The BMW 318i may be an entry-level sedan car in BMW’s fleet, but the offerings are anything but basic.
This new generation of the BMW 3 series takes pride in being the more affordable compact sedan. Potential buyers are spoilt for choice with the 318i Sport, 320i Luxury and the 320i M Sport.
The BMW 318i Sport comes with an inline-4, 1998cc, 250Nm torque, 156hp that goes from 0-100km/h in 8.4 seconds. The car can reach a whopping top speed of 223km/h, a yardstick for all compact sedans.
It’s a well-balanced, sporty ride that provides smooth power with responsive acceleration, impressive handling through city traffic, and most importantly, there is full driver confidence in stopping when pressing down on the brakes.
The standard Sensatec upholstery was comfortable and we wouldn’t have known it was not real leather if we weren’t told.
When we first got our hands on the car, we took note of some pretty cool technological functions. The Comfort Access System allows contactless locking and unlocking of the doors as long as the digital key is within 2-metre proximity.
To get things started, we paired the car to the companion app to activate remote access. The original app BMW Connected will be deactivated from 30 June 2021, an users will be redirected to the new app My BMW to set up and connect the car.
To connect to the app, we will need to enter the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), which we found in the front of the car. The set-up was actually a breeze, taking us less than a minute. We could access the car’s vital information like fuel level, mileage and even enable remote services, allowing us to access the car even from a distance.
It may seem very basic, but it’s absolutely necessary (and safer) to have hands-free access to answering and making phone calls. Well, more like hands-free from our mobile device. Instead of having to hold or touch our phones while driving, which is illegal in Singapore by the way, you can actually pair your device and answer phone calls directly from the dashboard. If you have an Android or iOS mobile device, you can pair it under Apps with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
The BMW 318i Sport comes with in-car front and rear cameras, so you don’t have to worry about setting a separate third-party option up.
Speaking of cameras, we tried the Park Assist in the other BMW cars previously and we are definitely pleased to see it again in the BMW 318i. We are pretty spoilt by the existence of Park Assist, especially when it helped us to get into tight parking spaces easily and safely.
We tried “Hey BMW” and it still struggles a little with trying to understand what we are asking for, like, “bring us to Tiong Bahru”. However, it works if we use their recommended commands like “check our engine oil levels”. There was a point where they asked if we wanted to ask concierge services and even if we said “no”, they still connected to the concierge services, which was a little annoying.
Something a little fancy that we noticed is the ambient lights within the car, which you can turn on or off with the “Hey BMW” voice command. You can choose the colour and even set the intensity of the lights to your liking. An interesting point to note, the command can even be made from the front passenger’s seat.
Overall, BMW has definitely achieved the objective of providing a driver-centric experience. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant “connects” you to the car for various functions such as lights, navigation, A/C controls.
Having tried the other “smarter” BMW cars before, we noticed that the gesture control and the map on the dashboard are missing in the BMW 318i. It isn’t too big a disappointment for us, especially for the gesture control, as we have tried it before in the other cars and it proved to be a challenge when we accidentally made a gesture.
The BMW 318i Sedan Sport is available starting from S$218,888. More on the specifications below, and for more information, do visit BMW website.