The new BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is on the way to Ireland in September

BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe On Sale

The new BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is on the way to Ireland in September
The new BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is on the way to Ireland in September

The new BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is now available to order. It will go on sale from €104,060 in Ireland, with first deliveries expected in September.

According to BMW, the new 8 Series Gran Coupe "combines four-door practicality with superior driving dynamics".

It has a longer wheelbase when compared to the new BMW 8 Series Coupe and a roomier cabin than the 8 Series Coupe and Cabriolet.  The boot has a capacity of 440 litres.

The chassis of the new BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe has been tuned for handling on par with the smaller two-door variant.

It will be available in Ireland as an 840i, M850i xDrive and 840d xDrive.

Adaptive M suspension comes as standard, with active roll stabilisation optionally available for all model variants. The BMW M850i xDrive Gran Coupe and BMW 840i Gran Coupe are fitted with M Sport differential as standard. Integral Active Steering is standard in the all-wheel-drive model variants and optional for the BMW 840i Gran Coupe. There's also a Driving Experience Control switch to select COMFORT, ECO Pro, SPORT and SPORT+ modes, enabling a broad spectrum of setup options, from dynamic to comfortable.

Standard specification for the 8 Series Gran Coupe will include sports seats and Vernasca leather trim, shift paddles on the steering wheel, ambient lighting, and fulled leather trim for the instrument panel and door shoulders.

The new BMW 3 Series Touring

BMW 3 Series Touring Irish Pricing

The new BMW 3 Series Touring
The new BMW 3 Series Touring

The new BMW 3 Series Touring will arrive in Ireland in October priced from €46,900 for the 320d SE. The estate will join the 3 Series saloon, which arrived in Ireland earlier in the year.

The new 3 Series Touring is lighter with an improved chassis for superior handling. It has larger exterior dimensions than its predecessor and an extended wheelbase. The boot measures 500 litres.

Trim levels will include SE, Sport, M Sport and new M Sport Plus Edition.

Engine variants include the 318d, 320d, 330d, 320i, 330i and M340i xDrive.

A plug-in hybrid will join the 3 Series Touring line-up in summer 2020.

The new BMW 8 Series Convertible

BMW 8-Series Convertible Pricing For Ireland

The new BMW 8 Series Convertible
The new BMW 8 Series Convertible

The BMW 8 Series Convertible is on sale in Ireland from April 2019, with on the road pricing starting from €127,690.

There will be two versions available from launch: a V8 petrol engine in the 530hp BMW M850i xDrive version (from €181,400) and a 320hp six-cylinder diesel in the BMW 840d xDrive.

Adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled dampers is standard, as is BMW’s Integral Active Steering – a system that turns the rear wheels (at speeds of up to 72km/h) to improve agility as well as reducing the turning circle.

The fully electric soft top roof opens and closes in 15 seconds at the touch of a button and when travelling at up to 50kmh.

Standard specification for the new BMW 8 Series Convertible includes the BMW Individual Merino leather trim in an exclusive Black with piping in BMW M GmbH colours. There is also an anthracite BMW Individual headliner, M pedals and floor mats with special M surrounds.

BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant and a Harman Kardon Surround Sound System featuring 12 speakers are also included as standard.

The new BMW X7 will arrive in Ireland in April 2019

BMW X7 Pricing For Ireland

The new BMW X7 will arrive in Ireland in April 2019
The new BMW X7 will arrive in Ireland in April 2019

BMW Ireland has revealed pricing for the new BMW X7, which will arrive in Ireland in April 2019.

On the road prices for the new seven seat SUV will start from €114,750.

According to BMW, the new flagship BMW X model offers "unrivalled luxury in the large 4x4 segment".

There will be three versions available from launch: a six-cylinder petrol engine (xDrive40i) and two six-cylinder diesels (xDrive30d and M50d M Performance), all with 8-speed automatic gearbox.

xDrive30d (265hp) - €114,750

M50d (400hp) - €139,250

xDrive40i (340hp) - €122,710

The X7 houses three rows of seats and the third row has two full-size seats for adults.

The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is included as standard as is the BMW Live Cockpit Professional, including  a Control Display and a fully-digital instrument cluster – each with a 12.3" screen.

The interior of the new BMW X7
The interior of the new BMW X7

BMW Ireland recently revealed reduced pricing across their range of cars and SUVs.

BMW 8-Series

New BMW 8-Series Irish Pricing

BMW 8-Series
The new BMW 8-Series will arrive in Ireland in November

The new BMW 8-Series will arrive in Ireland in November, priced from €125,725 OTR.

