Ratings: 2020 (G20) BMW 320i Sport - Excellent driving performance, 181 pts overall

Shaun · Nov 15, 2020 06:00 PM

Moving on from the Honda Accord last week, we're analysing the 2020 G20 BMW 320i Sport in the WapCar Ratings test.

And technically, the BMW 3 Series is a D-segment sedan as compact executive sedans fall in the subset of the segment. But we're not here to start another chain of arguments, let's talk numbers instead.

BMW 3 Series

Driving Performance – 42.5/50 pts, handles like a champ

2020 G20 BMW 320i Sport - Facts and Figures
Engine 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Power 184 PS @ 5,000 - 6,500 rpm
Torque 300 Nm @ 1,350 - 4,000 rpm
Weight 1,535 kg
0-100 km/h 7.1 seconds
100-0 km/h 37.9 metres

Getting up to speed is effortless from the available torque. But the engine does run out of breath above 5,000 rpm, so it’s best to stay within the “meat” of the range between 2,000 – 5,000 rpm.

Steering is telepathically precise. The relationship between the body, suspension and steering is harmoniously synced. It feels light on its feet and wonderfully balanced in corners.

The ZF 8-speed automatic transmission is calibrated to perfection. It’s incisive, snappy, and smooth. It’s always in the right gear at the right time and shifts imperceptibly when cruising.

2020 G20 BMW 320i Sport - Driving Performance Breakdown
Engine Acceleration 3.5 / 5
In-gear Acceleration 4 / 5
Throttle Response 4 / 5
Transmission Shift Logic 3 / 3
             Smoothness 4.5 / 5
      Sport/Manual Mode 3 / 3
Steering   Accuracy 3 / 3
Response 3 / 3
 Weight & Feel 2 / 3
Braking Distance 2 / 3
 Feel 2 / 3
Handling  Chassis Balance 3 / 3
 Grip 2.5 / 3
 Load Reaction 3 / 3
Total   42.5 / 50 pts

Ride Comfort – 32.5/50 pts, suspension is a little busy

The G20 BMW 320i Sport's suspension is on the busy side. Over less than ideal surfaces, you do feel the unevenness. But it’s rarely harsh and should be tolerable for many.

The seats are firm as well, both front and rear. In typical BMW fashion, there’s a cushion extension for additional thigh support for the front seats. Side support is adjustable but lumbar adjustment is absent.

2020 G20 BMW 320i Sport - Noise Level
60 km/h 59 dB
90 km/h 64 dB
110 km/h 67 dB

Noise level is an area much improved over the F30 generation BMW 3 Series. Road or tyre noise is noticeably lower than before and wind noise is well suppressed, thanks to the use of acoustic glass.

2020 G20 BMW 320i Sport - Ride Comfort Breakdown
Sound Proofing 8 / 10
Suspension 5 / 10
Passenger Comfort 5 / 10
Seat Support 3 / 5
Ergonomics 2.5 / 5
Engine Refinement 9 / 10
Total points 32.5 / 50 pts

Quality and Features – 36/50 pts, interior materials could be better

2020 G20 BMW 320i Sport - Exterior Material Use
Bonnet Soundproofing Material None
Struts Gas
Front Fenders Soundproofing Material Yes
Doors Front Windows Single Glazed
Rear Windows Single Glazed
Construction One Piece
Tailgate/Boot Opening Manual

Panel gaps deviated by no more than 0.5 mm from opposite sides, which indicates above average build quality. Paint thickness consistency averaged in the 100s of µm.

2020 G20 BMW 320i Sport - Panel Gaps
Location Driver Side Passenger Side Difference
Bonnet 4.0 4.0 0
Front Fender 2.5 2.5 0
Front to Rear Door 4.0 4.0 0
Rear Door to Quarter Panel 3.5 3.0 0.5
Tailgate 3.0 2.5 0.5
2020 G20 BMW 320i Sport - Paint Thickness (µm)
Location Driver Side Passenger Side
Front Bonnet 102
Front Fender 94 98
Front Door 111 104
Rear Door 97 111
Quarter Panel 101 103
Tailgate 116
Roof 126
Average paint thickness: 106

Build quality is as you'd expect from the compact executive sedan. Material selection however, are slightly below expectation.

