By on July 13, 2012

The 335d may not have done so well in the United States, but BMW seems undeterred, and is set to launch yet another oil-burning 3er shortly.

Rumors of another diesel 3-Series began in the bowels of the internet rumor-mill, but ended up being confirmed by BMW. Sort of.  AutoGuide.com initially reported the “news” based on a tweet (!) from Automobile’s Jason Cammisa, but a BMW spokesman ended up verifying the factoid, telling them

…the next BMW Advanced Diesel engine that will come to the US is the 2.0-liter  4-cylinder turbo-diesel. Specific timing and model applications will follow.

If the new engine doesn’t appear in a 320d, I’ll go out and buy a Jetta SportWagen TDI. Or a 320i.

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33 Comments on “BMW’s North American Diesel Parade Continues On, With Fewer Cylinders...”


  • avatar
    rickyc

    This sounds better than the 335d, a 2.0 liter turbo diesel with 280 ft lbs of torque and 40 mpg is just awesome!! The 335d was a great car but too pricey which made it a tough choice to choose it over the 335i. BMW makes the best 2.0 turbo engines in gas and diesel version.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    (pedant) One ‘t’, two ‘r’s. (/pedant)

  • avatar
    needsdecaf

    @rickyc – the fuel ratings in the UK for the 320d are 62.8 MPG in the Euro Combined cycle.

    Beating 40 MPG on the US EPA cycle should be relatively easy, considering the 328 is almost there already on the Highway rating.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      http://wot.motortrend.com/3-down-2012-bmw-328i-automatic-epa-rating-dropped-to-33-mpg-highway-182005.html

      Not really. BMW was trying to pull a Hyundai and they got caught.

  • avatar
    vvk

    Please, pleeease sell me one with three pedals!!!

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    I can’t help but feel BMW is de-contenting their car to chase VW. Also not sure, thinking about fatigue limits, whether I want to pay a premium for a diesel with an aluminum block as opposed to VW’s iron block.

  • avatar
    carguy

    The 4 cylinder diesel makes a lot more sense than the twin turbo 335d. While the 6 had great torque is was neither fast or frugal enough to win the hearts of either the go-fast crowd or buyers that wanted great mileage. As long as they can keep the non premium diesel clatter under control and not require urea injection, I can see how this could work in the 3 series as well as the X1 and X3.

    • 0 avatar
      Chicago Dude

      I don’t understand the hate for urea injection. It’s now required for semi trucks in the US and Canada. You can buy it for a few bucks per gallon at any truck stop in North America. The same exact stuff the dealer sells for $30-40 a quart. It makes a big difference in emissions for a small price.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      The odds of this car NOT needing urea injection are pretty long. The new Passat TDI needs urea injection, and it’s substantially lighter than the 3-series.

      But as Chicago Dude says, it really should not be a big issue/

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Memo to the Bavarians:

    Diesels primarily appeal to buyers of wagons, SUVs, and road cars in the US. Also, to people who drive extremely high miles. Strongly recommend a special diesel model supported by targeted marketing to improve diesel acceptance. Please consider an entry level luxury commuter designed specifically around the needs of Starbucks sipping suburbanites that work downtown (a low cost 1 with pimped captains chair), or a wagon or crossover for the traveling professional who covers a rural territory (deconted 5 wagon or X3). Perhaps an SAV for the family with a cabin or a young weekend warrior (durable, cleanable interior with custom external storage systems).

    Chosen vehicle should be distinctly recognizable as distinct from the donor series.

    That is all.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    This would be an ideal commuter car for me if I could get a 3 yr, 36K mile per year lease for $299 like Chevy is offering on the Volt.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    BMW just needs to look at what sells… VW’s TDI manual transmission take rate is a lot higher than industry average, and a fully loaded JSW is around 30k.

    So selling an automatic-only car at twice the price is NOT the way to win people over.

    I spend equal time laughing and crying on the inside that no one can figure out the right way to steal these sales from VW, when it’s right in front of their eyes.

    • 0 avatar
      Lampredotto

      Bingo. And based on my own highly empirical observations, the manual TDI JSW’s are being sold that way– with all the toys. We wanted one without sunroof and nav, and had to special order from the factory (a 14 week wait).

      Compare to Mazda and Subaru’s strategy, where the 5, the CX-5, and the Forester, all of which we cross-shopped, can’t be had with a fully-loaded manual at any price.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        It cracks me up that every single time a diesel gets announced by someone else, it gets canceled due to “market research,” yet VW still sells the hell out of their diesels. Maybe they should “competitor research” instead?

        I’m still waiting for the Cruze and Skyactive diesels to get canceled… I have zero faith in them showing up. I *HOPE* I’m wrong.

        I think Dodge under Fiat will pull it off first. Just a hunch.

  • avatar
    GiddyHitch

    I had a brand new manual E90 320d as a rental in Germany a couple of years back. I absolutely hammered that thing on German backroads and did multiple top speed tests on the Autobahn. My penalty for all of that hooning? 39mpg! With a very useable torque band and an acceptable amount of diesel clatter, i remember thinking at the time that this is a diesel that could work in the US market. I will absolutely consider an F30 version if they bring it over. A wagon would be even better.

