Driving the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition – The Road to Hamburg – Review

By Christian Stampfer on 18 October 2010
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With a population of more than 1.8 million people, the Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg (Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg) is the second-largest city in Germany. Only Berlin, Germany’s capital, has more inhabitants. Similar to Berlin and Bremen, Hamburg is a German city state with its own government (Hamburger Senat).

Hamburg was named the European Green Capital for 2011 so it was the perfect destination for our trip with BMW’s most efficient passenger car, the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition.

My trip to Hamburg started at the Ostbahnhof, a train station in the east of Munich, where I picked up a friend of mine who would accompany me on the trip. It was a grey and hazy Thursday morning as I reset the trip computer of my BMW 320d and most people were on their way to work as we left the Ostbahnhof at 8:13.

We started via the Richard-Strauss-Straße, named after the famous German musician of the twentieth century, and continued towards the Autobahn A9, in the direction of Nürnberg. Unfortunately, we drove directly into a traffic jam on the Mittlerer Ring B2R, a ring road in Munich. But this stop-and-go traffic gave the BMW 320d the opportunity to show its fuel saving ability with the Auto Start Stop feature, that automatically switches off the engine when the car is standing still (such as in traffic).  It restarts the engine automatically as soon as the driver touches the clutch pedal.

About ten minutes later, we reached the A9, which was the first of four Autobahnen we would take on the drive to Hamburg. The A9 (known as the A3 until a new Autobahn numbering scheme was implemented in 1974)  is one of the oldest highways in Germany and connects Munich to Berlin, with a total length of 524 km (326 miles).

After 160 km on the A9, we reached the Autobahnkreuz (interchange) Nürnberg Ost. For the next 100 km, we continued on the Autobahn A3. The 778-km (483-mile) A3 links Germany’s border with the Netherlands near Wesel to its Austrian border with Passau.   The A3 was part of the original Autobahn plans dating back to the 1920s and construction between Oberhausen and Wiesbaden began in 1936.

Because of traffic and the fact that this section of the A3 had only two lanes, our maximum speed was limited to 100 km/h (62 mph). As a result, the drive from Kreuz Nürnberg Ost to Würzburg took more than an hour.

Before passing Würzburg to the west, we switched to the A7. We would continue on the A7 for the next 511 km (317.5 miles).

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