By on March 27, 2013

What a day for TTAC readers. Not only did Volvo revive the wagon with the Euro-tastic V60, but BMW is about to bring us two new diesel powered cars.

Both sedan and wagon versions of the 328d will be offered, offering 180 horsepower, 280 lb-ft of torque and 45 mpg on the highway. BMW says city fuel economy should be in the mid 30′s. No manual will be offered, but all-wheel drive will be. Unfortunately, you’ll have to spend about $40,000 to get all this. Also on tap is a diesel 5-Series. BMW didn’t say much about that, but look for it in 2014.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

92 Comments on “BMW Drops More Diesels On American Consumers...”


  • avatar

    The same attacks I levy against Hybrids I also levy against Diesels.

    There is absolutely no way you can argue that the marginally higher fuel efficiency of Diesels isn’t offset by the higher average cost of the Diesel car and the higher cost of diesel fuel.

    I just put 10 gallons of Super Premium unleaded in my car for $4.19 per gallon. Diesel was $4.39 per gallon.

    The average Diesel costs more to finance than the average 4-cylinder gasoline car with the exact same equipment.

    In some parts of the world Diesel makes sense, but not here!

    It’s too bad Tesla doesn’t offer a natural gas, diesel or gasoline generator backup (dependent on region and energy supply) because the Tesla Model S is the first alternative I’ve seen that actually makes sense.

    A full sized luxury car for less than $56,000 which will actually save you thousands of dollars in gas per year without skimping on performance – even on the base motor. I think SRT and Jaguar may be slowly losing a customer next time around.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan R

      I am sure that waste cooking oil is cheaper.
      Not too many German style restaurants for the authentic feedstock.
      This will probably keep numbers sold down.

    • 0 avatar
      RobAllen

      I have a 2009 335D and get 33 mpg for my in-dash average. I find that number to be pretty accurate as I typically see 540ish miles between fill-ups.

      The 335i for the same year gets 26 mpg on premium fuel.

      For a 16.5 gallon tank, that means I can go an additional 115 miles, or the equivalent of 4+ gallons of premium unleaded vs the 335i. At $4.19 a gallon that’s $18 per fill-up I save. That really starts to add up with the mileage I do. I’ve logged over 20,000 miles since I bought the car last June.

      I don’t cost me a dime to opt for the diesel over the gas when financing either. So for me here in PA, it made sense.

      • 0 avatar

        Welcome to my world. I drive 30k/yr for work. I was converted to diesel when I drove from Berlin to Switzerland and back in a 320d (e90). My daily driver is a 330i, e46 so the comparison/contrast was close. The option mix on the German car was interesting…full electronics, cloth sport seats, manual adjustments !

        The gas car is quick on twisty roads. The diesel had very broad shoulders on the autobahn, and at $10 gallon, the economy of 40 mpg was appreciated.

        You need to acclimate to massive torque off the bottom and not much on top. It is just like the old school v8 with a 2 bbl carb.

        The 330i now has almost 300k, so I had to get a new daily driver. The 335d was out of production, and as I have to lease due to our insane tax code, I got a TDi. The TDi does not win drag races, but is fast enough in the real world. My highway speeds haven’t changed compared to the 3 :) .

        It is very economical at speed. A TL SH AWD I had in the same use got 17 mpg if pushed. The 3 does 25 mpg, but in a NY-Boston run the TDi hit the magic 40 mpg at “highway” speeds.

        If you drive 10k/yr it does not make sense to go diesel. I already have saved quite a bit on fuel compared to my “thirsty” 3 series, with 25 mpg combined. Diesel can usually be found for a few cents less than premimum fuel by me, although the price spread is amazing..one station has 4.19 and two blocks away it is 4.79. Luckily the 500 + mile tanks mean you can choose.

        I am quite peeved that BMW drops this now, but I think CPO in a few years might be the ticket.

        I drove “my” 320d with the six speed (and saw 225 kph on the autobahn) in Germany, and drove two 335d automatics over here. I prefer stick, but practically, that 335d ripped off shifts like a motocrosser.

