Alpina D3 Saloon full 9 point review
Alpina has taken the twin-turbo 3.0-litre diesel engine from the 335d model, given it a light tune, and stuck it in the front of the D3. There's also a more free-flowing exhaust system. The result is jaw-dropping performance, especially the in-gear acceleration from around 40mph.
Ride & Handling
The 3 Series is already the sharpest car to drive in its class, and the D3 is almost as good. There's lots of grip, the steering is communicative and body lean is well suppressed. It also rides very well for something with such large wheels, but it feels slightly floatier than a 3 Series at high speed, which is a little disconcerting.
The D3 Biturbo is generally a pretty quiet car and makes a good long-distance cruiser. Suspension noise is subdued over even the bumpiest roads, but there is some road noise on rougher surfaces. The engine note is a gravelly grumle, so it doesn't sound as smooth as you'd expect a six-cylinder engine to.
Buying & Owning
The Alpina isn't too much more expensive than the equivalent 3 Series, and because all of BMW’s Efficient Dynamics tech remains in place, the D3 also has good figures for fuel economy and emissions. It also has strong resale values, so shouldn't cost you too much to run long-term. However, while BMW gives you a three-year warranty as standard, Alpina gives you just two.
Quality & Reliability
This car oozes class. Everything has a solidly constructed, built-to-last feel, while the cabin materials are top quality. Alpina changes include high-gloss black dashboard trim, part-leather seats and a numbered plaque. Mechanical reliability won't be a concern, either.
Safety & Security
The D3 Biturbo scores well for safety, with twin front, side and curtain airbags, electronic brakeforce distribution and stability control as standard. The standard 3 Series was also awarded a maximum five-star rating in Euro NCAP crash tests. Deadlocks make life difficult for thieves.
Behind The Wheel
A good range of adjustment for both the driver’s seat and steering wheel means people of all shapes and sizes can find a suitable position, but the manual seat mechanism is awkward. The standard dashboard layout features simple climate controls.
Space & Practicality
There's enough legroom for the longest limbs in both the front and back seats. Those over six-feet tall might brush their heads against the ceiling in the rear, however. The boot is big, but not as large as those of some competitors, and it's not as well shaped as an Audi A4's.
You get dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, cruise control, an auxiliary input for your MP3 player and a self-dimming rear-view mirror. Additional Alpina tweaks include new door sill finishes, instruments, floor mats, a subtle bodykit and 19-inch Alpina alloy wheels.