Road Test: BMW 318d Sport
Is the 318d the answer to the cost-conscious fleet manager, asks Martyn Collins?
SECTOR: Compact Executive PRICE: £24,430 FUEL: 54.3-57.6 MPG (WLTP) CO2: 138g/km (NEDC Correlated)
Like the idea of owning a diesel version of the latest ‘G20’ BMW 3 Series saloon but the 320d breaks your budget? Well, BMW might have come up with the answer, in the form of the entry-level diesel model – the 318d, here in Sport trim.
At Fleet World, we’re big fans of the latest 3 Series, especially in 320d M Sport trim, as it’s such a complete all-rounder in the small executive class.
The latest diesel, the 318d, is in a similar vein. It’s powered by the same 2.0-litre diesel engine as the 320d, yet power is cut by 40hp, from 190 to 150hp, plus torque drops from 400 to 320Nm. The Co2 figure is also down from 118 to 112g/km NEDC Correlated.
Sadly, you do notice the drop in the performance on the road, not taking away from the fact that it remains a very capable car. However, it doesn’t have the 320’s gutsy low-down grunt from start-off and it runs out of puff at the top of the rev range quicker.
On standard 18-inch wheels and the passive suspension set-up, our 318d in Sport specification is definitely the most comfortable current 3 Series that we’ve driven. However, that comfort does seem to have come at the expense of some of the dynamism of the 320d – it doesn’t quite feel as polished or tied-down in corners.
Equipment with the Sport trim is more than adequate, but compared with the M Sport, you have to do without some items, such as the 10-inch infotainment screen, which is replaced by a smaller but equally usable 8.8-inch screen.
Good as the 318d Sport is, we’re not sure the saving over the 320d (less than £1,000!) is worth it.