        Germany did a “cash for clunkers” and just about every car on the road was “this generation”. 90% had a 2 liter turbodiesel, even the E class and 5 series cars. There were zillions of 1 series diesels. The gas cars we see are a rarity, and the “housewife” 328i engine is a BIG MOTOR over there. Driving a 335i is like tossing euro notes out the window as you drive.

        I should have brought back one of those diesel stick 5 series wagons…a TTAC staff car !

    • 0 avatar
      chaparral

      There will always be a car with the lowest cost of ownership available.

      Between price, tax rate, depreciation rate, maintenance cost, insurance cost, and fuel cost, some car must win the A-to-B derby.

      Right now, you can get a Mazda2 from some dealers for under twelve grand, and that’s the leader in this race. Simple, reliable, easy on consumables, not bad on gas. It’s a low-risk, low-investment car. 17 years before it rusts out, 250k miles before it craps out, so it’s probably cheaper by the year or mile than most used cars.

      Everything else has to compete on something other than cost. A diesel drives differently from a gasoline car, and it has nice advantages on long trips and for high-annual-mileage users.

      • 0 avatar

        I rented a Mazda2 a little over a year ago, for five days in WAshington State. If all cars were that dull to drive, I’d go back to bicycling.

        • 0 avatar
          chaparral

          100 horsepower engines and simple automatic transmissions don’t usually work well together. It’s a momentum/corner speed car either way, but the manual is a lot more fun.

          • 0 avatar
            redmondjp

            +1

            Back in the 1980s, any small car with a stick was infinitely better than the same with an automatic, which felt like having two hamsters underneath the hood connected to the drive wheels via rubber bands.

          • 0 avatar
            cargogh

            @redmondjp Back in ’82 a friend’s parents got a screaming yellow 4-door Chevette with auto and AC. With 4 of us in it and a full tank of diesel, it would never break 65mph on an incline.
            It was dangerously slow.

          • 0 avatar
            redmondjp

            cargogh,

            I know of what you speak – I had a 1981 VW Rabbit diesel. 55mph tops going up the closest mountain pass. I wouldn’t call it dangerously slow, however – it was no worse than most semi trucks and I just stayed in the right lane with them.

          • 0 avatar
            George Herbert

            My first I-own-it car was a handmedown VW Dasher Diesel from 1979 vintage, I think. I could keep it at 60 going up over Highway 17 between San Jose and Santa Cruz IF – and only if – I was able to keep up the first big incline at 60, and not get caught behind someone going any slower than about 58. At that point I’d have to downshift and it wouldn’t be able to do any faster up and over than 50 mph.

            Cars like that teach momentum management. Momentum management rocks as a baseline skill on performance road driving.

        • 0 avatar

          I own a Mazda2 with the five speed manual and I’m pretty happy with it. Thrash it through the corners, rev the engine enough and it’s plenty of fun. I say this as the former owner of two Alfas and a BMW. My only gripe with the 2 is the lack of a sixth cog for the highway, otherwise it’s the best new car purchase I’ve made in quite some time.

      • 0 avatar
        brettc

        A Mazda that won’t rust out for 17 years? I’d love to see one of those in Maine or any other area that uses road salt. I honestly don’t see the point of the Mazda 2, but I guess they must sell some of them.

        I chose a TDI wagon over the thirsty 2.5 L gas engine because I like diesels. My commute is a lot shorter than it was years ago, but I still love the driving characteristics of a diesel engine. Gobs of torque and I can still get in the low 30s on winter diesel/winter tires even driving like I stole it.

        Glad to see more and more diesel options showing up over here. Though it is a shame that it’s only occurring due to impending CAFE regulations. But I guess we take what we can get.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Am I in some distinct minority that views BMW as a manufacturer that just keeps porking out their vehicles, making worse changes to their powertrains, and that is generally bleeding whatever feeling of life and mechanical goodness remains (when their vehicles, especially that beginning with a 3 moniker, used to be full of life and mechanical goodness) out of their vehicles?

          • 0 avatar
            dantes_inferno

            > No manual will be offered,

            Sorry. No manual, no sale. They can keep those video-game-like paddle shifters….

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @bigtruckseriesreview
      I totally disagree with your assumption on diesel in the US. This paradigm that some in the US have about diesel and is a fallacy.

