Which engine to go for?

Which engine to go for?



Original Poster:

106 posts

98 months

Friday 21st June
quotequote all
I’ve pretty much decided I’ll be getting my first BMW when I replace my aging Golf GTI.

I’m looking at 3 series (touring ideally) and 4 series GC as a model, but being a complete BMW novice I know nothing about specs etc.

Requirements are:

2018 onwards

Petrol ideally but would be open to petrol hybrid (330e keeps coming up in my auto trader searches)

Relatively frugal to run mpg and tax wise

Good handling (coming from a string of hot and warm hatches this is one of the most important requirements)

Reliability and longevity - I’d rather have the safest engine than the most powerful if that makes sense

This seems to lead me to the N20 engine and the M Sport spec level, apart from the reliability reports for the N20 seem really mixed?

Can anyone with good experience help?


592 posts

66 months

Friday 21st June
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Well, horses for courses really.

To share my experience, I went from an Edition 30 Golf GTI to a 2016 F30 330d due to a change of job, so needed an improvement on 27 mpg, lol. A jump from 8K a year to 25K, so it had to be a diesel or hybrid really.

Absolutely loved the Golf and was concerned a 330d would be a dull as dishwater move, but I needn't have worried as the 330d is a superb car smile Just as fast as the Golf but 50mpg long term average, and the super smooth ZF8 makes for a HUUUUUUUUGE improvement in daily driving. So much more relaxing in heavy traffic. It's way better than DSG as well, both the old school 6 speed and the newer 7 speed.

I tried a 330e and 335d before settling on the 30d as I was concerned about losing out on performance over the Golf, but the 30d felt just as quick in terms of real world daily speeds compared to those two, but is more reliable being a simpler engine. In the end, it had to be a classic silky smooth BMW 6 pot as 4 pot BMWs do nothing for me, so the 330e was out.

4 series is more sporty than the 3 series, which = a harder ride and more rattling because of the huge pillarless doors, which is something to bear in mind.

I would probably lean towards an F31 if you need a tailgate personally, and not an N20 as they have some issues, especially if neglected.

2018 onwards pushes you into G series territory, so test drive a bunch of options.

Edited by rottenegg on Friday 21st June 23:48


523 posts

3 months

Friday 21st June
quotequote all
430i GC would be a good bet.