The E90 3 series was introduced in 2004 and came available in March 2005. It became BMW AG's best selling automobile. E90 is the fifth generation of the BMW 3rd Series. The estate is designated as E91, coupe E92 and coupe cabriolet E93. Only the estate doesn't have M3 version. Unofficial information sources claim, that E90 will be replaced in 2012. There is a lot of time since then, that is why we decided to take BMW E90 out for a test drive.

At the first glance E90 can't capture people's attention. The body doesn't have typical for BMW aggressive lines and sharp edges, it looks a bit smoother than we wished to be, but in a way the car respected us. May be we need some more time to get used to the "new" BMW design.

Inside the BMW

Honestly I didn't like the dashboard. People expect more luxury, when they pay such amount of money for a compact executive sedan. The plastic looks cheap and the dashboard is not bended to the driver's position, as is in the previous 3rd series. Drivers, who aren't used with the E90 feel confused trying to find the right buttons for air conditioning system or audio. It is not intuitive like the previous models. If the car doesn't have SAT NAV the dash board looks little poor, fortunately our car had it. Besides that the seats are comfortable enough, although we suggest you to pick sport seats in the package. Also steering wheel is well placed and the gear shifter is close enough (if you drive manual). Rearview mirrors are very good and the driver has clear view backwards. Of course the engineers from BMW AG cared about the driver, but according to our opinion not enough in this case.

BMW E90 320d

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On the Road

Before we started the engine we felt a little annoyed. The car didn't grasp our hearts, there were a lot of things, which we didn't like in the new E90. Everything that disappeared with a single hit of a button - the "START" button. Although it is a 4 cylinder diesel engine, there were no noise at all, the only thing that gives you information that the car is running is the tachometer. Corner after corner the car was going so nice and smooth and in the same time aggressive like it was eating the asphalt.

Awesome handling, informative steering and a lot of power. The car is excellent balanced and the rear wheel drive gives you the thrill. When the DSC is on the car is stuck on the road, no signs for loosing grip or sudden behaviour changes, everything is intuitive like you are a part of the car.

Brakes - only superlatives for them. 312mm - vented front disks and 300mm vented rear disks definitely make the car stop incredibly fast. Although we made several 100 to 20 km/h stops, there was no signs of fading.

Tuning

Fortunately our BMW E90 320d has chip tuning and it is boosted up to ~190 brake horsepower and more than 430 N/m. I didn't believe that a diesel can go like that. The throttle is more responsible, there is no turbo-lag at all, it just accelerates at any gear and at any revs. The car is capable to bring you all the way up to 245 km/h (do not try this at public roads). The owner shared that even the fuel consumption got lower with almost a liter per 100 kilometers after the chip tuning.

As you can see in the gallery, the BMW is on 18 inch aftermarket rims, they fit perfect at this car and make it look better. The low profile tires - 245/40/18 are not only good looking, but they also improve the grip and you can feel the car stiffer and more stable. Originally the car comes out with Run-on-flat tires, but we do not recommend them, because they are too hard and the car don't have good road behaviour.

Xenon headlights are also aftermarket, 6000K 35 watts brings you 150% more light than original bulbs and make the car look even more beautiful.

Tinted rear windows complete the aggressive look of the car.

Conclusion

When you are driving this BMW, you forget about the cheap dashboard or the buttons for air conditioning, you forget that the car is more expensive than the alternatives, It just brings you the smile, whenever you drive this car.

Once again BMW proved that they can make awesome cars and nobody can describe it better - "Sheer driving pleasure".

Body
Body Type Sedan
Doors 4
Passenger seats 5
Length 4520 мм
Width 1817 мм
Height 1421 мм
Wheel Base 2760 мм
Front wheel width 1500 мм
Rear wheel width 1513 мм
Trunk Capacity 460 l
Engine
Engine Position Front, Longitudinal
Engine 1995 cm3
Max Power 163 hp
RPM 4000
Torque 340/2000 N/m
Fuel Diesel
Turbocharger Turbocharged
Engine type In-line
Cylinders 4
Cylinder diameter 84.0 mm
Stroke 90.0 mm
Valves per cylinder 4
Transmission
Wheel drive RWD
Gears 6
Suspension
Front suspension Independent
Rear suspension Independent
Brake System
Front Brakes Discs
Rear Brakes Discs
Specifications
V-max 225 km/h
0-100 km/h 8.3 s
City Cycle 7.8 l/100km
Highway Cycle 4.5 l/100km
Fuel Tank 61 l
Automobile weight - equipped 1435 kg
Automobile Maximum weight 1950 kg
Tires 205/55R16