      In Australia diesel is more expensive than petrol, even premium unleaded. But diesel is taking off.

      Our level of taxation and the cost of fuel relative to our income makes it comparable to what the Canadians pay for fuel. About 3.6% of average earnings. The US is near 3% of average earnings. The information is 2 years old from Bloomberg.

      We have had emission regulations for diesel recently (past decade) based on Euro standards and petrol (gasoline) based on US standards. We will be completely EuroVI compliant by 2017.

      This had produced the fairest market in the world to determine which fuel will be the oil based fuel of the future globally.

      The gasoline regulations are because of Holden and Ford who run US engines ie V8s and the diesel imports are from Asia and Europe.

      This has lead our market to be one of the most competitive and fairest in the world to the point where many companies use Australia to gauge how their product will sell in other global markets.

      Diesel will take off in the US. When people purchase a vehicle they don’t just look at the list price and choose the cheapest. Like myself when I buy a vehicle I determine what I can afford and choose the best overall vehicle to suit my needs.

      And, if diesel falls into that bracket, then it has a significant chance of selling. Spending $30k on a car that gets 45mpg or $30k on a car that gets 35mpg it is chalk and cheese.

      A lot of people think like that. Not just 0-100kmph times and biggest, mostest, fastest. That part of the US culture is dying.

      The way people value and choose a vehicle covers many areas.

      • 0 avatar

        If Diesel was so great we’d already be on it!

        The only reason why anyone is even saying the word “diesel” is because our ridiculous energy policies and regulations on cars have caused the price of gas to rise while mandating cars magically get the kind of fuel efficiency diesels are known for.

        I don’t expect you to agree.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          “Energy policies” haven’t caused gas prices to rise, higher global demand does. When gas was $1/gallon there was no Chinese middle class.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @bigtruckseriesreview
          Oh no misguided?

          What has protected the US from diesel in the past are the price of gasoline, the Big 3 and CAFE/EPA regulations.

          Now that you will become very closely aligned to the rest of the globe with emissions in 2 years and the price of fuel can only go up, you will see diesel become more popular.

          Sorry, the world is catching up to you guys.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Who cares? I wouldn’t buy a diesel JUST to save money, because you are mostly correct. I would buy it because of the way they drive, the appeal of using less fuel to do the job, and for the range. I used to LOVE that I could go 800+ miles on a tank on my Golf TDI. Maine to NJ and back on one tank. This is actually THE most annoying thing about my new FIAT Abarth – it only has a 10 gallon tank, so I am stopping for fuel constantly.

      The 320d (which is what this is regardless of what BMW badges it in the US) has 80% of the performance of a 328i while using 1/2 the fuel in the real world. It will be interesting to see what the actual price difference is. The lack of a manual is pretty much a deal killer for me though, otherwise I would be first in line at the local BMW store.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      To my mind it is not about the fuel savings paying for itself. It is about voting with my dollars. I would rather pay a German or Japanese manufacturer for sophisticated machinery rather then feed that money to the fossil fuel industry. The fossil fuel industry is doing many very despicable things.

      • 0 avatar
        michal1980

        So why are you buying anything that burns oil.

        Diesel or Gas, you are still using a fossil fuel. Furthermore, it takes more oil to make diesel then it does for gas

      • 0 avatar
        Chicago Dude

        ” I would rather pay a German or Japanese manufacturer for sophisticated machinery rather then feed that money to the fossil fuel industry.”

        OK, that’s a valid viewpoint. I won’t disparage it. But why not take it farther? Have you taken necessary steps to reduce your overall energy requirements? You’ve demonstrated the ability and willingness to pay more upfront for your transportation because you feel better about who that money goes to.

        Why not pay more for your American-made house and live closer to your job? Maybe you can then take an American-made train that uses American-made electricity and is operated by Americans.

        It’s just a thought, but it seems to be a logical extension of your viewpoint.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          @Chicago Dude

          I did. I work from home, zero commute. I spent $15K on a hyper-efficient furnace upgrade, cutting my heating oil usage from 1200 to 400 gallons per year. I have a TINY house by modern McMansion standards. I try to drive reasonably efficient cars that still provide the driving enjoyment I desire. I see no need for automotive hairshirts in my life, I don’t drive enough.

