The BMW 320d ED has taken the crown in the updated BMW 3 Series range as the most economical model available, chalking up claimed economy of 74.3mpg and low enough CO2 emissions to warrant free car tax.
BMW has now launched a sportier new model with the same engine, however, which offers near-70mpg economy with traditional BMW roadholding. Available in saloon and Touring estate form, the new model returns 68.9mpg in manual form rising to 70.6mpg when fitted with an automatic gearbox as a saloon, with both slipping into the £20 per year car tax band.
The estate model, meanwhile, is capable of 65.7mpg with a manual gearbox, jumping to 67.3mpg when kitted out with BMW’s slick-shifting eight-speed automatic ‘box, with annual tax for both coming in at £30. Despite its economy credentials, the 320d ED saloon sprints to 62mph in less than eight seconds, with the manual Touring version logging a time of 8.2 seconds.
Based on the economy-focused ED model, these new Sport cars offer low company car tax rates and are available from £30,205 for the saloon and £31,505 for the Touring model, though they gain extra kit.
Sport trim adds sharper exterior styling thanks to 17-inch alloy wheels, tweaked exterior styling, sat nav, leather upholstery with heated front sports seats, a sports steering wheel and unique interior trim for a £500 premium over the tax-exempt 320d ED. Helping to cut running costs for the Sport models, increased residual values help to offset the cost of opting for a Sport model over the standard 320d ED.