f30 bmw 3 series

BMW 320i vs 320d (Which 3 Series is Better?)

Ever since the 3 series was launched in 1975 it became the most-selling BMW in the world, and it’s not hard to see why. The 3 series is a sporty-looking car, with enough power for most people, and it has everything you need in a sport sedan.

Among the 3 series, there are two popular variants which are the 320i and 320d In this article we’ll compare the two engines in terms of performance, driving experience, and fuel economy.

Share the main differences and similarities of both cars. let’s get to it.

Difference between 320i and 320d BMW

The main difference between the BMW 320i and 320d is that the 320i is powered by a gasoline engine, while the 320d is powered by a diesel engine.

320i vs 320d Comparison Table

 BMW 320i  BMW 320d
Engine 2.0L 4-cylinder 2.0L 4-cylinder diesel
Horsepower 180 hp 184 hp
Torque 200 lb-ft 280 lb-ft
0-60 mph 6.3 seconds 6.7 seconds
Top Speed 149 mph 149 mph
Fuel Economy (city/highway) 5.8 to 6.2L/100km 4.1 to 5L/100km
Standard Features iDrive infotainment system, 6.5-inch display, Bluetooth connectivity, 9-speaker audio system iDrive infotainment system, 6.5-inch display, Bluetooth connectivity, 9-speaker audio system,
Price $35,000 $38,000

BMW 320i vs 320d Comparison

Now, let’s look at the main difference between these vehicles.

Engine and Performance

One of the main differences between the 320i and the 320d is the type of engine that powers each vehicle.

The 320i is equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine, while the 320d comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine.

In terms of raw power, the two engines are pretty similar. The petrol engine in the 320i produces 180 horsepower, while the diesel engine in the 320d also produces 184 horsepower.

However, the diesel engine has more torque which is 380 Nm (280 lb-ft) compared to 270 Nm (200 lb-ft),

which is the measure of rotational force that an engine can produce. This means that the 320d feels more powerful than the 320i counterpart.

Fuel Economy

One of the main advantages of diesel engines is that they tend to be more fuel efficient than petrol engines.

This is because diesel fuel contains more energy per unit of volume than petrol, so a diesel engine can get more work done with each stroke of the piston.

As a result, the 320d is generally more fuel efficient than the 320i.

The 320d fuel economy is 4.1 to 5L/100km whereas the 320i fuel consumption is 5.8 to 6.2L/100km.

Starting Price

The 320i offers the advantage of a lower starting price in comparison to its diesel sibling, with prices ranging from $31,400 – 41,140 compared to 43,800 – 55.440 respectively.

These prices are for the f30 generation, other generations may vary.


When it comes to reliability and longevity the N47 engine found in the 320d outshines the N20 engine found in the 320i.

The N47 engine has a reputation in the BMW community for being reliable, easy to work on, and long-lasting.

The N20 engine on the other hand has had numerous issues with the timing chain and high-pressure fuel pump failing earlier than anticipated and other small issues.


When it comes to driving comfort, both variants are equally comfortable and the same since the same suspension is used on both 320d and 320i, however, the diesel engine does sound louder than the petrol engine.

This can be a major turn-off for some people who are looking for a smooth drive and would prefer if the car was as quiet as possible.

Interior and Exterior Design

The design of both BMWs is the same and they both have a sleek and elegant design that makes the car look more expensive than it actually is.

Both cars are also equipped with similar features including automatic headlights, cruise control, parking sensors, and much more.


Although both 3 series variants are great, the 320d is a better option, it is much more reliable, has better fuel economy, and has more torque, the only downside to the BMW 320d is the fact that it is more expensive than the 320i but worth it.

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