Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive: BMW 120d - 3rd Report Update
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Our Fleet Test Drive: BMW 120d - 3rd Report Update

Date: 26 November 2007   |   Author:

[2] A problem with the seat-belt pre-tensioner warning light coming on

The issue of only having three doors hasn't really been a problem for us until now...

26 NOVEMBER 2007
Miles driven 7814
Average consumption 39.2mpg
Forecast CPM 28.5p
Actual CPM 31.5p
Three doors or five sir??That’s the debate flying around the BusinessCar office with regard to our 1-series. It all started when the big boss borrowed the car for a few days to replace his own 320d. The report back was favourable, especially regarding the excellent engine that has been upgraded compared to his last-generation 3-series. But the one complaint was having to flip the front seat forward to do the salesman thing and hang his jacket up in the back. But others favour the three-door’s looks to those of the more dumpy five-door sibling, especially when saving £15 per month on the HSBC lease rate.

12 NOVEMBER 2007
Mileage 7660
Forecast CPM 28.5p
Actual CPM 31.5p
It’s the BM’s turn for the RAC?Autowindscreens treatment, the fourth new windscreen our fleet has had this year. The fitter turned up bang on time and fitted it without fuss in the carpark.

Main Report

We're now past the 6000-mile mark and I have to say I'm pretty pleased with the 120d's economy figures so far. This Efficient Dynamics stuff (low rolling-resistance tyres, aerodynamic changes, stop-start and other technical fuel-saving devices) appears to make a difference.

A whirlwind tour of England that involved a wedding in Manchester, a 30th birthday party in Birmingham and a drop-in to relatives in Hertfordshire before heading back to London returned an impressive 45.6mpg, given the fairly brisk nature of the motorway mile-munching, though never approaching the quoted 58.9mpg.


But there have been a couple of glitches, though. The day I was heading for the Reading Festival in late August, we went to move the car after a night of inactivity and found that the battery [1] had somehow drained itself. BMW Assist arrived promptly and fired it up, but it was a worry, especially as I was about to leave the 120d parked in a field for four days. Happily, come Monday morning, and with me and a mate smelling of four nights in a tent, it started up first time.

The second glitch came during the previously mentioned trip to the North-West. After a motorway service station stop, the airbag and seat pre-tensioner warning lights came on [2], which would have meant a trip to the dealer, but it was Saturday lunchtime and dealer service departments were closed for the weekend. Not wanting to take the risk of driving home, I called out BMW Assist again. They arrived half an hour quicker than they said they would, but couldn't fix the problem on site so took the 120d to the nearest dealer, sneaked into the service department and reappeared half an hour later with a fully cured car. It seems something as simple as spilling food or even just cleaning the passenger seat can upset the sensors. Top marks to the BMW Assist guys for doing a friendly job in efficiently nursing the 120d back to full health.