The 2011 BMW 323i is great value for your money!
The 3 series is BMW’s entry level line of automobiles. They are among the more popular luxury vehicles on the roads today, but for good reason.
The experience BMW delivers to its vehicle owners is unparalleled. A salesperson recently mentioned that 90% of consumers who buy a BMW will remain loyal to the brand and continue to purchase BMWs. The current 2011 323i is the 5th generation of the 3 series, with the upcoming 2012 models being the 6th generation. One interesting point to note is that the 323i is not available in the United States, only north of the border in Canada it is available.
The 2011 BMW 323i comes equipped with a relatively modest engine, however it is not to be overlooked. It comes with an inline six engine that produces 200 horsepower and 180 lb/ft of torque. Fuel consumption clocks in at 9.2 L/100km and the car goes from 0-100km in 8.2 seconds.
The engine is where the 323i shines. Stepping on the pedal provides extremely smooth acceleration, rather than a burst or jerk of power. Not only is the power delivery extremely smooth, but the engine is also very quiet. The automatic model also comes equipped with “Sport Mode” which makes for fun drive. It increases the RPMs of the engine and also holds each gear longer before shifting. From this mode you can also use the gear shift to shift gears up or down.
The 323i is designed to compete with other luxury automobile makers’ entry level cars. Take a look at the engine specs of these other models:
-2011 Mercedes C250 4MATiC Special Edition: 201 horsepower, 181 lb/ft of torque
-2011 Audi A4 Sedan 2.0 TFSI: 211 horsepower, 258 lb/ft of torque
-2011 Lexus IS 250 RWD: 204 horsepower, 185 lb/ft of torque
The 323i’s interior is simple yet elegant. It contains a rather basic entertainment console in the dash that has USB/iPod integration in the centre console. It also features tasteful leatherette seating throughout that is quite durable.
-Rain sensing windshield wipers: Work extremely well in most rain and overcast conditions.
-USB/iPod integration in center console: Can easily hook up an ipad or USB stick which can then be controlled through the entertainment console in dash or through the steering wheel controls.
-Bluetooth integration: Blackberries and iPhones can easily be connected to in dash interface and calls can be answered and ended through the steering wheel.
-Rear seating can be flipped down to allow longer items such as snowboards to fit into trunk
-Small cupholders: A variety of bottles and cups will not fit into these cupholders
-Cigarette lighter in center console between driver and passenger seat: It is hard to use an item such as a GPS on the dash when you have to run the power cord all the way to the centre console (leaves wiring dangling in plain view)
-Center console cannot be shut when electronics are plugged into the cigarette ligher: Perhaps the biggest flaw is that when a charger is plugged into the cigarette lighter the center console CAN”T be closed. I have found it extremely annoying to drive around with the door flipped up while my phone charges etc.
The 323i has a pleasing exterior that is sporty and refined. Some critics say that the 323i has a run of the mill body that looks like every other car on the road (when it’s BMW branding has been removed). I can understand where this point of view is coming. However the car does come stock with some very nice wheels which run BMW Run-Flat tires. The wheels are very aesthetically pleasing, and seem to differ from model year to model year.
One word of caution, the 323i does sit rather low to the ground and is susceptible to scraping curbs. I found myself having to back into to driveways in some cases to avoid scraping the underside of my bumper in some cases where the driveway was raised above street level.
Handling is strong point for the 323i. The car is very easy to weave through traffic (not saying you should) and extremely enjoyable to corner. The 323i features an extremely even weight distribution. Approximately half of the vehicle’s weight is distributed over the front of the car and half is distributed over the rear. This means there is very little side to side movement in the car when cornering and braking/accelerating.
Overall the 2011 BMW 323i provides fair value for it’s cost. The car handles extremely well, and while its engine is not the most powerful, it provides very fluent power delivery.The 323i is a great car for those looking for an entry level luxury car with a reasonable price tag. Be prepared to shop around, as these cars are subject to frequent sales and promotions.
This review was created to help educate consumers interested in buying a 2011 BMW 323i.
I spent a great deal of time shopping around for my 323i and comparing prices, so I wanted to share the knowledge I have learned with everyone else interested in buying a BMW.