BMW 325d SE
23 October 2006
Author: Tristan Young
|Category:|| Upper medium|
|Key rival:|| Audi A4|
BMW won't like this, but no matter how brilliant the BMW 320d M-sport is, you shouldn't buy one. The reason? The company's 325d SE, which has a P11D just £10 more and an HSBC lease rate that's identical at £499 a month.
Don't let the 325d badge mislead you because what you get for your money is a de-tuned version of BMW's ultra-desirable six-cylinder 3.0-litre diesel. Power is down only 30PS to 197PS, and although there is a larger drop in torque or shove, you still get a rival-defeating 400Nm. These figures translate into a 0-62mph time of 7.4 seconds, an average fuel consumption figure of 44.1mpg and a CO2 output of 171g/km.
But surely, the smaller 2.0-litre engine in the 320d will be far better on economy you say. Well, yes, but not particularly so. The 325d sits in the 24% tax band, just four worse than the 320d.
The car is also just about as good to drive as the 330d, which, in short, is as good as it gets for the business driver. All kinds of roads can be enjoyed, from high-stress busy motorways to high-fun twisty B-roads.
And because the 325d uses essentially the same six-cylinder engine as the 330d, you get total refinement on the motorway with next to no vibration when you're accelerating - a combination rivals' diesel engines don't achieve.
If you're wondering why we've not spent much time comparing the 325d to rival branded cars, it's because apart from the cost per mile figures, they don't come close.
For all these reasons the BMW 325d is BusinessCar's first five-star car.