Top dog better than

ever

BMW 320d, front
BMW 320d, side
BMW 320d, rear
BMW 320d, upright
BMW 320d EfficientDynamics, interior

I DID more than 200 marvellous miles in the latest BMW 320d and the fuel gauge was about a quarter down.

This really is the car for all reasons - unless you need an estate - in which case the Touring version is the one.

It's rare for a four cylinder diesel to sound good but this one does, and with 160bhp on tap - who would have believed that possible a few scant years ago - it absolutely flies.

The performance from any speed is extraordinary, with huge urge and a kick in the back when overtaking in fourth, but also good acceleration in sixth.

It will pull from tickover in fifth gear without a murmur, and is pulling hard by just 1,500 revs.

Yet it's also amazingly refined inside and outside the car, so that friends could not believe it was a diesel when I arrived at their house.

The road holding and handling are sublime and the ride is the best in class over all surfaces. Don't buy a Mercedes C-Class until you've tried one of these.

The dash in the EfficientDynamics version gives eco information to help save fuel and it comes with automatic stop/start and battery recharging under braking.

An all black interior is alleviated by touches of brightwork, but although the i-Drive system for stereo and sat nav has been improved, a touch screen would be far, far better. The ambiance is marvelous and the driving position superb.

FAST FACTS

Price: £28,080

Mechanical: 161bhp, 1,995cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving rear wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 140mph

0-62mph: 8 seconds

Combined MPG: 68.9

Insurance Group: 31

C02 emissions: 109g/km

Bik rating: 15%

Warranty: 3yrs/ unlimited miles

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