Alpina D3: Spotted

Four years is quite a while in the automotive world. When the Alpina D3 first arrived we'd only just driven the latest M3; since then we've had a GTS, a CS and a Comp Pack as BMW tried to perfect its supersaloon, while Alpina - content with what it created first time around - has tinkered just a bit at facelift time. Well if it isn't broke...

There's no denying the D3 - any Alpina F30 3 Series come to think of it - is a special, special car. Chris Harris tried a petrol powered B3, skidded it around a bit and returned brimming with praise. When we drove the diesel the verdict was similar; "the D3 makes a compelling case for the ultimate do-it-all car." The simple fact is it can do so much, so much of the time. Performance isn't far behind an M3, without attracting the unwanted attention of an M car - to many it's simply a 3 Series on big wheels. And while it may not be as sharp to drive, the Alpina counters with sublime refinement, a sumptuous ride and arguably more entertainment at road speeds.

Drive one and you'll wonder why Alpinas are such rare cars. Then you'll remember that lots of people aspire to an M car more than an Alpina (or that a regular BMW will satisfy their needs just fine), that a BMW is easier to buy than an Alpina and, finally, that a lot of people spending more than £50k on a 'special' car want petrol.

Thank goodness there are people like the first owner of this Alpina D3 though, who could make the numbers work and bought their grey (with more grey inside) Touring in 2014. Apparently one of just 63 such people who have done similar, they then proceeded to drive it quite a lot. And then some more. And some more...

Which means in the first month of 2018 this car is for sale at £25,990 with 86,000 miles. Given the timeframe this must have been done on motorways (hopefully including German ones, where that 173mph top speed could be tested), and the condition reflects that. It looks as fresh inside and out as a car of half that mileage (although a look at the bolsters would make us absolutely sure), the wheels are remarkably unkerbed and those low-lying stickers have even survived a busy four years.

It's rare to find nearly new Alpinas for sale, with this the only 3 Series of its generation currently on PH - why would you change having consciously chosen something different? One can only assume the owner of this car changes every three years or so to keep their cross-continent express feeling fresh; a new B5 Touring, perhaps?

There's nothing to suggest this D3 doesn't have plenty of life left in it, though. After all, this was an expensively engineered car to start with which, you would assume, has accrued its miles in relatively steady fashion. Perhaps the more pertinent question is whether prospective buyers want to take the plunge on a diesel at the moment; a debate that will run and run, for sure, but for now at least it still offers excellent fuel economy and low road tax. For many scenarios it will continue to suit, though of course whether that will remain the case in future is unknown.

Even with the diesel doom and gloom hanging over it, this D3 seems like a heck of an opportunity. This must be the first time one of these cars has been available at this price, and the mileage is backed up with a full service history. It will continue to depreciate (but probably not as much as a 335d) and best budget for some fresh consumables soon (when don't you have to?), but a D3 promises to be an immensely rewarding way to ferry you, the family and whatever else you need around. Good luck!


Engine: 2,993cc, 6-cyl twin-turbo diesel
Transmission: 8-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 350@4,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 516@1,500-3,000rpm
MPG: 53.3
CO2: 139g/km
First registered: 2014
Recorded mileage: 86,000 miles
Price new: £46,950
Yours for: £25,990

See the original advert here



P.H. O'meter

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Comments (74) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Killer1 24 Jan 2018


    Anyone, who isn't on the sell side of things, driven the new Alpina B5 (preferably Touring)? Any feedback?

  • Phil Dicky 24 Jan 2018

    Might have to have a look at that, only 6 miles from me, would make a lovely daily smile

  • mylesmcd 24 Jan 2018

    Torque (lb ft): 516@1,500-3,000rpm


  • unpc 24 Jan 2018

    I had an E90 D3 and the 4 cylinder lump in it utterly ruined the car. I should imagine the 6 is a better bet but I'd rather have a B3.

  • Keith R 24 Jan 2018

    £26k for a diesel that's done 86,000 miles?! I know it's an Alpina, but really?

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