The Fast and the Frugal
Added: 20th of March 2018
There’s this kid who goes by my house every morning in his old and battered Honda Civic Type R. The exhaust fitted to his car is so loud and obnoxious it rattles the windows and sets my dogs off barking every time. I go outside to my BMW 125d M Sport, start the engine and smirk to myself. The sound is that reminiscent of a farm yard vehicle. I put the excellent 8 speed ZF auto gearbox into drive and set off. I recommend this option, it suits the character of the 2 litre twin scroll turbo diesel engine wonderfully. There’s no drama. No bellowing sound that would wake those resting in the cemetery. That’s the thing with the 125d. It’s understated. A wolf in sheeps clothing. 218bhp and more importantly 450nm of torque. Enough to transport this unassuming hatch from 0-62 in 6.3 seconds. That’s quick by petrol hot hatch standards but that’s only half the story. Those wonderful torques give you the oomph where it really matters. I catch up to the kid in the silly loud car. He sees my LED running lights in the mirror and sees me as a challenge. His car gets ridiculously louder but doesn’t seem to go anywhere. No torques you see? I’m 41 years old, I don’t want to be part of such childish games. But... Oh what the hell! I select sport from the driver performance control and click the gearbox into sport mode. I burry the throttle and what’s like can only be described as having ‘The Rock’ punch you in the chest, I’m pinned to the seat and catapulted forward as all thoses horse and torques are sent to the rear wheels. “Goodbye silly exhaust boy!” With great power comes crap fuel economy! Not with the 125d. Don’t get me wrong, what BMW claim isn’t even possible if you pushed the car to work but with mixed driving you will easily achieve mid to high 40’s. You could actually live your life quarter of a tank at a time! Unlike the Vin Diesel wannabe in my rear view mirror. Now that’s impressive considering the performance on offer. What’s also impressive is the level of refinement and quality of the vehicle. Smotherings of leather and soft touch plastics adorn the cabin. There’s a wonderful Harman Kardon Hi-Fi which is just powerful enough to drowned out the noise coming from Silly exhaust boy. Practicality is decent. Room in the front is ample although those of you who ate their greens as a child may struggle in the back. Boot space is easily large enough for a big shop or a couple of suitcases. So it’s a car that ticks all the boxes. Well maybe accept one. The noise. Whilst the noise from Silly exhaust boy is grating I must admit the tuneful sounds of a petrol six cylinder is missed. But there’s the wonderful M140i for that and that car drinks more than a alcoholic at a free bar. The 125d is for the Fast and the Frugal. It’s slightly more expensive than the 120d. But for me the extra cash gets you that nice big cherry on top of an already delicious cake. With all the performance, luxury and economy you’ve got to admit it’s nice having your cake and eating it.