British auto journalist Tom Ford recently decided to test BMW's claim that its new 320d EfficientDynamics model could achieve 1,000 miles on one tank of diesel fuel. While the EfficientDynamics is the most efficient version of the 3 Series available right now, it is not the lowest power version. With 163 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, the 320d can get from 0-62 miles per hour in just 8.0 seconds. The incorporation of electric power steering, a lower ride height and automatic start-stop helps the 320d ED achieve a 57.4 miles per gallon (U.S.) on the EU drive cycle.
Ford decided to drive from England to Munich and back to see how many miles he could squeeze out of a single tank. To extend the drive, Ford kept the windows up and the air conditioning turned off, but otherwise drove about 65-70 mph on the motorways and autobahns. By the time the tank ran dry, Ford had covered 1,013 miles and got to within 70 miles of Calais on the return route. That's an average of 57.4 mpg at 59.3 mph, numbers we could certainly live with. You can check out Ford's video report at the Sunday Times Facebook page.
The 1,000-mile BMW
* Press Release
BMW's cleanest and greenest 3 Series ever has just completed a record-breaking journey from the UK to Munich and back - on one tank of fuel.
Filled up at the Channel Tunnel, the new BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Saloon made it to Munich, then as far as Lille on the return leg – a staggering total of 1,013 miles on a single tank of fuel – before needing to be refuelled.
To put it in a UK geographic context, the distance achieved would have meant being able to drive from Land's End to John O'Groats, and still having 200 miles range left in the tank.
Just as impressive was that the intrepid driver - motoring journalist and TV presenter Tom Ford - didn't use efficient driving techniques such as coasting, or drive deliberately slowly for the trip, coverage of which appeared in yesterday's Sunday Times newspaper.
Although switching the air con and radio off as a concession to fuel saving, Tom managed a reasonable motorway pace all the way there and back, proving that in the real world, the new BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Saloon delivers what its promises on paper – an official combined figure of 68.9mpg and CO2 emissions of only 109g/km.
On the way to Munich, Tom achieved highs of 75.9mpg, and didn't dip below 65mpg for the entire trip. With an average speed of 59.3mph, the car achieved 68.9mpg overall.
He said: "I was prepared for this car to fail in the real world. I was wrong.Although I did try and be careful and drive in a feather-footed manner, I did cruise at a reasonable 65ish mph on the autoroutes and autobahns, so faster than the usual economy run pace.
"Think about it in the context of everyday motoring: comfortably more than 1,000 miles on one tank of diesel means just 12 fills a year for the average motorist - and even driven normally I still think you're looking at 750-800 miles per fill. BMW's EfficientDynamics: it does what it says on the tin."
The BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Saloon develops 163hp between 3,500rpm to 4,200rpm and 360Nm of torque from 1,750rpm to 3,000rpm. This equates to a zero to 62mph time of 8.2 seconds and a top speed of 137mph ensuring that while it might be extremely efficient, it still offers sporting performance - a fact not lost on Tom.
He said: "It's difficult to tell the difference between this model and a standard 320d in terms of driving performance which is brilliant. It means that as well as the obvious financial advantages, this special 320d is a car for the environmentally conscious who still want a car that drives superbly."
For drivers choosing the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Saloon, there is no VED to pay for the first year of purchase due to its low CO2 figure and a 13 per cent benefit-in-kind company car tax rating and sporting ability thanks to its 163bhp. For a business buying one, the sub 110g/km emissions mean 100 per cent first year writing down allowances, allowing the model's full first year depreciation against to be offset against Corporation Tax.
The BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Saloon comes with the existing suite of BMW EfficientDynamics technologies, including Auto Start-Stop, Brake Energy Regeneration and Electric Power Steering for optimum performance. However it also achieves its class-leading emissions with the addition of innovative engine construction, a longer transmission ratio, lowered suspension and the use of specially designed aerodynamic alloy wheels with Michelin EnergySaver tyres.