Gliding along the M1 motorway heading North with the cruise control set, relaxed and comfortable is how I’d describe the experience. I’m not on a recliner in a coach, but behind the wheel of BMW’s new 3 Series. I’ve already driven the potent 320d Sport at launch, but this week I’m partnered with the Efficient Dynamics model (ed for short). It’s been specifically designed with fuel efficiency in mind and comes equipped with some clever technology to aid fuel consumption.
I averaged just 5.3l/100km over the course of a weekend’s driving, which consisted of motorways and rural roads. To achieve such fine fuel efficiency is all the more impressive when you consider this 3 Series has 163hp in reserve. There’s normally a trade-off between power and efficiency, but BMW has managed to deliver both in grand supply. It’s seated in tax band A, which in real terms results in €160 annual road tax, you would reconsider purchasing a larger, more expensive diesel when the 320ed could be the alternative.
As expected, being a BMW the driving dynamics are rewarding for keen drivers with precise steering. All models of the new 3 Series come equipped as standard with Drive Performance Control, which allows you choose between three driving modes in the ed model. Maximum economy is achieved in ECO PRO mode, whilst Economy mode provides a bit more feel to the throttle. Select Sport mode and the car’s characteristics are radically transformed. With Sport mode selected the throttle responds instantly to inputs and the car surges forward at a swift rate.
This new 3 Series is a smart looking executive saloon, but all the smarter for having this Efficient Dynamics model. It’s technology that works in the real world and not just on paper. The 320ed model is currently on sale with prices commencing from €39,350.[table “65” not found /]