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      I have a diesel in my Jeep which I use for towing at least 15x a year. If I had a model with the Hemi I’d get around 13 city and 18 highway whereas my CRD gets 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. When towing is where it’s an even bigger difference as I can get 18 mpg towing 70 mph whereas the Hemi would see 10 mpg at the same pace. Why? Well under a heavy work load a diesel is 50% more efficient than a similar gas engine as max torque starts at 1600 rpm thus there are less injection cycles to pull the same weight than the Hemi which would need 3k rpms to be in full song. The resale is also much higher than the gas models as well.

      Diesel several years ago was as cheap as regular gas but has gone up significantly due to heating oil demand as diesel can be used to heat homes. Also there has been very little increase in diesel refining capacity in the US (ultra low sulfur) and Latin America is a big importer from the US.

      • 0 avatar

        When I say ENERGY POLICIES- the environmentalists have gone out of their way to stifle America’s energy production because just like healthcare, their idea of an “energy policy” is RATIONING.

        There aren’t many (if any) GEOLOGISTS in this forum. You people are parroting information you hear about fossil fuels.

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          “because just like healthcare, their idea of an “energy policy” is RATIONING.”

          Everyone’s ideas for healthcare are about rationing — some people just don’t admit it. At the end of the day, everyone can’t get everything for free. You can call it rationing, you can call it being cost-effective, you can call it a Cadillac Cimarron, but it’s all the same thing.

  • avatar
    cargogh

    GM should take some tips from Ford’s old Granada ads when it was often confused with a more expensive Mercedes and pair the Cruze with a 3.

  • avatar
    vvk

    > No manual will be offered, but all-wheel drive will be.

    So, no manual, again. I thought they learned their lesson with the 335d. I guess not.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    335d had to be automatic only because at the time BMW had no manual that could handle the torque. This time there is no excuse. I’m also concerned about the AWD. The current 3 series wagon is AWD only. Will RWD be offered on the diesel? For me, AWD is a waste of $ and in a BMW is a buzzkill on the fun to drive factor. Why should I spend the extra $ on this when VW will sell me a diesel wagon with a proper manual gearbox? I can only hope that European delivery would help you get more flexibility on some of those options.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Agreed. There are lots of people who live in the temperate regions that never see snow. Both teh Mercedes GLK and BMW’s own X1 offer the RWD choice. I don’t see why the 3-wagon has to be AWD only.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      “…335d had to be automatic only because at the time BMW had no manual that could handle the torque.”

      Just wondering how much Tq the 335d was laying down. The manual in the M5 had to be beefy enough and I’m guessing that the 550i/545i would also do.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      No, the current e91 wagon is not AWD-only. Unless what is parked in my garage is some sort of escaped prototype.

      Otherwise, I completely agree with you. If I could get an F31 328d in RWD with a manual transmission, I would be placing my order today. I’ve already made my feelings known to the owner of my local dealership – I’d love to order another car from them, but if I can’t have it my way I will just keep the one I have.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        @ Krhodes1 – I was on BMW’s website. they must have made a mistake if you have a RWD one. the only F31 they show is a 328i x drive. If they do offer it, the choice becomes more challenging as far as what is more important, the RWD or the stick shift.

        I know with other manufacturers you can get certain features if you take European delivery; not sure if BMW operates the same way. Glad I have enough miles for a roundtrip biz class ticket to Germany if I decide to go this route in a few years.

        @hubcap – it was over 400 lb-ft. I don’t believe the F10 M5′s transmission was available yet (not sure where they sourced it from). I also don’t know what its dimensions are like and if it would fit under a 3 series. Rest assured that if it can be done, someone will. I know of multiple e39 540i wagons running around with 6 speed manual swaps.

        depending on what the price difference is, this could make a lot of sense vs a 328i for a lot of buyers (who wouldn’t be getting the manual anyway). whereas before you had to justifying sacrificing a soul stirring BMW straight six for the diesel, their 4 cylinder, while smooth and quiet, is completely devoid of personality (at least in the 528i I drove). If they took that part of the fun away for fuel economy, might as well maximize the benefit. mid 30s in the city and 45 on the highway is truly impressive.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          @tjh8402