The door grab handles/pockets feel hollow, the knobs on the side air vents feel plasticky, lower door plastics aren’t soft as in the F30, and the lid on the centre console has sharp edges.

2020 G20 BMW 320i Sport - Cabin Material Use
Seat Seat Cover Leather
Armrest Armrest Cover Leather
Dashboard Upper Section Soft Plastic
  Lower Section Hard Plastic
Front Doors Upper Section Soft Plastic
  Middle Section Leather
  Lower Section Soft Plastic

The iDrive system which runs on Operating System 6 is intuitive to use. Apple CarPlay is available on a subscription basis,  but Android Auto is yet to be available.

BMW Malaysia updated the BMW 320i Sport earlier this year with the Driving Assistant package, which bundles Lane Change Warning (LCW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), front collision warning with brake intervention (AEB), rear-cross traffic alert and rear collision prevention.

2020 G20 BMW 320i Sport - Quality & Features Breakdown
Exterior Paint Finish 3 / 4
Panel Gaps 3 / 4
Assembly Quality 2 / 2
Interior Build Quality 4 / 5
Materials Used 3 / 5
Features Safety 9 / 10
ADAS 2 / 5
Luxury 3 / 5
Convenience 3 / 5
Infotainment 4 / 5
Total   36 / 50 pts

Space and Practicality – 31/50 pts, relatively spacious

Space in the rear is generous for a car of this size. There's about 3 tennis balls of kneeroom and 1 tennis ball of headroom for a 175 cm adult.

Door bins are large enough to fit 1.5-litre bottles and the centre armrest storage is decently sized. Boot space is rated at 480 litres.

2020 G20 BMW 320i Sport - Interior Space Breakdown
Front Row 8 / 10
Middle/Back Row 7 / 10
Third Row 0 / 5
Boot Space 3 / 5
Practicality 4 / 5
Storage Space 4 / 5
Visibility 3 / 5
Storage Flexibility 2 / 5
Total 31 / 50 pts

Fuel consumption – 16/20 pts, respectable figure

After completing a 142.6 km journey broken down to 60% highway and 40% city driving, the amount of fuel required to fill brim the tank is 11.5 litres.

Which gives a calculated figure of 8.0-litre/100 km. Considering the power output and weight of the BMW 320i, it's a respectable figure.

2020 G20 BMW 320i Sport - Fuel Consumption Test Breakdown
Fuel Consumption 12 / 15
Eco Mode 2 / 2
Indicator Accuracy 2 / 3
Total points 16 / 20 pts

Purchase and Cost – 23/30 pts, 5-year worry free

The locally-assembled G20 BMW 320i Sport is priced at RM 248,800 (with SST). Price without SST is RM 241,794, valid until 31 December 2020.

It's competitively priced within its segment and BMW Malaysia offers a 5-year free maintenance program, which is a strong selling point.

2020 G20 BMW 320i Sport - Purchase & Cost
Purchase Car Price 10 / 15
Warranty 4 / 5
Cost Maintenance 5 / 5
Fuel Cost 4 / 5
Total   23 / 30 pts

Conclusion – 181/250 pts overall

The 2020 G20 BMW 320i Sport delivers excellent driving performance as expected from a BMW. It's rather economical on fuel and has a 5-year free maintenance program, both of which enhances the purchase and cost aspect. 

Downside is the ride comfort and some aspects of the interior, such as ergonomics and material selection.

But if you prioritise driving experience over all the other aspects tested here, then the G20 BMW 320i Sport is the perfect car for you.

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