NAIAS 2013: BMW 320i Takes The Leasing World By Storm

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
naias 2013 bmw 320i takes the leasing world by storm

Canadians have long been privy to a stripped down, lease-special BMW in the form of the 320i. Thanks to BMW’s insatiable quest for volume, Americans will be too. For $33,445, you’ll get a 180 horsepower turbo 4-cylinder and an 8-speed automatic, with a 34 mpg highway rating. And the unbearable stigma of the 320i badge.

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  • Thebanker Thebanker on Jan 22, 2013

    I think it makes perfect sense for BMW to have a product like this. The people who read TTAC are not the intended market. Women, old people, and guys who don't care about performance will snap up 320i's in droves. I'm thinking of the 318ti here, or the Mercedes C240 hatchback. It's not the ultimate driving machine, but it is a good entry-level luxury-ish car. In Orange County, CA, I expect to see MANY of these.

  • PeterW PeterW on Jan 26, 2013

    Unbearable stigma of the 320i badge? Good grief.

  • GST GST on Jan 05, 2014

    320i Owner. Purchased, not leased. First BMW worth the money in my estimation. (lots of readers are going to hate that) Now have 5,000 miles on it. Most from a road trip when car was one week old. Seattle/Walla Walla/Pendelton/Winnemucka/Las Vegas/Palm Springs and return to Seattle via San Francisco. Amazing driving in Eastern Oregon. Driving dynamics did not disappoint. I was also able to drive all day for days in a row with little fatigue. (am age 70). Car has sport or ecomomy settings. Used sport in hills, ecomomy on straigths. Got 38 mpg to Palm Springs, 37 back to Seattle on I-5. Sure am glad they came out with this model. Everyone who rides in it comments about how quiet it is. I did think of taping out the BMW symbols on the exterior because I am a little embarrased to own one. I have probably wanted one for 20 years. 180 hp seems enough to me for day to day and road trip driving. My other car is a 180 hp Audi TT Roadster and my wife's car is an Audi Q5 with 200 hp. The horsepower is more than adequate for US roads. I ran the 320i at 100 mph for a few minutes in Nevada. It was very steady and I think you could drive it all day comfortably at that speed. Can't do that here, of course. Thought that an actual owners comment might be of value.

  • BrunoT BrunoT on Jan 31, 2014

    The appeal to me of BMW's (owned 3 so far) is the steering feel, handling, and braking combined with good levels of refinement, NVH, etc. This is something few other brands can deliver. More power is nice, but rarely used with a passenger in the car. A 320i with a manual and sport package and nothing else is a fine $34,000 car for those who really care about driving and not just badge-bragging/oneupsmanship and being swathed in luxury and techno features. I may return to the brand one day, but it certainly won't be to impress anyone. I wonder how many loaded 335i drivers wrote a check for theirs, vs leasing or financing.