          My apologies if you meant the F31. I have an E91, which I considered the “current model”, as the F31 was not on the website the last time I looked – which was about a week ago! I see they have it now, and this is extremely disappointing. I have even less use for AWD in a CAR than I have for an automatic transmission. Oh well, guess I will spend my $45K on something else.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Because when push comes to shove, you probably aren’t going to buy any new car, so all the talk of how companies need to cater to you is a little silly. The people who actually put their dollars up don’t like manuals, so the companies don’t waste time + money making them for folks like us to buy at steep discounts/losses.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        @ sportyaccordy – we may not be a large segment of buyers, but some of us are for real. Part of why I may not buy a new car is because I can’t get the one that I want. If I’m gonna have to compromise on what I want, why spend $40k when I can spend half that? Had mazda offered the 6 as a wagon with the stick shit and the diesel, I would have already put a deposit down on it. If BMW is selling a stick shift diesel in about 3 years, I’ll should be ready to buy it. It’s competition won’t be other $40k cars though, as how many diesel wagons are there for $40k, stick shift and RWD or not? its competition will likely be the e46 325it, the Fiat 500, the Mazda 6, and the Jetta Sportwagen. If it gives me what I want, $40k is worth it. If not, I’ll get something cheaper. I can spend my $ on other things.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Well put, I feel the same way. It was a close thing for me when I bought my BMW wagon over a Jetta Sportwagen TDI. I decided I valued feel over fuel efficiency – the money difference is not terribly relevant to me. The BMW with a diesel would be perfect – I have driven the e91 320d extensively in Europe and it is an absolutely amazing car!

          BTW – if you like FIAT 500s you have to go give the Abarth a flog. By far the most fun car I have ever owned, the stupid thing makes me giggle like a schoolgirl every time I drive it. The exhaust note alone is a laugh riot. Stupid cheap too for what it is.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @SportyAccordy

        Oh, really? I’ve bought three new cars in the past four years. ’08 Saab 9-3SC with manual transmission, ’11 BMW 328i wagon with RWD and manual transmission, and a ’13 FIAT 500 Abarth, also with manual transmission. So I like to think my roughly $100K in new car purchases counts for something, thank you very much! And as I have said in this thread previously, I would have a RWD manual transmission 328d wagon on order right now if BMW would let me.

        • 0 avatar
          Chicago Dude

          “So I like to think my roughly $100K in new car purchases counts for something, thank you very much!”

          Not much, considering that it will cost BMW a lot more than $100,000 to certify a RWD manual transmission 328d wagon for sale in the USA.

          They need to be confident of a few thousand sales at the minimum. A few dozen are not enough.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            And yet for the entire run of the e91 they offered a manual transmission in it. For a car that sold well less than 1000 units a year total, automatic and manual combined. Why bother to offer the wagon at all? So they certainly COULD do it if they could be bothered. But as I said, their loss, not mine. I like my e91, I can put the $50K I would have spent towards other things.

            And I still come back to the statement that has been quoted many times on this board, that the cost of offering the Cadillac CTS-V wagon (in manual and automatic form) was such that only some tiny handful of cars needed to be sold to amortize those costs. That car is not THAT much more expensive than a loaded 3 in the grand scheme of things. So which is it? Wildly expensive, or fairly cheap? I find it very hard to believe that the costs to certify the wagon with the same engines and transmissions offered in the sedan are huge.

  • avatar
    NotFast

    Still waiting for a normal priced, diesel hybrid.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    I just bought a Ford C-Max at 27.5k (with tax), which gets similar MPG. I’d rather have a BMW 328D but you kind of lose the cheap to drive factor when the car itself is 40k. It’s bad enough at 27k. Really, financially you are still better off buying a Civic at 20k. It’s all about how much premium you’re willing to pay to drive something that’s “better”.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Holy early Christmas Batman!

    Audi A3 and S3
    Volvo wagon V60 turbo awesomeness
    More diesel BMWs awesomeness (OK, $40K to enter is a bit steep)
    CTS grows up and slims down to play with the big boys – plus 420 HP
    Z/28 LS7 powered Camaro with massive weight reduction and sweet looking body
    Regal gets a much needed boost and AWD
    Acura MDX now with 50% less beak
    Kia didn’t screw up the 2014 Soul (al a Scion second gen xB)
    And Ford of India gave us bound and gagged women in the trunk.

