The recently introduced pair of the 2006 BMW 318i Touring and the 318d Touring compact station wagon models targets price-conscious drivers seeking a cost-effective and practical, yet luxurious-looking family car.
Equipped with the new low-displacement, but high-efficient engines, both vehicles seem to deliver just the right combination of power, torque and impressively low fuel consumption. While some snobs and cork-sniffers may sneer at a concept of a “sporty” premium wagon powered by an engine the size of a Coca-Cola can, a more pragmatic person still gets a car that is as practical, as fun to drive however ambiguous it sounds.
As I have already mentioned, both E91-series cars feature decent mileage (for example, the 318d is officially rated at 7.9 and 4.6 liters per 100 kilometers in city and highway cycles, which gives us a more realistic estimate of 9 and 5.5 liters respectively) that makes it a perfect choice for a young family with one or two kids: there is enough room in this car to haul a month’s supply of groceries from your local Spar supermarket and it is comfortable enough for long trips for those annual trips from Berlin or Warsaw to Naples or Barcelona.
Its ideal 50:50 weight-distribution ratio, combined with rear-wheel-drive transmission system, also makes it fun, but still safe enough, even on winter roads.
If you are into global warming stuff, you must also be pleased with those (actually quite impressive) CO2 emission figures of 275.9 g/km and 155 g/km for the 318i and 318d model respectively. And even if you aren’t, the lower values will probably mean that you will have to pay lower environmental tax depending on your country’s eco regulations.
It is reported in the press release, that the BMW 318d Touring comes with a 1,995 cc 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine with common-rail fuel-injection system.
The engine produces 122 horsepower at 4,000rpm and 280Nm of torque at 1,750rpm. It is also powerful enough to provide this little car with acceleration of 10.9 seconds from zero to 62mph and a top speed of 127mph.
Well, it is definitely not a rice rocket like, say, the JDM Subaru Legacy STI S402 and its dynamics really sucks even if you compare it with a bit more expensive BMW 320d, but its claimed fuel efficiency of 40.6 mpg (5.8 L/100km) in a combined cycle is also nothing to sneeze at, right?
In the UK, basic price for the 318d ES is set at £24,015.
By the way, 318d’ closest competitor, the 2007 Audi A4 Avant 1.9 TDI emits 154 g/km of CO2 and runs the same 48.7 miles on a gallon of diesel fuel in combined cycle, but takes 0.3 seconds longer to reach the 62mph mark. Well…
As to the petrol version, the BMW 318i Touring features 129hp @ 5750rpm and a peak torque of 180Nm at 3,250rpm.
This car is a little bit faster than its diesel sibling and reaches 62mph in 10.4 seconds. The engine is also thirstier, providing only 32.7 mpg on the combined cycle.
Its base price starts at £21,645.
2006 BMW 318d Touring technical specification
Body Type: 5-door station wagon
Layout: front engine, RWD
Engine: 129 hp @ 4000 rpm, 207 lb-ft (280 Nm) @ 2000 rpm, 2.0-liter, inline-4
Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
Top Speed: 127 mph (204 km/h)
0 – 62 mph: 10.9 seconds
Overtaking 80 -120 km/h N/A
Fuel Economy EPA city / highway / combined cycle mpg (l/100 km): 29.7 / 51.1 / 40.6 (7.9 / 4.6 / 5.8)
Exterior Dimensions (L/W/H/Wheelbase) inches: 178 / 71.5 / 55.8 / 108.7
Ground clearance (inches): N/A
Track (frt/rr): 59.1 / 59.6 in
Curb to curb turning circle (feet): N/A
Curb Weight: 3483 lbs
Coefficient of Drag (Cd): N/A
Seating Capacity: 5 (2/3)
Cargo capacity, max (cu ft): N/A
Payload (max w/ occupants and cargo): N/A
Towing Capacity (max): N/A
Direct Competitors: N/A
See also: BMW 7-Series may run on liquid hydrogen