Taxing: The new BMW 1 Series will give the Chancellor something to worry about
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Taxing: The new BMW 1 Series will give the Chancellor something to worry about

 

BMW 116d EfficientDynamics 5dr car test review

Car review by John Griffiths

 

What is it?

The Chancellor won’t like this. Not one bit. This is the first of BMW’s EfficientDynamics eco-range models to edge in under the 100g/km CO2 threshold.  So where does that leave the Exchequer and their tax receipts? Blown to pieces.

Not only does the BMW 116d EfficientDynamics join a small handful of rivals like Volkswagen’s Golf Bluemotion in escaping VED, the London congestion charge, and bundles of company car tax, but it also sets a new economy benchmark for the Munich car maker: 74.3 mpg, according to the EU’s increasingly-challenged combined economy figures, so even fuel tax receipts will head down.

That’s more than 12 mpg better than the standard 116d rear-wheel-drive hatchback, thanks to a package which includes auto start-stop, brake energy regeneration, low rolling resistance tyres and the default ‘Eco Pro’ software within the car’s selectable driving dynamics programmes.

Power and torque outputs – 115bhp and 192 lb ft – are unchanged from the standard 116d, providing a brisk-ish 0-62mph in 10.5 seconds and a 121mph top speed, provided that the SME business user’s ‘Eco Pro’ and guilt buttons are both turned to ‘off’.

On sale now, the 116d EfficientDynamics is well-specified for its standard on-road price of £20,885, although the variety of optional packages fitted to BCM’s test car lifted this to £27,466.

 

For

  • Those sub-100g/km CO2 tax and writing down allowance breaks
  • Remarkable economy – expect 60 ‘real world’ mpg
  • Crisp, ‘grown up’ good looks
  • Genuine premium quality feel
  • More road presence than fwd rivals
  • Good residuals, low BIK – 13% company car tax

Against

  • Uninspiring dynamics, like most other 1 Series
  • ‘Eco Pro’ mode dulls responses further
  • Longitudinal engine and rear-wheel-drive
  • Still compromised boot/interior space

 

BMW 116d EfficientDynamics – the low down

P11D Value:£ 20,709
Monthly business rental (ex VAT):From £248 (3yrs/30,000 miles)
Tax Bands 2011/12 to 2013/14:13%, 14%, 15%
Benefit in kind 2011/12 to 2013/14:£2,692, £2,899, £3,106
Engine:1.6 4cyl turbo diesel
CO2 Emissions:99g/km
Power/torque:115bhp/192lb ft
0-62mph/top speed:10.5 secs/121mph
Economy (official):74.3mpg

 

Mature: Cost sensitive users will queue for latest 1 Series

 

Verdict

The BMW 116d EfficientDynamics falls far short of its incoming, benchmark-setting, award-winning (and £7,000 more expensive) 320d EfficientDynamics larger saloon model in terms of performance and sheer driving pleasure. And some front-wheel drive rivals are more space-efficient. But cost-sensitive, mature user-choosers and other SME business users will still form a queue for it.

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