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Published Date: 25/02/2009

BMW’s cleanest and greenest 3 Series, the new BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Saloon, has just completed a record-breaking journey from the UK to Munich and (almost) back - on just one tank of fuel.

The remarkable 1,013 mile trip was featured in The Sunday Times on 23 May. Motoring journalist and TV presenter Tom Ford had filled up the 13.4-gallon tank at the Channel Tunnel then drove the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Saloon to BMW’s headquarters in Munich. Without refueling, he made it as far as Lille on the return journey. 

Land’s End to John O’Groats

To put it in a familiar context, the distance achieved is equivalent to driving from Land’s End to John O’Groats – and still having about 200 miles worth of fuel left in the tank. 

Tom switched off the air conditioning and radio as a concession to fuel-saving but he didn’t use any efficient driving techniques such as coasting or driving deliberately slowly. In fact, he managed a reasonable motorway pace all the way there and back, proving that in the real world, the new BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Saloon delivers even more than it promises on paper. The official combined figure is 68.9mpg (and 109g/km CO2 emissions) yet Tom achieved 75.6mpg overall.

Highs of 75.9mpg

“I was prepared for this car to fail in the real world,” said Tom. “I was wrong. Although I did try and be careful and drive in a feather-footed manner, I did cruise at a reasonable 65-ish mph on the autoroutes and autobahns, so faster than the usual economy run pace.” On the way to Munich, Tom averaged 59.3mph, achieved highs of 75.9mpg and didn’t dip below 65mpg for the entire trip. 

Does what it says on the tin

“Think about it in the context of everyday motoring,” continued Tom. “Comfortably more than 1,000 miles on one tank of diesel means just 12 fills a year for the average motorist – and even driven normally I still think you're looking at 750-800 miles per fill. BMW's EfficientDynamics: it does what it says on the tin.”

Zero road tax in the first year

The new BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Saloon is the world’s first premium compact executive saloon to achieve a remarkable 68.9mpg on the combined cycle with only 109g/km of CO2 emissions. This brings it into VED band B, which means no road tax to pay during the first year of purchase and just £20 a year in subsequent years. Yet, as Tom found, the new 320d ED still offers a sporting performance, accelerating from zero to 62mph in 8.0 seconds (typically, vehicles with similar CO2 emissions take at least two seconds longer) and on to a top speed of 142mph – a truly amazing technical achievement.

Drives superbly

Tom added: “It's difficult to tell the difference between this model and a standard 320d in terms of driving performance, which is brilliant. It means that as well as the obvious financial advantages, this special 320d is a car for the environmentally-conscious who still want a car that drives superbly.”

To watch a short video of the Sunday Times 1,000-mile drive log on to:

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