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2023 BMW 318i Sedan M-Sport Review Singapore

The 2023 BMW 318i Sedan M Sport is currently the entry level 3 series available in Singapore and receives key updates in this mid cycle update. BMW's new integrated curved display running OS8 with wireless Apple Carplay & Android Auto have been fitted, along with the M-Sport package as standard on the entry level model. The M-Sport package includes differentiated bodykits, wheels, seats, and steering wheel. It goes up against its usual competitors in the executive sedan segment such as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Audi A4.

Updates & New Features

Following a mid cycle update in 2022 and a significant upward shift in COE prices in Singapore, the 318 features a bunch of updates and features that make it more relevant to own in Singapore’s current car ownership climate, while also keeping up to date with technological points of parity in the market. Visually, not a lot has changed, but the 318i now comes standard in M-Sport trim, which means that you get a sportier exterior with an M-style body kit, wheels, seats, and steering wheel. While the car is in itself more expensive to buy than before, the M-Sport package included in the car does go some way in providing added value to the consumer, and looks quite a bit more dressed up than the standard car from before.

Inside, the car is fitted with BMW’s new integrated curve display which houses the touchscreen infotainment unit which now runs OS8, as well as the digital driver’s display. While we had no real issues with OS7 from before, the entire BMW fleet is moving toward the new setup, and this update to the 318i does make sense, as it brings the current generation 3 series up to speed with its stablemates, and makes it a viable option for its remaining years before a new model is released. While I have never been a fan of OS8’s interface design, I must admit that the update is still one I would rather have than not, as the entire system, especially the integrated curve screen design, does do quite a lot to elevate the overall look and feel of the cabin - an important point of consideration for those who are looking to the 3 series as a luxury vehicle and a mark of one’s achievements.

Balanced & Fun to Drive

Power from the 2.0 litre 4 cylinder turbocharged engine is rated at 154 bhp and 250Nm of torque, which comes across as rather pedestrian if we’re being honest. However, once you drive the car, you’ll realise that the car possesses very descent pull around city streets, and will get from 0-100km/h in a respectable 8.4 seconds with plenty of torque to spare. Addressing the elephant in the room, these performance figures can feel a little bit underwhelming, especially for a car that now costs upwards of $300,000. However, it should be noted that the similarly specified C-Class Saloon is more expensive, technically has more power, but is slower to 100km/h.

Speed though, is not the only thing that matters when assessing a BMW, and we've come to learn that there is usually more to the car than what appears on the spec sheet. In the case of the 318, this is abundantly true, as despite the car being seemingly down on power, it's road handling, balance, and overall road manners is impeccable. In fact, the 318 is easily one of the more fun and engaging drives we have had this year. This means that if you're a car enthusiast or someone looking for a driver oriented driving experience, you'll probably still be able derive plenty of engagement and enjoyment from the 318 - something that can't be said of all cars in that segment.

Luxurious & Classy

If you aren't looking at the performance figures and orientation of a BMW, but simply want to "invest" your hard earned money into a luxury vehicle that is befitting your current status, the 318 is equally capable at holding up that end of the deal. These days, there aren't many cars built like a BMW, and they still retain one of the best build qualities among most mass market premium vehicles out there. While the cabin isn't quite as snazzy as the new Mercedes C-Class, the 318 still boasts a high quality interior, and actually feels sportier than its slightly more elegantly designed Mercedes counterpart.

Key upgrades around the cabin such as the introduction of the integrated curve display really do elevate the 318 to another level over the pre-facelift version, and helps give the car a futuristic edge that is somewhat expected in vehicles today. Sports seats are also a lovely addition, and probably make up the second largest focal point in the interior of the car, mostly because its a large component of the cabin. It's often an understated point, but nice seats can go a long way in upping the premium factor in any vehicle.

Who Will it Appeal to?

With the latest interior upgrades, along with the M-Sport kit now fitted as standard, the 318i continues to be the crowd pleaser that it has always been. Car enthusiasts will love the wonderfully balanced driving dynamics of the car, while the general public will no doubt be able to appreciate the luxurious and well built nature of the car.


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