The new 2012 BMW 320d Sport scores five-star rating in the latest Autocar UK test drive review. The last car to achieve this status was the Ferrari 458 Italia, one of the best Maranello-built sport cars.
In an unusual comparison, the UK magazine compares the highly-efficient 320d against Volkswagen Golf GTD, Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI Elegance estate, Range Rover Evoque and Mercedes-Benz E220 CDI BlueEfficiency SE. The comparison solely focuses on what’s more appealing to a customer looking for a vehicle at around 30,000 pounds.
“The 320d may be the best and most economical diesel sports saloon going, but who’s to say the £30,000 buyer might not turn up a faster, roomier, better-equipped proposition that’s more appealing on the eye and better value for money?”
Before we get to the final purchasing decision, let’s have a look at an excerpt from their review:
We departed London on a crisp and sunny winter morning, heading for one of our favourite haunts on the Marlborough Downs. Here was the world’s best rear-drive, four-door sports saloon matched against a compact limo, a top-class diesel hatchback, a vast but capable estate and a star-car SUV, all of them around £30,000. From my initial vantage point in the 320d I had absolutely no idea how things were going pan out by the time we’d done 80 miles on motorways, grappled with rutted and pock-marked B-roads, forged country lanes barely a car’s width wide, attacked a selection of corners and brought it back home by dawdling through town.
Behind the wheel
One thing I quickly learned was that I’d developed a dislike for the BMW’s fascia – the bit of a car you spend most time looking at. Apart from lacking brightwork in favour of dull, foil-like accents, the BMW is hamstrung by a simplified iDrive system that, good idea that it is, doesn’t deliver ease of use. Chuck in a lack of logic to its architecture and you get a car whose most important cabin components (excellent sports seats aside) are poor.