Alpina D3 saloon
- Great mix of performance and fuel economy
- Rarer than a normal 3 Series
- Can be serviced at any BMW dealer
- Similar price to a 330d
- Having to explain what an Alpina is
- Road noise from big wheels and tyres
The Alpina D3 saloon is an intriguing prospect. German firm Alpina takes a standard BMW 3 Series, adds a tuned version of the 2.0-litre twin-turbodiesel engine from the 123d hatchback, changes the suspension and bodywork and creates a performance saloon that offers rapid acceleration, but with fuel economy of more than 50mpg. The updates are subtle, though, so only people who are in the know will recognise this souped-up 3 Series for what it really is - one of the best performance diesels you can buy.