Archive for June, 2013|Monthly archive page

Probably the Best Car in the World?

In BMW, Toyota, Volvo on June 26, 2013 at 5:29 pm

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Let’s get one thing straight.

No one really makes “The Best Car in the World” as every vehicle is a result of compromise.

In the ideal world I’d like a convertible estate, that looks like a coupe, returns over 50 mpg, rides like a Renault 16, and handles like a Toyota GT86.  Ideally it would cost about seven grand, and come with a 5 year warranty!

This, my friends is never going to happen.

Here’s the much lauded BMW 320 D M Sport auto. Top Gear’s resident “Hamster” thinks it deserves the accolade, so when Ocean Plymouth promised existing customers a “Secret Deal” I thought I’d run along and see what all the fuss is about.

I hopped out of our 3 year old previous generation 320 M Sport Business Edition, and made myself comfortable behind the wheel.

Very comfortable.  The new seats are more squishy, and almost Volvo like.  A good start.

The dashboard looks better too, although I’m not so enamoured with the electric automatic selector control. Couple that with a derv engine, I’d imagine this might be a disappointing ride.


Even on an auto the clattery diesel unit simply cuts out every time you stop, saving fuel and protecting your eyes at the same time.  weird things seemed to happen inside the gearbox as I slowed down in traffic.  Maybe that’s 4 cylinder lack of refinement, or just the machine shuffling through 7 speeds?

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I never did discover how many upshifts were on offer.

One thing which was immediately apparent though was the ride quality.  I bet this model had the upgraded suspension, it was nice an cosy, a revelation after our bang thump 320 that has been my wife’s daily steer.

In my short drive I also discovered the cost option reversing camera, really that’s just decadence!

Officially I could have been poodling around Plymouth for a couple of hours, but do you know what?  I took it back after twenty minutes.

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The whole car was “competent”. Handing back the keys was no hardship.  Quite the reverse, as my first run in our 320 revealed “The Mrs” had missed it’s cry for an oil top up.

Ocean obliged for £16.00, and I reckon this is one test drive that saved me about five grand.

Moral of the story, take the wife’s car out once in a while to avert disaster.

photoFunny how girls don’t spot warning symbols on the dash!