    Christmas in March!!!

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    I like diesels, but I do think there needs to be some honesty about their advantages. I would argue diesel ownership is almost always more expensive than a comparable car.

    Once you add up the extra cost of fuel alone, you’ve just about wiped out the fuel economy advantage. But then you add up the extra maintenance and parts (ever price a diesel fuel injector) and I think it’s always going to be in the red. And the idea that diesel engine blocks last significantly longer than a well maintained gas powered car is from the era of carburetors.

    The big exception is if you need a diesel truck to tow really heavy loads, but again, a diesel truck is significantly more expensive than a comparable gas powered, and I would argue less than 10% of new diesel truck owners actually use their truck to tow heavy loads.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      A high pressure direct injection gasoline injector is not any cheaper than a high pressure direct inection diesel injector.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        “A high pressure direct injection gasoline injector is not any cheaper than a high pressure direct inection diesel injector.”

        The rub being not every car uses direct injection but most if not all automotive diesels do.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          And the diesels have turbos too. Some DI gas engines do, but by no means all.

          Even in Europe, where diesel engine volumes are as large as gas, diesels engines cost more, largely because of added complexity to make them viable. Even compared to European makes’ hypercomplex gas mills.

          I’d argue that for those who care about TCO past the warranty period, Hondas and Toyotas are still the way to go, even if they give up a few mpg to the latest Euro wonders (Hybrids excepted. The Prius is both frugal and supposedly everlating)

  • avatar
    mike978

    Derek – are those fuel economy figures estimates from BMW? I ask because the engine output sounds comparable to the diesel proposed for the Mazda 6 and I would expect similar fuel figures (similar weight, power/torque output etc). 45mpg would be a nice 20% bump, which covers the extra cost of the fuel.

  • avatar
    William Swieczwski

    It is time for all automotive manufacturers to GET OUT of the electronics business .!
    They do NOT know what they are doing.
    i would rather have an automotive transportation unit that was reliable and functioned correctly … as such.

  • avatar
    chaparral

    I wonder how it will compare to the Mazda6 Skyactiv-D. They’re going to weigh about the same and make similar power.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @chaparral
      I’ve heard that Mazda is trying to design the Sky Active diesel to run on the US’s dirtier diesel.

      I don’t know what declines in performance will come of the design changes.

      Maybe the US should get its refiners to make a better quality product.

      You could then get the best diesels on offer.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        The US has exactly the same diesel as Europe – in fact we currently export a large amount of it to them.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          It’s not exactly the same- Cetane rating is lower in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @bumpy ii
            And your sulphur content is 50% higher.

          • 0 avatar

            Right on. Euro car diesel is 50 cetane, and ours is marked “minimum 40 cetane”. Having said that, my TDi loves Shell, BP and Sunoco, but Gulf turns it into an old school clatter-wagon. I’ve seen 45 cetane at one shell station, and no higher stickers anywhere…and I’ve been looking. The higher numbered fuel “detonates” easier, in converse to higher octane gasoline.

            I’ve not found a list of REAL world cetane ratings….just “minimum 40″ on the pump.

        • 0 avatar
          Brian P

          Not the same. Lubricity spec 520 micron wear scar on a particular test, the rest of the world (including Canada) specifies 460 wear scar, and there is considerable speculation that this is behind a lot of the trouble that VW has been having with the Bosch CP4.1 high-pressure fuel pump. I hope BMW has been paying attention to VW’s troubles …

  • avatar
    klossfam

    Decent math but bad argument bigtruckseriesreview @ Youtube…May apply to high priced vehicles and trucks. However, when are talking about something like a VW Golf that cost about $3,000 more or so for a diesel with the same equipment, your logic is off…REAL WORLD hwy mileage of 48 mpg vs 28 mpg so using 40% less fuel…That adds up quick even if you are in an area with heavily taxed diesel. This is what MOST people that drive diesels as a passenger vehicles are driving…and why Europe has more diesels than ‘petrol’ vehicles. If you are a highway commuter, then you REALLY make up the difference quickly…

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @klossfam
      Spot on!

