The BMW d in its current guise builds on the sales success of this popular smart sedan.
Why is the d such a popular choice? A very responsive 2.
The strong Nm torque, available across a wide rev range, makes this a lively engine. Long gone are the days where diesels are slow — for the past few years these have been bought partly for their performance. See, a modern turbo diesel lets you scurry off the line and calmly, without needing to break a revving sweat, cruise up a hill and overtake slower traffic.
People also buy diesels for their fuel efficiency. With a recent fuel price drop not lasting long, and a huge increase around the corner, the diesel may well become even more the flavour of fuel to have… and enjoy. BMW claims a remarkably low 4.
How It Works
On test, the combined figure was just 6. On a long-distance round trip, including foot-flat overtaking, at km travelled there was still a quarter tank left.
The engine in this d is not the smoothest, though — inside the car the gravelly tone can be quite sporty sounding, but on low revs around town it does feel coarse. It really sounds harsh and clattery, which is not in sync with the smart sedan personality. Part if its efficiency is the auto stop-start, which switches off the engine to conserve fuel such as when waiting at a red traffic light, but then the d engine switches back on, and the roughness is felt.
BMW of Freeport
BMW still offers manuals on all its 4-cylinder cars, but the d is best with automatic. No doubt.
In fact, the 8-speed auto is more economical than the 6-speed manual. All new F30 3 Series, launched here in February , has the keyless start feature, so no need to turn the key: just press the start button as long as the key is on your person or in the car.
It also comes equipped as standard with the high-quality smart screen and the improved iDrive system with menu buttons for Nav, Audio etc. It is not the touch system with hand-writing recognition of the newer BMWs, but this system works fine.
Some other nifty safety features include the bonnet release, which one needs to pull twice to release, to avoid the mistake of accidentally opening the bonnet.
The test car was specced not in the usual base or popular M Sport package, but with the in-between Sport line.
How to Use a BMW Steptronic
Sport line also gets its own wheel designs, front fenders with a Sport badge, and door sills greeting you with BMW Sport lettering. Gloss black paint is applied to the mirror housings, bumper inserts, side air breathers on the front fenders, as per the new BMW trend and finishing off with the exhaust tailpipes also in gloss black. The Sport line pack adds R 18 Its competitors?
Dual Clutch vs Manual Transmission (DCT vs MT) BMW M4 & M3
Down to diesel automatics, the BMW d, with price starting at R for base manual, R for auto and R for sports-auto, competes against C Bluetec at R for manual and a nice rounded R for the 7G-Tronic auto. Is the BMW d a good performance-economy combo?
Absolutely — in a BMW d you can, simply put, go fast cheaply. The engine is a bit rough, but as in this smart sedan gives brisk performance and truly low fuel efficiency.
TEST: BMW 320d Steptronic vs. Mercedes-Benz C220d 9G-tronic
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