Driving the 120d: The Road to Leipzig and 52 MPG average

1-series | June 14th, 2010 by 2
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The Diesel Driver takes on another task in the diesel world, a trip to BMW’s Leipzig plant aboard a BMW 120d 5-door, one of the …

The Diesel Driver takes on another task in the diesel world, a trip to BMW’s Leipzig plant aboard a BMW 120d 5-door, one of the most popular 1 Series models in Europe. Let’s have a look.

“Although my 120d 5 Door wasn’t built in Leipzig, I nonetheless decided to take it there for a visit. The drive from Munich to Leipzig is ca. 425 km and the route takes us on the Autobahn A9 for all but 20 km of the route.

Our 120d came in an elegant space grey metallic with business navigation and multiple BMW EfficientDynamics fuel-saving options including regenerative braking and auto start-stop.

Regenerative braking recovers energy that would normally be wasted as heat through the brakes and the start-stop technology turns the engine off to avoid unnecessary idling when stopped.

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The 120d’s engine puts out 177 hp (130 kW) with a combined fuel economy rating of 4.7 l / 100 km (~ 42 mpg in the EU test cycle. The EU test cycle has three components: city or urban driving (the first 800 seconds of the test), highway or extra urban driving (the next 400 seconds), and combined (the complete cycle).

On a 300-km stretch with an average cruising speed of 120 km/h (75 mph), the 120d only used 4.5 l / 100 km or 52 mpg. This figure beats the combined fuel economy figure and comes very close to the highway (extra urban) figure, which is calculated at a slower average speed (see chart).”

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2 responses to “Driving the 120d: The Road to Leipzig and 52 MPG average”

  1. Laszlo says:

    awesome car with the gas mileage. 177HP is GREAT, the E30 325 put out less then that and was a great car. This car almost double the torque though, and probably a bit more weight as well. its as large inside as the E30 and cost about the same or less then the E30 did (in calculated money)

    so the 1 series is a true successor of the E30, not the 3 series which kept the name but actually grew so much, it become the old 5 series size.

    Hence the growing, BMW needs to add a smaller then 1 series cars to the lineup and that’s the one with FWD.

    • The Lee says:

      I was with you right up until the last sentence. I’ve often bemoaned the bloating of modern BMWs. The 3’s are now about the size of an older 7 (E32), and the new 7’s are about the size of an older battleship. It seems every generation results in their vehicles going +1 on size.

      I think the 1ers are fantastic little cars. Tons of fun to drive, good economy, etc. I do, however, feel that it should remain their entry-level model. Especially in the US market. Here the BMW marque isn’t mean to be a one-brand-for-all-peoples. It’s not Volkswagen, Toyota, or Honda. BMW has done well to stick with their niche in the past, and I fear that bad things will result if they water themselves down in an attempt to appeal to anyone that can be approved for a ~$20k vehicle.

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