Hilton Holloway
10 March 2010

What is it?

The 320d ED is part of a refreshed 3-series range, which only sees cosmetic (including new bumpers and lights) changes awarded to the coupe and cabrio.

However, the standard 320d models get a refreshed engine, with a new 1800bar common rail injection system and an extra 7bhp (for a total 182bhp) and an extra 22lb ft of torque, taking it up to a maximum of 280lb ft.

The standard 320d also gets the full compliment of fuel-saving Efficient Dynamics kit, including the ability to selectively ‘switch-off’ the electric power steering, oil pump and air-con compressor. Start-stop is also standard. The upshot is that the standard-issue 320d is good for a Co2 figure of 125g/km.

The 320d ED, however, has a de-tuned version of the 320d engine, with power reduced by 20bhp. Added to this is a package of additional engineering measures including a longer final drive ratio, lowered suspension front and rear and new aerodynamic wheel rims.

The upshot is that the 320d ED has fractionally slippier body (a Cd of 0.26 instead of 0.27) and Co2 emissions that fall to supermini levels of just 109g/km, a remarkable figure for a car of this size.

What’s it like?

We tried the 320d on the country roads around Munich and found it to be as expected of the 3-series: well balanced, wieldy and acceptably swift. However, the new engine is more vocal under acceleration that the best of its rivals.

Another unexpected benefit is that the 320d ED has a notably smoother engine than its sister car. That’s probably thanks to the new dual mass flywheel, which gets a pair of ‘Centrifugal Pendulum Absorbers’ to further damp out engine vibration.

Like all the 2010 3-series, both 320d models are starting to feel their age. The control weights are a little over heavy, the windscreen a little too close to the driver and the chassis, though well balanced, is a touch leaden in its responses.

We shouldn’t forget, however, that this leadenness is relative. The 3-series is rear-drive and has a near perfect 50:50 weight distribution, which gives the car an inherent handling advantage over front-drive rivals.

However, this particular 3-series was prone to both instability in strong side winds and occasional strong wind rustle from around the windscreen pillars. Even so, it’s a satisfying car to steer in nearly all conditions.

Should I buy one?

With the 320d ED costing the same as the standard-issue 320d SE in the UK, why would any buyer not take the more frugal (and slightly more refined) tax-busting model?

Indeed, the UK’s enthusiasm for the BMW 3-series (and the Treasury’s enthusiasm for taxing business drivers) should result in 60 percent of all the 320d EfficientDynamics models made for the European market ending up on UK roads.

Join the debate

Comments
62

Re: BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics

4 years 31 weeks ago

All for the economy we're told.

Can't upgrade them unless dealer fit. (So no for me then as cocar)

Should ride better though if you want it to.

I'm now on all fours

Re: BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics

4 years 31 weeks ago

nicksheele wrote:
New-generation common rail technology injects precisely-measured doses of fuel into the combustion chamber under a pressure of 2,000 bar, extracting maximum efficiency and enabling even smoother running. T

Oh, a rare stumble from our German correspondent.

This is an extract from the press material given out on the 320d/ED launch.

'The injection system using magnetic valve injectors operating at a pressure of up to 1,600 (BMW 318d) and, respectively, 1,800 (BMW 320d) bar ensures precise dosage of fuel at all times as well as a smooth, consistent and low-emission combustion process.'

Re: BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics

4 years 31 weeks ago

HiltonH wrote:

This is an extract from the press material given out on the 320d/ED launch.

'The injection system using magnetic valve injectors operating at a pressure of up to 1,600 (BMW 318d) and, respectively, 1,800 (BMW 320d) bar ensures precise dosage of fuel at all times as well as a smooth, consistent and low-emission combustion process.'

Hilton, I may be wrong about the pressure level but I am sure the injectors are piezo, not 'magnetic valve'.

Re: BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics

4 years 31 weeks ago

I was thinking earlier, could they slot this new 20d ED engine into the latest 5-series? If they combine that with the same aeroydnamic tweaks that could have the potential to be below the magic 120g co2/km mark, and would sell very well.

Similarly could it slot into the 1-series along with aerodynamic tweaks and bring that down to sub-100g Golf Bluemotion/ Prius beating levels with £0 road tax, but still deliver seriousley impressive performance....

I hope BMW are listening!

jer

Re: BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics

4 years 31 weeks ago

Good report. I was also drawn to these words: Like all the 2010 3-series, both 320d models are starting to feel their age. The control weights are a little over heavy, the windscreen a little too close to the driver and the chassis, though well balanced, is a touch leaden in its responses. And the point about diesel refinement.

BMs have always been a bit leaden the opposite of darty, driving style is to "carve". I don't know why, but it's a definite characteristic relative to front drivers.

Re: BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics

4 years 31 weeks ago

I wonder if the fact that this is a designated ED model means that BMW are going down the Bluemotion, Econetic, DrivE route, ie offering all the 'green' equipment on certain models, rather than more generally across all the range. I only ask this as they've stopped putting all the ED features on some MINI models now...

Re: BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics

4 years 31 weeks ago

catnip wrote:
I wonder if the fact that this is a designated ED model means that BMW are going down the Bluemotion, Econetic, DrivE route, ie offering all the 'green' equipment on certain models, rather than more generally across all the range. I only ask this as they've stopped putting all the ED features on some MINI models now...

Its probably because people buying the standard models want the performance and feutures they have. If every single 320d got the 20bhp power reduction and you where forced to take the 16" alloys I don't think people would be happy. Offering a choice of both is a good thing.

With the MINI, my understanding was they took of the stop-start as they have managed to retain the same high fuel economy without having that system, but I could be wrong.

Re: BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics

4 years 30 weeks ago

W124 wrote:

That’s probably thanks to the new dual mass flywheel, which gets a pair of ‘Centrifugal Pendulum Absorbers’ to further damp out engine vibration.

Christ! How long will that lot take to start malfunctioning? Wouldn't like to be the owner of this car just as it goes out of warranty...

Agreed . Dual mass flywheels are troublesome enough already , without making them even more complicated.

Interesting comment about the windscreen feeling too close , making the car seem dated . I always got this impression when driving the E90 but not when driving the old E46.

Re: BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics

4 years 30 weeks ago

W124 wrote:
How long will that lot take to start malfunctioning? Wouldn't like to be the owner of this car just as it goes out of warranty...

Frightening isn't it? Plus the injectors for the new "1800bar common rail injection system" will probably set you back £1k at 150,000. Still, given it's listed as £27,820 it's not something I'm going to have to worry about for at least 15 years... ;)

  • Let depreciation be your friend...

Re: BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics

4 years 24 weeks ago

I also have one on order; expected early July.

After the test drive, I was amazed to see an average consumption of 55 MPG. That was after an hour of mixed motoroway and town driving. I'm quite sure I wasn't driving it in the most efficient way (Upgrading from a mini, which like higher revs) and the car had only 600 miles on the clock. I can see this car easily doing 60 MPG when it is properly bedded in. The 68 MPG is probably going to be a little bit too far off, but I suppose you could get very close to it if you drive without a soul ;-)

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