If you've been thinking about buying a new BMW lately, you might have noticed that the current range is somewhat 'comprehensive'.
> From the small and sporty 1 Series right through to the more luxurious 7 Series, there is pretty much a vehicle for most budgets and daily requirements.
BMW understands that the majority of us have a rather large shopping list when it comes to forking out for a new car; aesthetics, power, drive-ability and good fuel economy – we seem to want it all.
But where power and style have long been a BMW staple, fuel economy has often fallen by the wayside. Recently, the German marque has shown a real drive towards reducing emissions via its EfficientDynamics engineering philosophy, with almost every moving part designed to assist in the reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
So, here's what we think are the best buys from the current range, in terms of desirability, running costs and re-sale value.
320d Touring with M Sport kit - £34,625 – 60.1mpg – 181bhp
The new BMW 320d Touring is an ideal family car but don't think of it as your run-of-the-mill domestic bus. The M Sport package features lower and stiffer suspension, sportier looks and 18-inch alloy wheels, ensuring it is gorgeous to behold and drives with panache. The 'Touring' estate body means it can haul one hell of a load too, offering a massive 495-litres of boot space, rising to 1500-litres with the seats folded flat. Even though the M Sport version comes with stiffer suspension, the ride comfort is not affected in the slightest, especially if you pay £515 extra for the adaptive M Sport suspension package, which includes adjustable comfort, eco-pro and sport settings. The 320d offers a fantastic drive, envy-inducing looks and the practicality of an estate. There's certainly no compromise here.
i3 - £30,680 – 100 mile range - 125kW (176bhp)
The i3 is BMW's brand new rear-wheel drive electric car. We don't know about you but when we hear 'electric car' we think sensible, good for the environment and, of course, no more dreaded fuel costs. The i3 takes the idea of electric power on a whole new rear-wheel-driven adventure. Weighing in at just 1200kg, 350kg lighter than the Nissan Leaf, it is surprisingly nippy, reaching 62mph in just 7.2-seconds. The i3 currently starts at £30,680 but remember you do get a £5,000 grant from the Government. If you want to relieve the stresses of 'range anxiety', there is the option of a range extender, which utilises a two-cylinder 650cc petrol generator with a 9-litre fuel tank to top up the battery and offer an extra 100 miles of driving. It's a fantastic car that boasts some seriously impressive onboard technology and interesting looks to match, but the most important thing is the cheap running costs. Each charge costs around £2 and allows for an average of 100 miles of emission-free motoring.
M6 Gran Coupe - £97,700 – 522bhp – 28.5mpg
Where do we start with this beautiful machine? Well, first of all, look at it. It is absolutely stunning. The car is also fast, pumping out a massive 552bhp and has a soundtrack to match - the motorsport-like blare of that V8 is sure to keep you amused for a long time. This machine has been built with perfectionists in mind, so whether you are just looking for something a bit flash, performance based, or a generally stunning car with fantastic handling, then this is for you.
M135i - £32,330 – 315bhp – 37.7mpg
If you are looking for style and power all in one very competitively priced package then this is arguably the one to go for. The M135i is the top-spec version of the 1 Series model. It features aggressive styling, immense performance and a not-too-shabby 37mpg fuel economy figure. BMW has literally transformed the already stunning 1 Series into a real hot-hatch with exterior body additions suited to the punch offered by its beastly 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. But while the M135i is aimed at the keen driver it is still very practical – the hatchback's rear seats actually fit real human beings unlike some on the market, and the rear seats fold down to reveal a boot big enough to cater for larger shopping trips.
BMW X5 - £42,940 - 245bhp - 45.6 mpg
Are you looking for something a bit more practical? Or maybe your family is growing? Well, the X5 is a brilliant option if it is space you're after. The new BMW xDrive30d achieves 45.6mpg, which isn't bad at all for a car of this size. It is also faster and better looking than the previous generations. The interior doesn't let it down either – it has a massive 10.2-inch screen as the centre focus of the dash, comfortable seating and an overall interior build quality of something a lot more expensive.
Click here to find out more about any of the models mentioned above
Author: Danielle Bagnall