BMW 320d M Sport saloon - Welcome

  • BMW 320d M Sport saloon joins our fleet; costs £31,640 before options
  • Eight Speed Sport automatic gearbox along with other changes add £7,840 to price
  • Incredibly efficient with 118g/km CO2 figure and promised 62.8mpg combined economy

Back in 2012 when BMW launched the new 3 Series, I came away from that first drive remarking how, when it really comes down to it, all you’d ever need in life is a 320d saloon. Finding such a car nestling within your company car list would mean the search could stop there – and unless you lived in Finland, had a fleet of dogs or fancied yourself as the next Mikko Hirvonnen there’s no need for an xDrive, Touring or 335i model.

Here at Parkers we don’t have a company car list. We do however have a long-term test car fleet, and lo and behold at the start of this year a BMW 320d saloon appeared on it. Given my previous comments, it should be no surprise that I leapt at the chance to slot myself behind the M-Sport steering wheel of our example.

320d m sport steering wheel

That wheel appears because our car, specified by BMW rather than us, is an M Sport model. So before options, our 320d weighs in at £31,640 – a not inconsiderable sum. But it looks great, the subtle M Sport bodykit adding a touch more aggression to the already taut and sculpted shape of the F30 3 Series.

The chaps in the BMW press office didn’t stop there when running through the firm’s online configurator though; finished in Mineral Grey paint (£645) they added Coral Red Dakota leather seats with a black highlight. So while it looks all business-like on the outside, inside the bright red hue suggests this is one German up for a crazy party.

BMW 320d red interior

Hopefully it’ll continue looking like that thanks to the £395 Park disctance control (front and rear) fitted to YH14 VJP.

Complimenting this colour choice is a set of 19-inch M-Star-spoke alloy wheels (£600) and a High-Gloss Shadowline exterior trim (no cost). Inside the red leather is heated front and rear (£325 and £280 respectively) and set against a similar black interior trim finisher and brushed aluminium trim.

BMW 320d M Sport alloys

An Interior Comfort package (£470), which includes split folding rear seats and extended storage, is fitted along with the Media package. This adds the Professional Navigation system, with real time traffic information, BMW Emergency call, BMW Online services, BMW apps and an extended black panel display. It does add £1,990 to the total price though. Enhanced Bluetooth connectivity with voice control (£350) helps take extra advantage of the technology on board while on the move.

The final package nestling in our specification is the Visibility package (£925). Adding headlight washers, Xenon headlights, Adaptive headlights and high-beam assist, it should prove perfect for the dark winter nights we’ll have to endure until Summer arrives.

By far the most significant additions to VJP are in the transmission and suspensions departments though, as our 320d comes with the excellent eight-speed Sport Automatic transmission (£1,690) and Adaptive M Sport suspension (£515) fitted. Together they promise to make the car both comfortable and relaxing to drive most of the time, but allow us to swap to a more focussed experience when we want it.

Added to the £300 folding and auto-dimming exterior mirrors though that raises that initial £31,640 list price to a rather more serious £39,480. Thankfully, our 320d promises CO2 emissions of just 118g/km, and a combined average economy of 62.8mpg, which means there are savings to be made when it comes to running costs.

BMW 320d M Sport in Mineral Grey

With a gentle 118-mile daily commute, I’m looking forward to finding out just how close it can get to achieving such numbers, and just how close it gets to my ideal of all the car I’ll ever need. At that price, it’ll have to be damn good.

 

Mileage on arrival: 2,030 miles                    Claimed average economy: 62.8mpg