BMW 116d - Car review

BMW's reputation for efficiency can only be furthered by the 116d. Steve Walker reports.

BMW’s reputation for efficiency can only be furthered by the 116d. Steve Walker reports.In the not too distant past, economy would have been one of the last things you’d have associated with BMW. The German marque traded on the handling, performance and quality of its products while saving money on fuel languished a long way down the priority lists of its customers. How times change. These days, BMW’s EfficientDynamics technology sets the standard amongst the premium brands for minimising running costs and the manufacturer is as keen to crow about its most efficient cars as it is about its quickest. In the current range, they don’t come any more efficient than the 116d.

BMW’s 118d was voted World Green Car of the Year in 2008 but with that trophy gathering dust in the cabinet, the engineers turned their attention to going one better. The 116d uses the same 2.0-litre diesel engine as the 118d and like all EfficientDynamics BMWs, its aim is to deliver its economy savings without sacrificing on the sharp rear-wheel-drive handling that makes a BMW a BMW.

The 2.0-litre, four cylinder diesel engine in the 116d pops up in various states of tune all over the BMW model range. In the 1-Series hatchback line-up, it sees active service in the 123d where it has 201bhp, the 120d with 175bhp and the 118d with 141bhp. In the 116d, it’s paired right back to 116bhp but as the performance drops, so do the running costs. The 116d can still manage to sprint from 0-60mph in 10.2s and hit a top speed of 125mph so it’s no slouch and the maximum torque of 260Nm at 1,750rpm should give plenty of mid-range muscle for BMW customers who hold cutting costs as their number one priority.

Like all BMWs bar the 4x4 models, the 116d is rear wheel-drive. This sets it apart from its direct rivals in the premium hatch sector which tend to send power to their front wheels. Where front wheel drive has traditionally scored is that it’s easy and cheap to manufacture a transverse engined hatch with a front gearbox and drive going to the front wheels. You needn’t worry about a bulky transmission tunnel running through the cabin so it works in terms of packaging too.

Facts At A Glance

CAR: BMW 116dPRICES: �17,605-�21,160INSURANCE GROUPS: 10ECO2 EMISSIONS: 118g/kmPERFORMANCE: 0-60mph 10.2s / Max speed 125mphFUEL CONSUMPTION: (combined) 64.2mpgSTANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: Twin front, side & head airbags / ABS / DSCWILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: [5dr] Length/Width/Heightmm 4227/1936/1430

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