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BMW Announces Another Amazing Round of Fuel Economy Improvements

BMW has announced further improvements in the fuel economy and also therefore the emissions of a number of cars in its range.

All these improvements are a result of incremental improvements in a number of areas with existing conventional diesel or petrol engine technology (BMW’s ‘EfficientDynamics’ programme), rather than some completely new technology such as hybrid, and altogether they provide significant new green options for buyers in this segment of the market.

In summary, these are the most economical and lowest emission vehicles in the new line-up:

BMW 118d: 62.8mpg, 119g/km

BMW 318d: 60.1mpg, 123g/km

BMW 520d: 55.4mpg, 136g/km

BMW X3 2.0d: 43.5mpg, 172g/km

BMW X5 3.0d: 34.9mpg, 214g/km

All these vehicles above are diesels, however petrol models are also getting the EfficientDynamics treatment.


BMW 1 Series



The BMW 118d now slips under the magical 120g/km figure and drops into a lower road tax bracket – and it’s also possibly London Congestion Charge exempt if the planned new system for London comes into force.

The 62.8mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 119g/km puts it into the Band B category for Vehicle Excise Duty – which means it’s just £35 a year to tax.

The 143hp 2.0-litre-engined 118d employs technologies such as Brake Energy Regeneration, Auto Start-Stop, Electric Power Steering and low rolling resistance tyres to help cut fuel bills and emissions. An optimum gearshift change indicator is included to encourage economical motoring. These innovations are in addition to the use of variable valve technologies and high-precision direct injection engines on some 1 Series models that further aid engine performance.

BMW 3 Series

BMW’s biggest selling model range will now come equipped with a range of fuel saving and emissions cutting measures in a move that also harmonises engine line-up across all 3 Series body styles. The technology sees fuel consumption figures improve by up to 24 per cent and CO2 emissions drop by as much as 19 per cent. Conversely drivers will be able to enjoy engines with outputs that increase by up to 21hp.

All diesel-powered BMW 3 Series models now also come as standard with Diesel Particulate Filters to reduce harmful emissions.

The 318i with its 1,995cc engine now comes with an extra 14hp, up from 129hp, but 47.9mpg economy on the combined cycle (a 24 per cent improvement) and CO2 emissions that are slashed by 19 per cent to 142g/km.

The new BMW engines used in the 318d and 320d are similarly impressive. In the case of the 318d output is up by 17 per cent to 143hp, fuel consumption improves to 60.1mpg (19 per cent more economical) and CO2 emissions are cut by 18 per cent to 123g/km. The 320d’s output rises from 163hp to 177hp while fuel consumption improves 19 per cent to 58.9mpg. CO2 emissions drop by 16 per cent to 128g/km.

BMW 3 Series models fitted with EfficientDynamics technology go on sale in September 2007.

BMW 5 Series



BMW’s best selling 5 Series gets a new engine in September that again has increased power output while economy and emissions figures both improve at the same time. The new four-cylinder single-turbocharged powerplant has an output of 177hp, up from 163hp compared to the previous 520d. Such an improvement has led to improved performance figures with the zero to 62mph achieved in 8.3 seconds in the saloon compared to 8.6 seconds previously. Top speed is 144mph.

The model achieves greater fuel economy with a combined 55.4mpg figure. A CO2 emissions figure of 136g/km sees the vehicle drop into Band C for Vehicle Excise Duty. Similar impressive figures are achieved with the new engine in the Touring model. The 520d Touring has a zero to 62mph time of 8.5 seconds, a combined consumption figure of 53.3mpg and 140g/km emissions.

The BMW 520d Saloon costs from £27,190 while the 520d Touring costs from £29,200.

BMW X3

The most popular model in the four wheel drive BMW X3 range is also to gain a revised engine with EfficientDynamics technology. The new BMW X3 2.0d comes with a 1,995cc engine offering 177hp, up 27hp compared to the previous model, and 350Nm of torque, up 20Nm.

Enhanced engine output results in better performance figures for the model that accounts for 70 per cent of X3 sales in the UK. The X3 2.0d now records an 11 per cent improvement in fuel consumption attaining 43.5mpg on the combined cycle. The vehicle’s CO2 emissions also fall 10 per cent from 191g/km to 172g/km seeing it drop into Band E for Vehicle Excise Duty.

A zero to 62mph time of 8.9 seconds compares to 10.2 seconds previously, while top speed has increased from 123mph to 128mph.

The X3 2.0d is now offered with the option of BMW’s Steptronic automatic transmission. The six-speed gearbox is available on both SE and M Sport variants of the X3 2.0d at a cost of £1,470. The auto BMW X3 2.0d still manages an excellent 42.2mpg on the combined cycle and a 178g/km emissions figure.

Other models in the BMW X3 range also receive EfficientDynamics technology and a consequential improvement in overall performance. The next two popular models in the range, the X3 3.0d and 3.0sd, both see fuel consumption improve by seven per cent and 11 per cent to 38.2mpg and 36.2mpg respectively on the combined cycle. CO2 emissions on both those models also fall by seven and 10 per cent. This results in the BMW X3 3.0sd joining the 2.5si in dropping a tier in Vehicle Excise Duty from Band G to Band F making for a £95 annual saving.

BMW X5 3.0d

Finally, BMW’s largest 4×4, the X5, also gets the EfficientDynamics treatment.

A new BMW X5 3.0d goes on sale in October with its revised powerplant for lower emissions and improved economy. The new X5 is now the only conventionally-powered vehicle in its segment with a CO2 emissions figure that falls below the highest 225g/km banding for Vehicle Excise Duty.

The new model now comes with Brake Energy Regeneration and various needs-only control of ancillary devices. An air-conditioning compressor that decouples from the drivetrain when not in use and air flaps that can close off air flow to the engine to improve aerodynamics when the engine is not at full load are two such examples. All of these features enable the model to produce a CO2 emission figure of 214g/km – a drop of 17g/km compared to the previous model.

The changes on the X5 3.0d have resulted in the vehicle now qualifying for Band F instead of Band G Vehicle Excise Duty, saving owners £95 a year. Fuel consumption on the combined cycle also improves from 32.5mpg to 34.9mpg, as does acceleration from zero to 62mph – down to 8.1 seconds from 8.3 seconds.

News of the revised 3.0-litre diesel comes at the same time as fuel saving technology has been applied to the range-topping 4.8-litre petrol and 3.0-litre petrol-engined variants. The BMW X5 3.0si now records an improved combined consumption figure of 27.7mpg compared to 25.9mpg. Emissions have been cut from 260g/km to 244g/km. Meanwhile, the BMW X5 4.8i sees its consumption figure improve from 22.6mpg to 23.5mpg and the CO2 emissions figure drop from 299g/km to 286g/km.

BMW needs to be applauded for its commitment and engineering work to bring us greener cars in these sectors. We look forward to seeing what’s next on their list of green innovations…