On the road
BMW supplied a 118d hatch, 123d hatch and convertible and 330d coupe for test through Bavaria last week.
With a mix of autobahn, country road and tight village lane driving, each returned fuel economy figures on their on-board computers similar to official claims.
At 200km/h on the autobahn, even the 118d three door (we will get the fivedoor) still felt like it had more to give, the diesels not only having low-end grunt but plenty of meat throughout the rev range.
They are quiet, refined and have less idle clatter than is common among diesels.
But it’s the twin-turbo model that really stands out, sounding and feeling more like a petrol engine with its free revving and mid-to-top-end power.
Handling is not adversely affected by the extra weight of the engines, although steering may be marginally heavier.
The manual models feature auto stopstart which cuts the engine when it is stationary and in neutral, starting again when the clutch is pushed in.
While this same function feels rough in the new X1 and Mini diesel, it feels much smoother here, maybe because of the engine positioning.
James says the auto stop-start function had not yet been engineered for automatic transmissions, but they were working on it.
The six-speed manual gearboxes feature well-chosen ratios, although first is a little short and sixth will be wasted in Australia where the highway maximum speed limit is 110km/h.