The new 8-Series will launch here in two model variants: the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe M Performance model with a new, 530hp V8 engine, and a BMW 840d xDrive Coupe with six-cylinder in-line diesel unit developing 320hp.

Both models have been developed in parallel with the BMW M8 and the BMW M8 GTE endurance racer.

Adaptive M suspension, Integral Active Steering and mixed-size tyres come as standard. Active roll stabilisation is optionally available for the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe.

There's also a new BMW Operating System 7.0 display and control concept. The BMW Live Cockpit Professional includes a fully digital instrument cluster and 10.25-inch Control Display.

The BMW Digital Key will permit access to the vehicle and engine start by smartphone. Software updates “over the air” will also feature.

BMW 8-Series
The new BMW 8-Series will arrive in Ireland before the end of the year

BMW X2 To Launch In Ireland In March

The all-new BMW X2 will arrive in Ireland in March 2018 priced from €43,960.

This is a brand new model for the brand and the BMW X2 is somewhere between a coupé and a small SUV.

The new BMW X2 is eight centimetres shorter and more than seven centimetres lower than the BMW X1, yet has the same wheelbase.

At launch the BMW X2 xDrive20d diesel variant will be available (from €51,910). It generates a maximum output of 190hp and 400Nm of torque enabling a zero to 100km/h time of 7.7 seconds. Official fuel consumption is 4.8l/100km (combined), while CO2 emissions are as low as 124g/km in base trim.

The engine range will be expanded shortly after launch adding a further three engines in the form of the sDrive18d, xDrive18d and sDrive20i.

The range of exterior paint options include brand new colours for the brand including Galvanic Gold and Misano Blue, and perforated Dakota leather in Magma red.

Interior design highlights include a new driver display with black panel technology as standard, while the BMW ConnectedDrive features the latest digital services.

There are four trim levels for the new BMW X2 in Ireland: SE, Sport, M Sport and M Sport X.

Standard specification on SE includes 17-inch alloy wheels, BMW Navigation (RTTI), dual zone climate control, Front fog lights, ISOFIX front passenger seat, power tailgate, rain sensor and BMW emergency call.

Standard specification on Sport includes 18 inch-alloy wheels, sports steering wheel, black high-gloss trim with pearlescent chrome finisher, exterior styling trim, black high-gloss, LED foglights and headlights with cornering function.

Standard specification on M Sport includes 19-inch light alloy multi-spoke style wheels, ambient LED lighting, LED headlights, front LED fog lights, M Sport suspension, and heated sport seats, two-zone control air conditioning, cruise control with braking function, Park Distance Control, Bluetooth hands-free, BMW ConnectedDrive (BMW Emergency Call, BMW Navigation, BMW Online Services, BMW Teleservices, Real Time Traffic Information), Drive Performance Control and the Control Display - 6.5-inch display screen.

Standard specification on M Sport X includes 19-inch M Sport light alloy wheels, leather upholstery, aluminium interior trim with pearlescent finisher, and satinated  aluminium roof rails.

BMW 5 Series Irish Review

BMW 5 Series Review (2017)

The BMW 5 Series has been a common feature of Irish roads for many years now and for many it’s the benchmark for a large, premium saloon.

This car’s history stretches back to 1972 and BMW is now back with the seventh generation of the 5 Series. I’ve always had a soft spot for the BMW 5 Series and its M5 derivatives. The gentle evolutionary styling has taken it from the 1970s right up to the present day, but now the 5 Series is more of a technological tour de force than ever.

The front end looks more strong and graceful, and at the back things have improved too. Full LED headlights are standard.

Inside, the cabin of the new BMW 5 Series has been rejuvenated and looks to have caught up with the times with a more modern interface. The quality is excellent…everywhere. The digital instrument cluster has more modern graphics and the iDrive infotainment system has also been revised and feels more intuitive. A high resolution 10.25 inch screen comes as standard. There is still a bewildering list of menus and options to scroll through, but that’s more down to the technological scope of this car.

BMW 5 Series Irish Review
The interior of the 2017 BMW 5 Series

The new 5 Series is 36mm longer than the outgoing model, 6mm wider and 2mm taller. The wheelbase has been extended by 7mm and there is more knee room and legroom. There are large footwells in the back, though the middle passenger will have to splay their legs around a large transmission tunnel – but width ways the car is very accommodating for three. The boot is a competitive 530 litres but naturally the saloon style narrow aperture makes access a bit more restricted.

