December 18, 2021 By Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by Isabel N. Delos Reyes

2022 BMW 318i Sport

A 3 like no other before it

The fabulous white sporty luxury sedan you see here is the new 7th generation BMW 3-series (G20) in 318i Sport packaging. Compared with the more entry-level 316i to 320d models previously sold in our market with the older generations, however, this current 318i Sport drives with more ferocity than an E30 325e and it is as quick as the old 325i of the same old generation but with substantially more luxury, better handling, more safety, ability, and space. I compare it to the 2nd generation BMW E30 because that is the benchmark standard for dynamic premium performance in a compact sedan. Try driving a well-maintained BMW 325i E30 and you will appreciate how great it is and why it remains the absolute standard for the genre.

There are numerous aesthetic and equipment upgrades in the new BMW 318i Sport. The front and rear bumpers are more sensual and now have matching styling cues.  I am glad to see authentic dual rear exhausts too! The remarkable refinement is abundant and obvious despite being the base model of the 3-series. The body is so composed on most road surfaces. The brakes are really strong even if they look very simple and even appear undersized. The very familiar interior is rich and roomy with a very commodious 481-liter trunk. As a 3-series without adaptive suspension, the 318i Sport expertly transitions from debonaire and refined to sharp and frisky, without compromise.

Nothing feels cheap inside the 3-series. The standard infotainment system operates through an 8.8-inch touchscreen, with an interface that can be controlled with a large knob and buttons on the console or with voice commands. Even without the optional premium Harman Kardon audio, the standard sound system sounds full and very good. Standard equipment includes comfort access keyless entry, gorgeous and effective full-LED headlights with new front fog lamps and rear lights. The rear seat legroom seems more spacious too thanks to the increased dimensions combined with the updated automatic rear climate control vents with additional USB-C ports and oddly a traditional 12V socket.

The twin-scroll single turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 engine is not new but it has been further optimized for maximum fuel efficiency and elasticity for balanced real-world operation. The 3-series uses the standard Cluster Architecture (CLAR) platform and features increased applications of high-strength steel and aluminum which makes it 85 mm (3.3-inches) longer, 16 mm (0.6-inches) wider, and 5 mm (0.2- inches) taller on a wider track using a 40.6 mm (1.6-inches) longer wheelbase of 2851 mm compared to the F30 predecessor. On a side note, for additional perspective, the new 3-series wheelbase is longer than every 5-series model beginning with the E12 up to the E39!

The double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension is once again the class standard, so exceptional when combined with the balanced rolling stock that you feel like it can handle anything while being pushed from the rear. It is the very best non-adaptive setup in its class by a long shot. The handsome 18 x 7.5” alloys are wrapped with compliant Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 XL 225/45R18 95Y RSC tires. If you notice the front iconic kidney grille has been replaced with a new snorting nostril reinterpretation that so happens to also feature the new Active Air Stream technology that helps cool the engine as well as help aerodynamics by automatically closing the slats when required.

The 2022 BMW 318i Sport may have a modest moniker but it performs with a very big heart while simultaneously delivering remarkable luxury, comfort, presence, and space in measures that exceed every generation before it. The only issue that may affect its commercial success in our market is its price. But if you can afford it and you have always dreamt of owning the very best sports sedan in its class, the original standard-bearer, then your dream can be fulfilled at the lower special promotional price until the end of the month.

Specifications

Engine

Engine Inline-4
Displacement 1998 cc
Cylinder Head dohc 16V
Fuel Injector Direct Injection Intercooled Turbo, Valvetronic, Double-VANOS
Max Power (bhp @ rpm) 154 bhp @ 4500-6500 rpm
Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm) 184 lb-ft @ 1300-4300 rpm
Transmission 8-Speed AT

Performance

Top Speed 225 km/h (141 mph)
0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph 8.3 sec.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Fuel Milage (km/l) 6.3 L/100 km Overall

Ratings

Price as Tested (PHP) PhP 3,190,000.00 (2,990,000.00 Promotional Price Until December 31, 2021)
What's Great The best entry-level BMW 3-series in our market. Rear driven behavior. Excellent build-quality, nice ride and handling, and well appointed.
What's Not So Price.
C! Editors Rating 9/10
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