Sometime ago a lifestyle website called Jalopnik proclaimed that the entry-level rear-wheel-drive BMW 320i with a manual transmission and a sport package is something-something official sport sedan, yaddy, yadda. To quote:
That’s a sporty, RWD sedan with 50/50 weight distribution, a manual transmission, 36 mpg on the highway, and a turbocharged engine.
Is there anything new that beats that?
Well, as a matter of fact, as mentioned in this Podcast, yes there is. It is called the 328d.
Allow me to explain. The problem with BMW’s 320i and 328i is the four-cylinder turbo engine. That engine, like many others recently downsized and force-fed offerings from many manufactures, seems great in theory but is not so great in daily driving. Those engines lack in low-end power and have a good amount of turbo lag.
These engines are great when pushed hard; it’s what makes them fun in a Miata or hot-hatch sort of way, especially when coupled to a slick manual transmission. Unfortunately we don’t push our cars hard while driving from Starbucks to the Vet’s office, and that’s where lag delay is most noticeable, and it can be frustrating. Same goes for highway passing power, it’s there but it needs to be exhumed.
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