Your comments about this car are interesting, and I do agree many manufacturers are coming up with very good and perhaps better diesel engines, however the overall dynamics of the 3 Series are pretty hard to beat. I too have driven a lot of Japanese cars and of course there are loads of great ones out there, but personally the 3 Series is very hard to beat or equal, simply because everything just gels, its almost perfect in every area. My personal preference is the 328i, not the absolute fastest, but just about right in every department for my needs. BUY ONE!!
Drive the 150 bhp 320D, it's quick and torquey, more than you'd expect, 150 bhp from a 2 litre diesel is very impressive.
Japanese cars are noisy and rattley, I'm talking equivalent class, like 2 litre Honda's, Mazda's etc compared to BMW's, but if you want ultimate smoothness and response, then you have to buy a straight six engine, ie. 325i, 330i etc; they're super fast, with torque and power everywhere in the rev range.
The 2.2 litre Honda CTDi diesel unit wipes the floor with this for refinement. As it does any other four cylinder diesel ever made.
Raziel, I know you religiously counter every criticism of a BMW car on every review on this website, but claiming "Japanese cars are noisy and rattly" is ridiculous, and has no basis in fact. Ever been in a Lexus LS400? The engine that can do 6,000 RPM with a full glass of water resting on the inlet manifold, and barely a ripple in the water. It was tried with a BMW straight six and the glass bounced off.
The Japanese don't trim cars as nicely as the Germans, but they engineer them better than anyone in the world.
The 320d is becoming known for turbocharger failure. Something to do with harmonic vibration causing metal fatigue in the turbo shaft. The same make and design of turbo is used in many other manufacturers engines and doesn't have a problem.
The only cure is a replacement turbo and a re-map from BMW which removes the damaging harmonic resonance. I know of two cars this has happened to, the highest mileage of which had 53,000 on the clock at the time. Both cars had full BMW histories, and neither owner could get BMW to admit there was an issue. The re-map is allegedly to resolve "other issues".
The bill is four figures by the way, and BMW do not contribute.
Quality German engineering!