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BMW 318d auto SE: Test Drive

Date: 12 May 2009   |   Author: Tristan Young

BMW 318d auto
Category: Upper medium
P11D price: £26,815
Key rival: Audi A4

In these days where CO2 outputs are all, automatic gearboxes have taken a backseat because, traditionally, they're less efficient than manual ones.

However, BMW has now added an auto to the fleet favourite 318d for the first time with a minimal hit to the CO2 tax banding.

For an additional £1460 over the manual, the auto 318d comes in at 52.4ppm according to KwikCarCost and jumps just one BIK tax band to 19%. The only other penalties are a 0-62mph time that's up a tiny 0.1 seconds to 9.4secs and a mpg figure that drops from 60.1 in the manual to 52.3 in the auto.

These figures are better than the car's chief rival, the Audi A4, meaning that in the important cost-related areas the BMW's a clear winner.

In driving terms, the auto is old-school super smooth, which is just what you want, and has a +/- selection mode for those after a little bit more control over gearing without having a clutch pedal.

All this combines to make the 318d the smartest choice against its rivals.

BMW 318d SE 4dr auto
P11D price£26,815
Model price range£21,520-£49,520
Fuel consumption52.3mpg
CO2 (tax) 144g/km (19%)
BIK 20/40% per month£85/£170
Service intervalvariable
Insurancegroup 12
Boot space460 litres
Engine size/power1995cc/143PS
Top speed/0-62mph130mph/9.4secs
On sale now
VerdictOnce again, the
BMW 3-series takes
another best in class