18.11.2010 BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics review
Classy looks, low running costs and low BIK rates make the BMW 320d the company car driver's transport of choice.
Stunning fuel figures of Efficient Dynamics model match or beat Toyota's little Yaris (67.3mpg) and Honda's electrically assisted Civic hybrid (61.4mpg) though it must be remembered the Civic is petrol powered. CO2 figures are a match too.
Snags? You can get caught out in traffic with boost down and have to drop several gears at once to get the plot going again. Engine noisy from outside, especially when cold.
Review by Russell Bray for nextgreencar.com
Good and lively, because though the 163bhp four-cylinder diesel engine is down 21bhp on the familiar single-turbo 2 litre that also powers the normal 316d, 318d and 320d, torque at 280 lbs ft at 1900rpm is unchanged. Smooth engine is unusually happy at low revs in high gears but noisier in operation depending on driving conditions. Tall gearing sees a top speed of 142mph. Acceleration to 60mph takes eight seconds.
Involving, precise and predictable thanks to usual BMW near 50:50 weight distribution, though rear-wheel drive layout needs more care on slippery roads than front-wheel drive as many drivers discovered last winter. This Efficient Dynamics car rides 15mm lower than a standard model which helps cornering attitude but because it is not on M Sport suspension the ride is supple rather than firm.
Your neighbour should join the police if he can spot the inch smaller alloy wheels which, apart from some small Efficient Dynamics badges, distinguish this car from current new BMW 3-Series 302d SE models. Style conscious drivers might be concerned you can't order the car with M Sport body trim bits, though you could get some alloy wheels and fit them. Length 4531mm. Width 1817mm.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
Slightly notchy, springy gear change action, but even low rolling resistance tyres have not corrupted the steering – the advantage, of course, of having the engine power going to the rear wheels. At times the engine seemed noisier than I wanted or expected when accelerating but was turbine smooth and quiet when cruising. Small issue: for me the ideal driving position was between two notches on the seat mechanism. Why can't BMW fit a more precise system?
MPG & RUNNING COSTS
Official fuel Economy: Urban 56.5mpg, extra-urban 78.5mpg, combined 68.9mpg, which translates a fuel cost of around 8p per mile. My road test fuel consumption, according to the on-board computer, varied from 54.3mpg mainly urban driving including some dual carriageways to 58.8mpg with more out of town but not deliberately trying to be economical. Carbon dioxide emissions of 109g/km put the BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics in band B with £20 annual road tax. Insurance group 28. Warranty covers three years/ unlimited miles.
Efficient Dynamics packages include reducing friction and improving the thermodynamics of the engine, braking or coasting energy used to charge battery, electric power steering uses less energy than hydraulic, radiator grille air vents stay closed to warm engine up more quickly, low rolling resistance tyres, gear change indicator, 'intelligent' alternator which only charges when necessary, automatic stop-start system.
For the size of the vehicle, carbon dioxide emissions of just 109g/km are very impressive, and reward the model with a Next Green Car rating of 31. This particular Efficient Dynamics model is the best in its vehicle class, and has chosen to qualify for Next Green Car's Approved List.
Standard kit includes automatic air conditioning, power steering, electronic stability system (DSC), radio and CD player, electric windows and mirror adjustment, rear park distance control and an auto dimming rear mirror. Split/folding rear seats are £335 extra, metallic paint £595, cruise control £190, leather seats £1,240 and electric sunroof £850.
Model tested: BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics
Body-style: Compact four-door executive saloon
Engine/CO2: 163bhp 1995cc turbo-diesel / 109 gCO2/km
Trim grades: Single model with option choices
On-road price: From £27,245. Price as tested £29,080
Warranty: Three years/ unlimited miles
In the showroom: Available now
Review rating: 4.5 STARS
Click here for more info about this model »
Post a commentReturn to top
blog comments powered by Disqus