320d, the saloon with the lowest whole-life costs in its class
Research from Glass’s Market Intelligence Service has confirmed the appeal of BMW’s 320d Saloon, particularly for the corporate market. In a comparison of whole-life costs based on ownership for three years and 60,000 miles, the 320d reported lower costs than all other models surveyed. This included the Audi A4 1.9Tdi SE saloon, Mercedes-Benz C200 CDI, Ford Mondeo 2.0TDCi 130 Ghia hatchback and Vauxhall Vectra 2.0DTi hatchback.
Glass’s research took account of a number of factors in calculating whole life costs. This included original purchase price, maintenance and repair costs, road tax, fuel consumption, tyre replacement and interest on capital.
320dES: Diesel car of the year goes from strength to strength
While Glass’s research focussed on the benefits of owning an entry-level 320d, the 320dES variant has been making waves since its launch in January. Priced at just £20,995 on-the-road, it offers a saving of £1,175 on the standard 320d but comes with the additional ES specification package.
Now featuring Euro IV compliant engines in its manual guise, the 320dES has emerged as the best all-rounder in its class thanks to a combination of competitive pricing, strong performance, superb economy and a five-year free service and maintenance package.
In group test after group test, it has seen off a host of rivals including the Jaguar X-Type 2.0D, the Volvo S50 D5 S, Audi A4 1.9 TDI and Mercedes C220 CDi. The icing on the cake arrived in the form of November’s What Car? which awarded the 320dES its Diesel Car of the Year 2003 accolade, describing it as ‘the best diesel car you can buy’.
Strong performance comes courtesy of a second-generation common rail diesel engine, delivering 150 bhp at 4,000 rpm. Combined with a six-speed gearbox, the car is capable of 0-62 mph in 8.8 seconds and a top speed of 137 mph. At 2,000 rpm, 330Nm (243 lb-ft) of torque is available, giving the 320dES unparalleled pulling power at low revs.