i there is a trubocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder motor that pumps out 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque providing a brilliant power source for a well-balanced sport sedan. Mated to the engine is standard eight-speed transmission, with an available six-speed manual.

The 3-Series sets a benchmark with ground breaking handling and fierce performance in a four-door sports sedan. Engine is such a screamer and the car responds like you expect a sportscar to respond. However, it is not so much fun on the back seats. With the iDrive (Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport and Sport+), you can control the intervention of advanced traction control system and electronic stability program to get better performance and feel from the car.

2012 BMW 3-Series

Though it is a four-door sports sedan, it is not a big lazy machine. Moreover, it is softer than other cars and more forgiving and noticeably faster & clever.

While driving through bumper-to-bumper traffic, the car is very agile, thanks to the adaptive suspension system and steering. The BMW 3-Series can adjust itself for the city streets and get you through thick and thin across the trail. We observed that the engine climbs the rev counter and goes over 5,000 rpm.

In addition, the eight-speed torque converter automatic offers smooth shifts that make the 3-Series a driver’s car for off-roading. It does not keep interrupting you with the assists, however, you feel a lot safer. Sadly, the turbo and torque converter do not go in rhythm and there is certain lag. Shifting to manual mode and Sports+ on the iDrive helps tackle through tough terrains while keeping rev high for best output.

2012 BMW 3-Series

It basically is a very practical sportscar that has been given four doors and a massive boot.


BMW makes extensive use of high strength steel in its structure making it remarkably robust to impacts. The crumple zone is smartly designed to reduce impact to the front seat passengers.

2012 BMW 3-Series

Apart from all the tech-gadgets working alongside the driver, the 3-Series is much safer to drive. BMW 3-Series combines mechatronics with great deal of body architecture. The higher variants come with options like, adaptive headlights, multifunctional steering wheel, an adaptive cruise control system, lane departure warning function, blind spot monitoring system and the active protection function.


The Germans have created a beast that sends chills to the class-leading sports sedans with its remarkable performance and fierce handling. BMW 3-Series is very practical with four-doors and spacious interior, that is featured alongside great fuel-economy figures and better safety.

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