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Our fleet: BMW 3-series 2.0 320d ED Plus saloon car review - November 2015



We were already fans of the 3 Series, having driven it on the press launch in September (Fleet News, September 17).

The most interesting development was the introduction of a new 2.0-litre diesel engine sourced from BMW’s modular EfficientDynamics family. This features ‘TwinPower Turbo’ technology, which reduces CO2 emissions and fuel consumption while boosting power. A new eight-speed Steptronic transmission further helps to cut CO2 emissions, while minimising friction on engine bearings means lower cold-start fuel consumption.

All this gets you 99g/km on the ‘back to basics’ 320ED Plus, a 10g/km like-for-like reduction; our long-termer comes in at 104g/km, due to being fitted with 16-inch double V-spoke alloys instead of lightweight single V-spoke wheels – a weight penalty for looking chic.

This translates to official fuel efficiency of 70.6mph. And that’s on a 163hp car, capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in 8secs. Compare that to our outgoing 4 Series 420d M Sport Gran Coupé. Admittedly, it was the higher output engine, at 190hp, although the resultant sprint differential is a negligible half-a-second. Less negligible are the 10g/km emissions saving and 5mpg fuel reduction.

In real-world terms, the difference between the two engines is even more pronounced. Our 420d returned 43-44mpg on the daily commute, rising to 52mpg on a long run. The 3 Series is sitting comfortably above 51mpg (an improvement of 7-8mpg) on the commute; we’ve yet to test its performance over a longer journey.

The basic P11D of our 320d ED Plus saloon would have been £30,350; our car gets almost £10,000 worth of additional specification. The sum total? A nice round £40,000.  We’ll put fuel efficiency and performance to the test over the next three months.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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