Cheap and Cheerful: 2007 Alpina D3
I know this segment is called ĎCheap and Cheerfulí, and thereís nothing neither cheap nor cheerful about maintaining an old Alpina (which is essentially a BMW), but hear me out for a second before jumping to conclusions.
While scrolling through the classifieds on our website, searching for interesting things to write about, I stumbled upon this. Itís a thirteen-year-old Alpina D3 with 180,000 miles on the clock, but before you call me a lunatic for even suggesting it, contemplate this: itís a mere £3,450.
Given how extremely valuable Alpinas seem to be, especially the ones in good nick, this car is worth well over £4k if you were to part it out and sell the parts alone. Whatís more, I donít think the mileage is always indicative of whether a car is in good shape. This car is a perfect example of that. Itís had 2 previous owners, indicating itís been well taken care of despite being used quite often.
The fact that itís got such high mileage means it was mostly used on the motorways, so itís never had to sit through traffic too much. Plus, itís had a recent MOT, as well as a brand-new clutch and flywheel install. As per the advert, the bodywork is average, indicating it has a few cuts and bruises, but which decade-old car doesnít?
I honestly believe this is one of the best cars currently advertised on our website, and the high miles donít scare me off one bit.
As mentioned, the body has a few scrapes and bumps, as evident on some of the photos, but itís nothing too serious. The car seems to be in decent condition, as I canít see any major red flags or signs pointing to potential issues.
The car doesnít have any sunburns or discolourations on the bonnet or the roof, which is where they usually manifest themselves. The side skirt seems to be in good shape, as is the front bumper, which is always a good sign as it means the owner has been mindful of how low his car is.
I love the way this generation of Alpinas look. Thereís something about the D3 that just makes it much more appealing than a regular ,BMW 3 Series to me. It might be the aggressive body kit which looks mega, or those bespoke Alpina wheels, but I reckon this lovely deep blue has something to do with it as well.
You can always tell an Alpina from a regular BMW, canít you? I love how instantly recognizable they are, despite the fact that theyíre based on some of the most mainstream and mass-produced cars in the world.
An Alpina should never be overstated or too flashy. This isnít a Brabus or an ABT Audi. Alpinas are all about classy understatement with a healthy dose of aggression, which this D3 nails beautifully. Based on looks alone, I reckon this car is worth well over £8k, or at least thatís what everyone else will assume you paid for it.
Inside, Alpinas are practically identical to their BMW counterparts, minus a few features which help them stand out. This particular car has the blue instrument cluster (as all Alpinas do), different Alpina seats, and an Alpina emblem on its steering wheel.
The steering wheel is a regular 3-Series steering wheel and not the M-Sport one, but I find this one to be more manageable as itís less chunky and wide. This is a manual car, so it gets a leather gear stick in the middle, and the pedals have been left untouched.
Thereís not much more to say really. The Alpina D3 is just as comfortable and just as roomy as a regular 3-Series, with the exception of having slightly different seats. Based on the pictures, the cabin looks in remarkably good condition, despite the carís age. The steering wheel has some scratching, but thatís to be expected.
On the whole, this car looks like itís been taken care of all its life.
Engine and Performance
The D3 is based on a regular 320d, so it uses the same M47 four-cylinder turbocharged engine as the standard car. Because Alpina has tinkered with it though, it now develops 200 horsepower and 302 lb-ft of torque (420 Nm). On the road, the D3 feels adequately quick enough for any occasion. Itíll hit 62 mph in 7.4 seconds and top out at 147 mph.
Whatís really impressive is the in-gear acceleration though. Because this is a manual car, you can shift down yourself, avoiding the hassle of having to deal with an older-style automatic gearbox. At around 2,000 rpm, the turbo starts to kick in heavily and you feel a lump of torque going through those rear wheels and into the tarmac.
Overtaking feels effortless, at any gear, at any speed. Thatís the thing with quick diesels: they never sound impressive on paper, but they feel much more potent in the real world. Because itís based on a 3-Series, the D3 has a sweet chassis too. It feels responsive and light on its feet, with steering thatís communicative and accurate.
You can feel that itís rear-wheel-driven because youíre getting pushed along rather than pulled forwards. The suspension feels plush too, but body roll is controlled. The D3 was built with comfort in mind, but itís definitely not afraid of a corner as well.
Model: Alpina D3
As I said before, I think that around £3.5k is extremely reasonable for used BMW Alpina D3 cars for sale. Donít let the high mileage put you off, because this is an excellent purchase. It looks like a car thatís been taken care of which will serve you for many years to come.
DesperateSeller.co.uk rating: 8 out of 10