BMW 3-Series: Gear selection

Maximising performance

After only a few weeks I've already clocked up more than 1000 miles in the BMW 3-Series and it's proving a very enjoyable car to drive. I've been running it in, which means restrained driving and keeping the revs down - as a result economy has increased to 46mpg.

However that's still way short of the claimed figure of 60mpg for combined urban and motorway driving. On the plus side the 2.0-litre diesel engine feels more potent than the moderate 143bhp output would suggest. It's a great cruiser too and will happily cover long distances with minimal noise and maximum comfort.

Critical choice 

In town though, gear selection is critical to maximise engine efficiency. The BMW 3-series comes with a gear selector indicator which tells you when to change gear to maximise economy, but this soon becomes instinctive anyway.

The downside is that changing gears is a regularly occurrence so the six-speed gearbox gets a lot of use. At the moment it is a little stiff, especially when engaging reverse, but it is easy to find each gear.

Current mileage: 1376

Average mpg: 46.2