In Ireland there are three trim levels, with entry models starting at €51,950 for the popular 188hp 520d. SE models start from €55,490 and M Sport from €56,980. BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system is also available from €60,630. There are also 530i and 540i petrol variants and a 530d diesel with 261hp. A 530e plug-in hybrid is also available from €62,550. All models have an eight speed automatic transmission as standard.

The technology available with the new BMW 5 Series is impressive including gesture control, remote parking and a number of driver assistance technologies that bring the 5 Series closer to fully autonomous driving.  The optional Driving Assistant Plus safety package includes the Lane Keeping Assistant, the Lane Departure Warning system and the Lane Change Warning.

I really enjoyed sampling the Steering and Lane Control Assistant. For short periods of time you can take your hands off the steering wheel and it steers the car to keep it in lane. The idea is to reduce driving stress particularly in traffic.

BMW 5 Series Review Ireland
The 2017 BMW 5 Series

The car I tested was a 520d M Sport and the refinement of the 2.0-litre diesel was very apparent. The engine pulls strongly - with a tap of the accelerator you’re away. BMW has paid particular attention to reducing interior noise levels in the development of the new 5 Series and it really shows. This is a super quiet, comfortable long distance cruiser. Yet on smaller roads, the BMW 5 Series is lithe and agile with beautiful rear wheel drive handling. The steering is meaty with plenty of feedback for a tactile experience behind the wheel.

It’s easy to fall in love with the new BMW 5 Series. This is a quality machine and feels like a modern and cutting-edge business saloon. Competition is fierce in this segment with the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Volvo S90 also highly accomplished cars, but the new BMW 5 Series feels like a true masterpiece.

Caroline Kidd

BMW 5 Series Irish Review
The new BMW 5 Series is a technological tour de force

Model tested: BMW 520d M Sport Saloon
€56,980 (€73,223 as tested)
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel
Torque: 400Nm
7.5 seconds
Top speed: 235km/h
CO2 emissions:  
Motor tax: 
€200 per year

BMW 330e Review Ireland

BMW 330e Review (2017)

The BMW 3 Series has been setting benchmarks for years as a fun to drive, rear wheel drive executive saloon, but there comes a time when even the 3 Series has to begin to embrace alternative energy sources.

BMW’s answer is the 330e plug-in hybrid. The 330e combines an electric motor and a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy, and can be driven on pure electric power for a range of up to 40kms.

And while BMW went wacky with the i3, the 330e plug-in hybrid goes incognito. There’s a discreet ‘edrive’ badge on the C-pillar and an extra filler cap to allow you to plug the car into a domestic mains supply or a public charging point, but other than that, this is standard 3 Series.

BMW 330e Review Ireland
The interior of the BMW 330e

Inside the cabin of the BMW 330e the only additions are a few extra gauges and buttons for the hybrid system. The 3 Series cabin lacks some of the style and drama of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class or the Audi A4, but there’s still little to complain about behind the wheel. Infotainment is provided via a high-resolution colour screen with iDrive Controller. The BMW 3 Series will seat five and offers reasonable passenger space for a car of this size. However boot space is compromised by the battery under the boot floor. It’s down a considerable 110 litres to 370 litres and naturally the saloon shape makes the boot opening quite small and narrow.

BMW has harnessed the electric power to make the 330e a potentially very economical car to run, but also one that is very enjoyable to drive with dizzying power and responsiveness. The 2.0-litre petrol engine and electric motor team up to produce 252hp and that’s sent to the rear wheels via an 8 speed automatic gearbox. Peak torque is 420Nm and the 330e can move swiftly with 0 to 100kmh achieved in just 6.1 seconds.

BMW 330e Review Ireland
The BMW 330e combines a petrol engine and an electric motor to produce 252hp

Despite the extra weight of the battery on board, the 330e skips around corners like a car half its size and that’s backed up by really responsive and communicative steering. The hybrid system doesn’t just lower emissions; it also really adds to this car’s appeal. When you put your foot down on the accelerator, the power delivery is so strong and even from the electric torque provided by the battery. It’s very satisfying.

The list price for the 330e in Ireland is €41,030 including grant and VRT rebate for hybrids so it does carry a premium over the diesel 3 Series range, which starts at €36,570. There is the potential to make savings in running costs – motor tax is €170 per year and if you do a short commute and can keep the battery topped up you will be dipping into the fuel tank very little. The problem is that the claimed economy of 134.5mpg is widely inflated and most people will not see that in daily use.  It’s important to note that when the power in the battery starts to dwindle, the 330e becomes less efficient.

