2012 BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition (F30) – First Drive and Review

By Christian Stampfer on 23 January 2012
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In 1975, BMW introduced the 3 Series, a model that has consistently set the standard for sports sedans.  F30 BMW 320dThe 3er  was introduced as the successor to the BMW Neue Klasse (BMW New Class), which included the BMW 1602 and 2002, among other models. Together with the 5 Series, which replaced the New Six (the 2500, 2800, and Bavaria models), a new era in the automobile history of the BMW Group had begun.

The BMW 3 Series became the backbone and heart of the BMW car production. Indeed, more than 12.5 million units have been sold since the market launch in 1975.

On 14 October 2011, the all-new 3 Series was unveiled and celebrated its world debut at the BMW plant in Munich. The official premiere was consciously held in Munich because, for the first time the BMW Munich plant is able to manufacture every possible configuration of the new 3er including right-hand drive cars. The experiences and the knowledge during the production process of the new car will be passed on to other production sites of the BMW Group, such as Rosslyn (South Africa) or Shenyang (China), where the new 3er will be manufactured or assembled as well.

At the end of the year, I had the opportunity to test drive a pre-production type of the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition. The only difference between a pre-production model and a standard model  is the higher amount of manual labor performed by employees instead of robots.

Since I was only had time to drive the car for about 50 km (31 miles,) the driving experience was somewhat limited.  But what I saw in terms of fuel consumption, ride comfort, and handling was very promising indeed.

After a drive on the Autobahn for 20 km (12.4 miles), where the 320d showed excellent pulling power, I switched onto a country road for the last 30 km (18.6 miles). After I left the Autobahn, I immediately changed the driving mode to ECO PRO (a new high-efficiency mode) for maximum fuel economy.

The new cabin continues the BMW tradition of a driver-oriented cockpit and was very comfortable.  There was very little engine noise audible.

Fuel economy was excellent and the the new ZF eight-speed automatic plays a big role here.  In my non-Autobahn driving, it selected the second highest gear while I was driving at a speed of 80 km/h (50 mph). For my somewhat spirited 50 km drive, my  fuel economy was very impressive 5.5 l/100 km (42 mpg).

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