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BMW 320i: Pros and cons of the German car


The price of a 2015 model of the BMW 320i ranges between Sh2.3m and Sh3m. [File, Standard]

BMW 320i is an entry-level prestige sedan manufactured by Munich-based German carmaker BMW.

The vehicle comes in both manual and automatic transmission. The four-cylinder five-seater vehicle’s engine capacity is 2,000cc.

The car accelerates from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in 7.5 seconds. That’s not bad for the speed-lovers.

In Kenya, a 2015 model, would set you back between Sh2.3 million to Sh3 million.

Other features that the vehicle has include an automatic start-stop system to save on fuel during traffic, regenerative braking system, self-dimming smart headlights, and a powerful engine that gives a virtually instantaneous response.

The BMW 320i has at least six airbags to cushion you against the dangerous effects of high impact.

The vehicle can also run on flat tyres for a considerable distance.

Several owners of the vehicle, who spoke to The Standard, said reliable suspension is one of the key strength areas of the four-door car.

The vehicle’s sound system is of good quality, as a majority of the units come fitted with Bose speakers.

Gabriel Oduor owns a 2016 model of the BMW 320i vehicle.

“Prior to acquiring the BMW 320i, I owned a Toyota Fielder. I felt the difference between the two cars the moment I sat behind the wheel. The BMW handles better, and has more safety features,” he told The Standard.

“Maintaining the BMW is more expensive compared to the Fielder. However, I’d advise those planning to buy the car to always go for genuine spare parts and service material. Cheap, as they say, is expensive,” said Oduor.

Oduor said, unlike most utility vehicles manufactured in Japan, the BMW offers intelligent information that makes you know when your vehicle needs service, brake pad replacement, oil change, among others.

“That information is readily displayed on the infotainment screen. For instance, the vehicle’s computer system will tell you that you’re remaining with, let’s say, 8,000kms before your next oil change.”

Most BMW 320i owners interviewed by The Standard said the vehicle’s downside was “too much sensitivity”.

“It has a lot of sensors, and when one fails, it could grind the car to a halt,” said Oduor.

The owners said, unlike most Japanese cars that can run on “check-engine” lights for a considerable distance, or even days, the BMW 320i series would only give you little room to manoeuvre before breaking down completely.

The vehicle, due to sensitivity, demands a like-for-like original spare part replacement, and the parts don’t come cheap.

The vehicle’s computer system, located right under the wipers compartment, is rarely spared when exposed to a lot of rainwater. And this is because of manufacturer defect.

Replacing one would cost you at least Sh45,000.

Joshua Okoth, a Buruburu-based mechanic who has specialised in BMW, said once the 320i computer box fails, there’s no shortcut to reviving it.

“Even if you repair it, it won’t take long before it fails again,” he said.

A well-maintained BMW 320i series, would give you a maximum horsepower of 184, and a fuel consumption of up to 15km per litre on traffic jam-free highway.

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