BMW 330e Review Ireland
The BMW 330e plug-in hybrid can be driven on just electric power for a range of up to 40kms

The BMW 330e’s reason for being might be to provide an alternative more fuel efficient option to the 3 Series range in line with current trends in the industry but the 330e can stand proud because the hybrid system really adds to the performance too. The 330e manages to feel like a genuine sports saloon and the handling balance and electric torque make this a thrilling drive. The 330e won’t suit every buyer as to make this car worth the premium over a diesel and to cut your fuel costs, you really need to be exploiting that pure electric range on a daily basis. But if hybrid is right for you, you will do it in considerable style and prestige in the 330e, while also having a lot of fun.

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: BMW 330e M Sport Saloon
€41,030 (as tested €51,922)
2.0-litre turbo petrol (+ electric motor)
Power: 252hp
6.1 seconds
Claimed economy: 
CO2 emissions:  
Motor tax:
€170 per year

BMW 330e Review Ireland
The BMW 330e is a fun to drive, rear wheel drive saloon that can potentially be very cheap to run

BMW 320d Gran Turismo Review Ireland

BMW 3 Series GT Review

The BMW 3 Series has been setting benchmarks for years as an engaging rear wheel drive, medium-sized saloon but what happens when you take that, stretch it a bit, turn it into a hatchback and give it an, ahem, larger bottom? Well the result is actually a very appealing car indeed. The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo (GT) joins the saloon and Touring (estate) in the 3 Series family and it’s for buyers looking for more comfort and space from their 3 Series.

The 3 Series GT sits taller in the metal than the saloon and estate, and it’s also a bit longer than both. Four doors with frameless windows nod to something more exclusive, while an aerodynamic spoiler that lifts automatically at high speeds makes that large rear look that bit more sporty and dynamic. An electric tailgate comes as standard and opens to reveal a large 520 litre boot, which is actually 25 litres bigger than that in the Touring model.

BMW 320d Gran Turismo Review Ireland
The 3 Series Grand Turismo is the most spacious car in the 3 Series family

BMW has given the 3 Series GT a longer wheelbase so there is more interior space than in the saloon and estate. Rear seating is limo-like with 70mm of additional legroom, while an increased ride height makes entry easier and gives a slightly raised seating position. The cabin quality is excellent with a fine mix of materials. Infotainment is provided via a high-resolution colour screen with iDrive Controller. Standard equipment includes automatic climate control, keyless engine ignition, LED headlights for dipped and high beam, and LED front fog lamps.

There are a range of petrol and diesel engines available for the 3 Series GT, as well as manual and automatic gearboxes, and the option of four wheel drive on some models. The entry diesel is the 318d with 143hp, while my test car was the popular 320d with 188hp. Motor tax for the 320d is €200 per year, and the claimed economy is 61.4mpg, though during my test drive I got around 47mpg without trying too hard.

BMW 320d Gran Turismo Review Ireland
The interior of the 3 Series Gran Turismo

The 2.0-litre diesel of the 320d feels at home in the 3 Series GT with responsive power and 400Nm of torque bringing it to 100kmh in 7.7 seconds. It makes for a powerful, refined driving experience and the 3 Series GT is comfortable always. The 3 Series may carry a little extra weight but there is still a beautiful dynamism to this car that belies its bulk. There is some lean in corners at speed but with Sport mode selected things firm up. The steering is the right weight when you want it, and is so, so precise. A 3 Series saloon feels lighter and a bit more athletic, but this 3 Series GT is still a great drive.

The 3 Series GT starts at €46,730 and does carry a premium over the saloon (from €36,570) and the Touring (from €38,940). But the larger dimensions and air of exclusivity about the GT do go some way to justify this and it’s keenly priced against the Audi A5 Sportback, a key rival. Things do begin to get more expensive as you move up the trim levels (SE, Sport, Luxury, M Sport), add the 8-speed automatic gearbox and any other of a number of options. The model on test was a 320d M Sport with 8-speed automatic gearbox and comes in at €53,438 before you hit the options list.

BMW 320d Gran Turismo Review Ireland
The 2.0-litre diesel of the 320d suits the 3 Series GT with responsive power and impressive refinement

Still the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo certainly makes a statement and has its own distinctive character and niche within the 3 Series range. For this car to be worth the premium, you really would need to be making good use of that extra space in the rear and the boot, and bear in mind that a 5 Series is also within reach at this price range. But the 3 Series GT is a unique enough proposition to draw some fans.

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: BMW 320d M Sport Gran Turismo
Price: €53,438 (as tested €63,016)
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel
Power: 188hp
0-100km/h: 7.7 seconds
Economy: 61.4mpg
CO2 emissions: 120g/km
Motor tax: €200 per year