BMW 320d Touring xDrive 2013 Review

October 17th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

Four-wheel-drive station wagons are good if you like skiing and other outdoor pursuits – you lead a life a little less boring. Your adventures might see you on softer or more slippery ground, but you don’t want to have the inconvenience, sloppy handling and poor fuel economy of an SUV.

BMW-320d-xDrive-Touring-rear-quarterThe 320d comes with xDrive which is BMW’s all-wheel-drive system. This means that the 135kW 2-litre turbodiesel has no chance of overwhelming the available traction, even though there’s 380Nm on tap. It also means it scores a slippery 0.32 coefficient of drag which leads to some fairly frugal motoring: 4.5l/100km (when using the Eco Pro mode, which can reduce fuel consumption by 20% if you follow its tips, too).

BMW-320d-xDrive-Touring-front-interiorEco Pro adjusts the accelerator pedal and gearbox parameters. Shift points are changed, heating and climate control systems are modified to take less power from the engine, and you are given feedback on the display as to how much Eco Pro is contributing to fuel consumption savings.

Consumption is also enhanced by the auto stop/start function, which stops the engine when you are stationary, and brake energy regeneration which captures energy when braking and helps charge the battery. Capturing braking energy means that the engine has less load under full acceleration because it doesn’t have to charge the battery at the same time.

Put it in sport mode, and you should be able to achieve 0-100kph times of around 8 seconds as the 8-speed gearbox swaps its super-slick cogs. Continue reading “BMW 320d Touring xDrive 2013 Review” »

2012 BMW 3-Series – Officially Unveiled

October 17th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

After many rumours and great anticipation BMW has revealed its all-new 2012 3-Series at an event in Munich. Codenamed F30 the new model is the sixth generation of BMW’s luxury sedan. Since 1975 the 3-Series has sold more than 12 million units and has become the benchmark in its segment. So the stakes are high for this new model.

In terms of size the new 3-Series has grown by 93mm in length and the wheelbase (50mm) and track (37mm-47mm) have also seen increases. The design remains familiar and similar to the outgoing model but with noticeable progressions. There’s a sharper and longer character line running from the front wheel guard through to the rear tail-light and there’s a  higher, coupe-like rear deck with an upwards flick to the boot lid. Facial changes include a larger twin-kidney grille that meets the headlights for a more continuous appearance.

Inside the larger body allows for 15mm more legroom and 8mm more headroom for rear seat passengers. Cargo capacity in the boot is also increased but despite the larger body, numerous weight saving measures mean the new 3-Series is 40kg lighter (depending on version). Continue reading “2012 BMW 3-Series – Officially Unveiled” »