New 320d Sport offers faultless frugality.
The ‘boom’ days may seem long gone, but, in automotive terms, the success of BMW’s 3-Series represented a change of attitudes for the British consumer, when badge kudos became king, and many of us became picky. Sadly, now it’s all about the bust, but UK motorists need not pull the emergency cord (in the form of Fords and Vauxhalls) just yet; BMW’s launched this – the new 320d Sport.
It offers everything we would expect of a BMW: Class-leading handling and dynamics, sophisticated looks and a classy cabin. It also offers unbelievable MPG figures, tree-loving CO2 emissions and impressive performance to boot.
The exterior is obviously a BMW 3-Series, because there’s a strong sense of the old 3-Series about it. There’s BMW’s familiar ‘kidney’ grille, but with more modern lighting and sharper lines. Inside, the same is true with a quality cabin, with flashes of colour that stop it from looking too Teutonic; but is clearly well nailed together.
Economy of 60mpg used to be the preserve of small city cars, but the 320d combines this with 181bhp and 280lb ft of torque. Performance is hot-hatch fast, with a top speed 146mph and 0-60mph in 7.5 seconds. In short, this car gives you the very best of both worlds.
As does the chassis, which is rear wheel of course, so suffers from none of the problems that front-wheel drivers are afflicted with, faced with trying to put power through the steering wheels. The Sport’s steering is fluid, devoid of torque steer and the chassis’s sharp.We’re told it even rides well.
It may not be cheap, at £29,080, but its mix of performance and handling dynamics, not to mention quality of construction, make this 320d Sport the class leader. Meanwhile the strong residuals and that MPG figure, mark it as a genuine money saver.