Our Fleet Test Drive: BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics - 1st Report
14 May 2012
 6-inch streamlined alloy wheels
BMW has long been correctly heralded as the pioneer of lowering CO2 through its Efficient Dynamics programme, but there was some muted disappointment when the new 3-series arrived without improving on the admittedly impressive emissions and economy level of the previous Efficient Dynamics model.
However, that still means CO2 of 109g/km and 68.9mpg - mighty figures in the compact executive market, but which could leave the 3-series open to a challenge over the next couple of years.
The only difference between the new model and its predecessor is a slight gain in performance, with the 8.0secs 0-62mph time being 0.2secs quicker, while top speed rises by 6mph to 143mph. Power continues to come from the same 163hp 2.0-litre diesel, but the other benefits of the new 3-series, including a boot size up 20 litres to 480 litres and increased rear space, also form part of the attractiveness of the new 320d Efficient Dynamics.
To showcase various technologies and options, our car is adorned with £7695 of additions to the £28,025 P11D price. Some will be intriguing to sample for the first time, such as BMW's full internet access  that uses the latest developments of the Connected Drive system . It looks like decent value at £95, although you also need to have the £1995 BMW Professional Multimedia package that brings the firm's top-level navigation, Bluetooth, USB interface and BMW Assist, a system that acts as a personal concierge in finding the required destinations or phone numbers and also automatically alerts the emergency services in the event of an emergency or breakdown. Other features including DAB radio, heated front seats and front and rear parking sensors are also welcome, but having to pay for all of these as extras on a £28,000 car is a little disappointing.
The Efficient Dynamics 320d enjoys the same standard kit as a 320d SE for the same price, with the only difference being the SE has a 184hp version of the 2.0-litre diesel and emissions of 120g/km, rather than my car's 163hp and 109g/km. The only way to tell the ED from an SE is the aerodynamic 16-inch streamlined alloy wheels , as there's no badging to denote the less powerful eco version.
Early impressions are good. You can't really sense the difference in power from a standard 320d, and the drive from collecting the car in BMW's Berkshire head office back home to Sussex recorded over 60mpg on the trip computer without any eco driving effort over the norm.