You may think that – in a market that includes hybrids, range-extenders and electric cars – the diesel-engined 320d Efficient Dynamics is far too conventional to win a Green Award, but not a bit of it. It wins precisely because its vital statistics are so unconventional.
If anyone had told you as little as five years ago that you could buy a BMW 3 Series that would hit 60mph in less than eight seconds, average the best part of 60mpg (in the real world) and emit less than 110g/km of CO2, you’d have been carted off to the funny farm.
Yet, here we are, looking at a model that does all that – and more. The beauty of the 320d Efficient Dynamics is that it lets you go green without compromises. You can specify the automatic gearbox that makes the car more pleasant to drive, but even with it, the CO2 emissions are still 109g/km.
The car also contains everything that has already made the 3 Series an award-winner in its own right. Well, admittedly you need to specify the £750 M Sport adaptive suspension, but that’s a small price to pay for the class-leading balance of ride and handling.
Beyond that, the 3 Series is also tremendously easy to live with, with a high-quality interior, fine ergonomics thanks to the brilliant iDrive system, and plenty of room in the rear seats and boot. To cap it all, if you’re running this as a company car, no other 3 Series incurs less company car tax.
There’s so much more to the 320d Efficient Dynamics than low emissions and high economy. It isn’t just a great green car, it’s a great car – and a deserved winner of this award.