Our cars: BMW Alpina D3 Biturbo - August
Week ending August 26
Miles this week 1000
The Alpina’s a great sports saloon, but the best bit is that it’s based on probably the best car that BMW builds. That means it does the simple things in life well. Take the cruise control, for example. After a long day demanding that colleagues meet deadlines, I just want to sit back and cruise up the M40 on my way home.
All I need to do is pull the lever towards me to activate the system, push it down to switch it off when required, and push the button on the end of the stalk to resume my previous speed. The system is easy to use, and thankfully devoid of the radar-guided nonsense that makes people drive inherently badly.
When I come up behind another car, the cruise also allows me to play the game of judging when to switch it off so that I don’t have to brake to slow down. Well, it helps to keep the mind active on motorway slogs.
Week ending August 19
Miles this week 500
It was a red letter Sunday for the Alpina recently. A friend had been given a Segway Rally experience for himself and three friends, so off we trooped to somewhere near Banbury in the D3 Biturbo. Now, all of us left our first flush of youth behind some considerable time ago, and we’re not exactly sylphlike in stature, but nonetheless we were all perfectly comfortable on the 30-mile trip to the location of the experience.
It was just a shame that the organisers of the Segway event were conspicuous by their absence, despite our booking having been made weeks in advance. Just as well the D3 Biturbo made the return trip pass quickly and comfortably.
Week ending August 12
Miles this week 400
Colleague Barnaby Jones borrowed the Alpina last weekend because he needed boot space and a reasonable ride. That was because he’d just bought a load of plants for his new house, and wanted to be able to shift them from garden centre to garden without them being jiggled out of the pots they were in.
His own car, a Renault Megane Renaultsport 250 Cup just wasn’t going to fit the bill. The Alpina came up trumps, and the foliage arrived at its destination intact, despite the box of plants being slightly awkward to manoeuvre through the boot opening.
Week ending August 5
Current mileage 8000
Driven this week 700 miles
The Alpina's bodykit has divided opinion in the office somewhat. I'm a big fan of the extended chin spoiler and slightly longer bootlid item. Not all of my colleagues agree, with comments ranging from 'too showy' to 'a bit chavvy'.
One thing that isn't in dispute, however, is that the chin spoiler is seriously low. I normally reverse into spaces, but once recently I parked nose-in to a kerb, and I was surprised just how little clearance there was below the car's nose. It really was millimeters. I'll keep backing into spaces from now on.