Lets start with the cockpit: the 318i with the M package exterior and interior felt sporty enough. Stereo adjustments, volume controls, and even driving modes were on it. The seats were plush and comfy, but not soft enough to sink into. The driver's POV is aesthetically pleasing. The command screen was small and didn't distract me. Neither did pesky lights, or glaring chrome finish: the car had none. The downside is the onboard proximity alerts which go off every time you squeeze into a tight spot which probably should be turned off if the car is used daily in Dhaka.
The drive was hassle free, which is ironic because I thought I was going to have a hard time with this brand new import. The BMW has impressive road-view clearance and turning radius, two very important features. Although traffic can be intimidating, most cars seemed to give way when they saw me driving up. Most truck drivers maintained their distances too. Something about the way this car looks, the color, the front fascia, the BMW badge makes other drivers automatically want to shy away from you.
Being a three cylinder 1.5, the car's engine and exhaust makes almost no noise at low RPM. In sport mode at nearly 150 kmph, the engine purred. The car isn't the fastest 3 series, obviously enough, it pumps out roughly 134 bhp. The throttle held back for the first second I put my foot down with an empty stretch in front of me, but when the horses did kick in, I was glued to my seat. The car is quick but what you need to be focusing on is how refined it feels. It isn't strained no matter how hard you go on it.
The steering response and feel was great. High-speed lane changes went almost unnoticed by the two passengers riding with me. The car more or less absorbed potholes and the suspension felt soft on economy mode but stiffened up in sport mode.
The finesse and refinement BMW put into this simple yet elegant 318i is something Dhaka-City daily drivers have been waiting for.