All-new 3 Series boasts 7 models in Tax Band A

Philip Hedderman

BMW are the real A student these days with the 3 Series having none other than seven, yes seven models in the lowest Tax and VRT Band.

This equates to leaner, meaner motoring with lower emissions and higher MPG which in turn, gives huge savings for you.

On the CO2 front, no other marque can boast that many cars across one segment.

In cash terms, it means that the annual road duty is just €160 while the diesel units sip fuel and the star of the show, the EfficientDymanics returns an eye-watering 70mpg.

Leading the charge is the all-new 318D which for the first time ever sees an automatic gearbox in the lowest tax band.

Now normally auto boxes are associated with cars in higher end of the CO2 table, but not the 3 Series.

In fact, the eight-speed unit is now greener than the six speed manuals and the 318D has seen emissions reduced by a band-busting 22g -- now at 109g/km.

They're not left wanting when it comes to power either as the 320D Sport is packing a very respectable 184bhp while the runt of the litter, the 316D, gets 116bhp and sprint of 0-100kph in just under 11 seconds.


It's not all torque and grunt as there is plenty of luxury to look forward to.

Inside the cabin gets ripped apart and given a much more premium feel and the build quality is superb.

The most significantly improvement though is the level of standard kit on the this compact executive including leather multi-function steering wheel, iDrive with 6.5 inch colour screen, Bluetooth, cruise control, and Drive Performance Control.

The latter allows the driver to select up to four different driving modes - Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport and Sport+.

The on-board computer makes subtle changes to the steering, suspension and throttle to suit the road and conditions which, in turn, saves fuel. The handling and drive are as you'd expect clinically good and even in Sport mode the ride was not too choppy.

The only downside is the premium of €2,300 for the auto which is sure to put those on a strict budget off.

But there's never been a better time to buy the new 3 Series with BMW announcing this week a unique new finance package over 2, 3, 4 or 5 years.

The deal, which on the likes of the 316dES could see monthly repayments of €349 (over 3 years with a 20pc deposit) and a guaranteed minimum future value of 53pc.

At the end of the contract you have the option of either buying it out, exchanging it for a new model or simply returning it and walking away.

The good news for those of us who are not that flush is the Select deal is also available on used cars up to 2 years old.

Prices for the 3 Series starts at €35,600.