BMW 320d M Sport saloon : Fuel

  • BMW 320d claimed to achieve 62.8mpg, we put it to the test
  • Eco Pro mode ensures both driver and car are working as efficiently as possible
  • Overall calculated economy disappointing, but one commute saw over 63mpg indicated

We already know BMW 3-Series', especially the diesel models like ours, make popular company cars. And it’s not just because they’re good to drive, come with impressive levels of kit (either as standard or an option) or help you see better in the dark than a sole diet of carrots.

It’s mainly because they’re meant to be economical and efficient. We already know that our 320d, with 19-inch alloy wheels and eight-speed automatic gearbox has CO2 emissions of 118g/km. That means a 20 percent tax payer would shell out £105 per month, while annual VED car tax for a private user is, for now, just £30.

Matched to that CO2 figure is a rather incredible economy figure too, with our 320d said to be able to achieve 62.8mpg on the combined cycle. With its 57-litre tank, that means, driven accordingly, VHP could theoretically travel 787 miles between fuel fills.

BMw 3 Series Eco Pro

Which makes it the perfect long termer for my daily commute, which runs to around 116 miles for the return trip. No constant stopping for diesel, and the ability to get to and from work for over a week without filling. Should I need to visit my parents in Scotland, a trip from the office and back could be completed on the same tank.

In reality the 320d never managed such a lofty figure, falling short by a few hundred miles, but even travelling over 550 miles between fills was a satisfying result.

And it’s all thanks to BMW’s famed Efficient Dynamics technology, which has so far been fitted to over two million vehicles and has helped the firm reduce emissions across its range by over 33 percent since 1995.

BMW 320d engine

It all starts with the engine, which uses a lightweight aluminium construction, special injectors and turbocharger technology to make it as efficient as possible. The eight-speed automatic in our car has ratios specially selected to make the most of the powerband, while stop/start ensures you don’t waste fuel while sitting idling at red traffic lights or in traffic jams.

Brake Energy regeneration, Electric Power Steering and Active Aerodynamics – which close or open flaps in the front of the car to allow the engine to reach its operating temperature quicker from a cold start – complete the package. And it’s all optimised further with the 3 Series’ Eco Pro Mode.

BMw eco pro

Selecting this mode, from the rocker switch on the transmission tunnel, can -according to BMW - reduce fuel consumption by up to 20 percent. With a visual display, it alerts the driver if he or she is driving too aggressively while the air-conditioning will run in an energy efficient setting and gearchanges will be optimised.

Trying it out on a daily commute saw some impressive results. The average economy of YH14 VJP is hovering around the 49mpg mark according to the trip computer. On a day with a little traffic, but a predominantly clear 65-70mph run to work we saw that climb to 63.4mpg.

BMW fuel economy

The Eco Pro display told us that over the course of 57 miles our theoretical range climbed by 9.1 miles too. If it was completely accurate, that would have given us a tank to tank range of just shy of 800 miles.  As it is, that’s still rather impressive. The only problem is our real-world calculations point to our 320d averaging just 46.5mpg so far.

So although VJP is capable of returning big numbers, it’s just not delivering in reality.  


Mileage: 7,585 miles Economy: 46.5mpg