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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
They have this thing called Green Zone in the city where they have about 16 "green" cars on display that you can actually drive. It's quite an original concept. Most of the cars are diesels, there are a few hybrids, 1 electric, and a petrol. :

http://www.greenzonedrive.com.au/

The place was literally 'green'. It was outdoors, on a grassy knoll, in the middle of the concrete jungle (I had no idea there was any grass remaining in the city). All the cars were parked on top of this knoll. There were temporary stalls / tents set up, without any air conditioning.

There were 2 Hyundais on display - an i20 (Indian built 1.4L subcompact), but it was manual (which I can't drive). There was also a Santa Fe diesel auto, but that didn't interest me much.

I drove the BMW 320d, partly because I'd never driven a BMW before, nor a diesel. And being a 4 door sedan, I wanted to compare it to my i45. I have heard good things about the amazing torque but have always been put off by the noise and couldn't believe that it could match the smoothness of a petrol. I was pretty much proven wrong. Although the 50 km/h speed limits in the city were hardly ideal for testing the engine, the torque was amazing - better than a V6 (and on paper too - 12% more torque than 3.5L V6 Accord/Camry, for instance, and 52% more torque than my i45). It's also some 30% more fuel efficient (44 mpg!!), and 25% less emissions than my car.

The good thing about diesel is that it doesn't rev as much (4-cyls especially the 2.4L GDI is very peaky). Very good low down response.

It handled better than the i45 too, but then again it's smaller. I was really impressed. BUT... it's expensive. 59 grand+++. This is more than the 320i (4cyl), but less than the 323i (6cyl).

Anyway the person who accompanied me was a rather attractive young lady from BMW. I guess it's not that much different than going to a showroom, except you have 16 cars of different brands in one place, and you aren't being pressured into buying. They are there only to inform and educate :) Pretty cool.
 

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Ya those 320d's are nice but also very expensive. I believe there is only going to be handful sold compared to the 320 and 323. The cost difference can be spent on gas and you would still break even over the long run.
 

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QUOTE (ssmuff @ Oct 5 2010, 08:07 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=361186
Ya those 320d's are nice but also very expensive. I believe there is only going to be handful sold compared to the 320 and 323. The cost difference can be spent on gas and you would still break even over the long run.
320d is the 'base' model of the 3-series range - it's only 7% dearer than the entry level 320i, and it's one of, if not the, most popular model in the 3-series range.

It also outsells the Sonata by a wide margin, despite costing over 20 grand more.
 
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