How middle-class cars become economical vehicles
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Diesel engines are generally less thirsty than gasoline engines. The top ten diesel engines start with the Peugeot 3008 HDi FAP 110 Tendance EGS6.
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9th place: Peugeot 407 HDi FAP 110 Tendance.
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8th place: Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi Eco visia 2WD.
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7th place: Mercedes C 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Classic.
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Rank 6: Renault Laguna dCi 110 FAP Expression.
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5th place: Audi A4 2.0 TDI Attraction.
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4th place: VW Passat 1.6 TDI BlueMotion.
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3rd place: Skoda Octavia 1.6 TDI Greenline.
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2nd place: BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition.
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1st place: Volvo S40 1.6D DRIVe with start-stop automatic..
It is not easy for the middle class at the moment. Their market share shrank sharply in 2009 and their residual value has fallen more than average. You don’t have to drive a supposedly economical small car to be able to skimp. This is not only shown by the new BMW 3 Series as the youngest king of savings in the segment.
I.According to the Federal Motor Transport Authority, the share of the middle class on German roads fell by around ten percent last year. According to Eurotax Schwacke, the residual value of a three-year-old mid-range car has dropped by around twelve percent to an average of 15,400 euros.
Sure, with average new prices well above the 25,000 euro mark, the middle class is usually not a bargain. But many of these cars now meet the Euro 5 emissions standard and are therefore sometimes more economical than those in the mini segment.
The latest example is the new BMW 3 Series: a car with 163 hp and a top speed of 228 km / h – that would not only have been a hot trump card in the car quartet in the past, but also the tank attendant’s best friend. In the car quartet you can only reap a weary smile with this data, but the gas station attendant is in a good mood – because the new BMW 320d with the bulky name affix Efficient Dynamics Edition is supposed to consume an average of only 4.1 liters of diesel with this performance.
As part of the facelift, the model will be offered as a sedan and station wagon from March. Despite all the frugality, the "driving pleasure" should not be neglected. After all, BMW has been expressing its own claim for decades with this slogan: Driving a car is more than just overcoming distances, driving should also be fun.
The car connoisseurs were therefore astonished when BMW of all places conjured up the term Efficient Dynamics out of nowhere around two years ago. Ironically, the brand, whose cars apparently only had indicators that worked on the left, relied on fuel-saving technology and now left the competition behind in terms of consumption values instead of on the autobahn. Today, BMW offers technology modules such as automatic start-stop or braking energy recovery for more than 50 models across all model series.
In the meantime you are no longer alone, but BMW is trying to keep its lead with cars like the new 320d Efficient Dynamics Edition, in which the standard consumption has been reduced by 0.7 liters compared to the conventional 320d. With 4.1 liters of diesel, the sedan is nominally 0.4 liters more economical than the Audi A4 TDI e with 136 hp, the difference to the Mercedes C 220 CDI with 170 hp is 0.7 liters.
The model is offered parallel to the regular, now 184 hp 320d. Both models cost 34,100 euros each, with a surcharge of 1,650 euros for the station wagon. "We want to give customers the freedom to choose whether they want maximum dynamism or efficiency," says BMW spokesman Manfred Poschenrieder, explaining the strategy. "That’s why we don’t charge a surcharge for the Efficient Dynamics Edition".
The fuel savings in the edition are achieved through aerodynamic optimizations, lowering the chassis, a modified engine layout, tires with reduced rolling resistance and, above all, a longer gearbox. As a result, the car should be able to be moved as often as possible at low and therefore economical speeds. Anyone who drives the Spar-3er on the road will hardly notice the technical tricks with which the engineers have optimized the 320d.
The car drives inconspicuously, pulls through powerfully from the lowest engine speeds and springs appropriately – nobody has to practice doing without. In doing so, BMW has fulfilled its claim to offer savings without regrets and once again challenged the competition.
After all, ten mid-range cars are now available in Germany that consume less than five liters. In addition to the two 320d versions, BMW has two other representatives in its range: the 316d (4.5 l / 100 km) and 318d (4.7 l / 100 km).
With the Passat 1.6 TDI Blue Motion, Audi A4 TDIe and Skoda Octavia 1.6 TDI Greenline, the Volkswagen Group is contributing three models, and Mercedes is competing with the C 220 CDI. With Renault Laguna dCI 110 and Peugeot 407 HDi 110, two cars from France can crack the five-liter mark – to be continued for sure.
The savings potential of the BMW 320d cannot be seen from the outside – optically, all sedans and touring cars are heading into the new year unchanged. On the other hand, BMW has made some subtle visual changes for the 3 Series Convertible and Coupe. At the front there are newly contoured headlights with bi-xenon inserts and LED daytime running lights, which, together with a wider BMW kidney grille and tapered front apron, characterize the 2010 model year. And the taillights are now colored uniformly red.
In addition, the range for the 3 Series Coupe and the Cabrio is being expanded to include the 318i entry-level model – a 143 HP 2.0-liter petrol engine provides the drive. Thanks to the lean direct injection, the standard consumption is limited to 6.3 liters. BMW is also offering a new basic offer for touring customers: the 115 hp 316d.
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