  • avatar
    Geeky1

    They’d have sold at least one more 335d in the US if they’d seen fit to offer the car with a clutch pedal. I test drove one. Liked it a lot. Just not enough to put up with the slushbox.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      BMW doesn’t sell the 335d anywhere with a clutch pedal – it is automatic only globally, they don’t have a manual transmission that can take the low-rpm torque. The most powerful diesel they sell with a manual is the 330d, which is the same engine but de-tuned a good bit.

      The REALLY, REALLY, REALLY stupid decision on BMWs part was not selling the 335d over here in the station wagon. They would have sold every single one they could bother to import, at pretty much whatever price they want to charge. I would have even given up the manual, and I LOVE my manuals.

      If they do bring over the 320D with manual in the F31 3-series wagon, I will have a very lovely Tasman on Chestnut, manual, RWD e91 3-series wagon for sale.

      As I have said on here before, I got to drive a 320D e91 quite a bit back in ’06 in Europe. Utterly amazing car – easily got high 30′s mpg at 100mph+ Autobahn speeds, and more than quick enough. Given that the engine in the 3-series is more sophisticated than VW’s, the car is slipperier and not much heavier than a Jetta wagon I would expect for my driving here to see 50mpg +/- on trips.

      • 0 avatar
        Geeky1

        Yeah, I know they don’t offer it with a manual anywhere. I’ve read rumors that the 6spd out of the E39 M5 will stand up to it, but who knows if that’s true. Either way, they didn’t and don’t care enough to bother coming up with a solution. And from a business standpoint, I can’t really blame them. Still sucks, though.

        A 335D wagon would be a nice option to have though, even with a slushbox. If the 320D makes it over here, I’ll be very interested in seeing what kind of power aftermarket tuners get out of it-especially if it comes with a stick.

  • avatar
    vanpressburg

    Finally. 320d makes much more sense than 335d.

  • avatar
    Carrera

    The 335D was answering a question that no one was asking. Most people weren’t looking for a performance diesel, but for a frugal vehicle. The 335d’s consumption was impressive for the power and torque it was providing, but that’s not what people were looking for. I’ve been in European 320ds and I was very impressed. The power delivery and fuel consumption was amazing. Now, if they could keep the price at $34-35K this could be a blockbuster. If the price gets into the $40s…I don’t know…

    • 0 avatar
      facelvega

      Judging from the price ratios of the different models on bmw’s UK website, it looks like an American 320d should come in at around $34-35k base, and easily push $40 normally loaded. I.e., about 3-4 percent lower than a similarly-equipped 328i.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Highly unlikely that they would offer it for LESS than a 328i. I would expect the base price to be at least $2-3K higher. Probably split the difference between the 328i and the 335i. But nobody ever buys a “base” BMW, even my lightly optioned car has over $6K of extra stuff on it – and most buyers would consider mine a hairshirt special. These are not economy cars, though the 320d is certainly economical.

        But as I have said before, when you are talking $40K +/-, what’s another $3-5K? The only reason I didn’t order more toys on my car was that I didn’t want them, the extra cost was not a factor at all. Just more stuff to break, and I think the iDrive/Nav dash setup is ugly. Ticking ALL the option boxes including some of the silly priced 19″ wheel upgrades and you could spend over $62K on an ’11 328i Wagon.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        It’s not without (successful) precedent. Consider that in many of Mercedes’ cars here in the U.S., the economy/diesel is the entry model (current GL and S class).

  • avatar
    blowfish

    pay a premium for a diesel with an aluminum block as opposed to VW’s iron block.

    alloy block in dsl is it a good thing? as alloy likes to change shape when temp rose. merc made a bunch of them.
    the famous 350 sdl, solly that has nothing to do with alloy blk, but tried to blame our dsl with no sulphur!

    BMW historically didnt sell oel burner too well un-like merc or veedub those 4-5 cyl merc and wabbits were flying of the showroom
    back in the early 80s.
    Bimmer only carried on the 524 tdi for 1-2 yrs. They also sold the engine to a few Lincoln Contirentals , who tried to go oel burning too.

    • 0 avatar
      Geeky1

      The 350SDL didn’t have an aluminum block. The OM603 has an iron block with an aluminum head. The issue with the 3.5L version were unrelated to the block or head materials; the rods were simply too long. They bent, which lead to ovaled cylinder bores. This caused the engine to use a substantial amount of oil, which is when people usually noticed and took it in.

      There have been something like 7 revisions of the 3.5L rod over the years, and Mercedes was replacing the engines under warranty with 3.0s.

      The only issue related to aluminum that I’m aware of with any Mercedes diesel engine is the head on the original 3.0L OM603. The first casting run (“#14″ heads) had a metallurgical issue with the aluminum alloy that made them especially prone to cracking if they were overheated. It was a non-issue if the owner wasn’t a moron; there are plenty of early cars with their original heads still running around.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    You can do it without a diesel, too, if that’s your only criterion:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/car-life/across-canada-on-four-tanks-of-gas/article4386735

    i really dont know how they can do it?


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