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      Except a 2013 VW Golf 2.0 diesel 6 speed actually gets 42 highway and a gas powered 2.5L 5 cylinder Golf 5 speed gets 33 highway. So around 25% better fuel economy, but some of that is due to having a 5 cylinder engine and only 5 speeds. A 2.0 4 cylinder gas-powered with a 6 speed would be much closer to the diesel.

      The average price of regular gas is $3.68 versus versus diesel at $4.00.

      And according to Edmunds, the MSRP of a regular gas powered Golf is $17,725 vs TDI diesel at $24,235. That’s over a $6,500 difference, to say nothing about the additional maintenance diesels require.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather have a TDI Golf, but the math doesn’t really add up to “savings” in my book, at least for the average driver of around 12k miles a year, and is actually more expensive for most drivers.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @jacob_coulter
        You sort of gave a half story or truth.

        What is the difference in the optioning of the ‘standard’ vehicles.

        The US is optioning the diesel cars up to make then more of a high end vehicle.

        In Europe you can buy base model vehicles in diesel.

        I have worked out that diesel in the US is about $2 000 more for a car (not truck).

        • 0 avatar
          jacob_coulter

          Not really, I don’t doubt VW sells it that way, but there isn’t a vast difference in options between a base Golf and and base TDI Golf to warrant a nearly $7k price difference besides the engine. What are the additional options, bluetooth audio?

          A fully loaded Golf TDI goes for $29,440, a loaded gas-powered Golf goes for $22,705 with all the options like a sunroof, etc. It seems to scale perfectly at both the base level and loaded level.

          You’re paying far more than $2,000 for that turbocharged direct injection diesel engine, I can guarantee you that. The turbocharger alone is around a $1,000.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Your math is a bit off. A friend and his wife have “his and hers” TDIs – he has a Jetta with 6spd stick, she has a Golf with DSG. The each have a 100 mile per day round trip commute. He has averaged just about 51mpg with the Jetta, she has averaged 48mpg with the Golf. She had a MKV Jetta previously, 2.5L with automatic. She got 28mpg on the same commute. The difference in maintenance costs is minimal.

        He ran a MKIV Jetta TDI to over 300K on this commute, so has plenty of experience. That car did about the same. I don’t get why the MKVI TDI seems to do so much worse on the EPA test than the MKIV or V, but in the real world they seem about the same, at least for all highway usage.

        If you only have a short commute it doesn’t matter WHAT you drive, you will use so little fuel that it just doesn’t matter. Once you get up over 20K a year small differences add up fast. And of course, having to fuel up about 1/2 as often matters too.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @krhodes1
          I’m sorry if you didn’t read what I wrote.

          I wrote the difference in vehicle prices not running costs.

          Also if the gas engine is getting roughly the same fuel economy, something is not so correct. Apples to apples have to be compared, even driving habits.

          I have a diesel and I can make it achieve low 20s for fuel economy or when driving ‘normal’ I’m getting about 30mpg at 65mph. But my diesel is 3.2 litres and the vehicle weighs 4 700lbs.

          For a short commute I would use a gas engine.

        • 0 avatar
          jacob_coulter

          I don’t think you can counter my math is wrong by using an offhand anecdote of what your friend did in his diesel.

          My point was that for most drivers, the savings from diesel fuel economy do not add up to actual savings enough to offset the costs for MOST people, and I just laid out some numbers.

          Diesel fuel is more expensive, and the diesel option is over a $5,000 premium. And maintenance and upkeep of diesels vs regular gas are significant, go price a TDI fuel pump, it’s around a $1,200. A single TDI injector is around $500 a piece. So just a fuel pump and injectors you’re talking about $3,000 alone, and these parts do go out, but I’m ignoring those costs because it’s hard to get apples to apples comparisons, but diesel engine repairs are almost always more expensive, I think most mechanics would agree.

          Obviously if you drive a ridiculous amount of miles like 300k, the math will work, but you’re talking about a sliver of the population. For those people that have absurd commutes, it of course makes sense, but I feel like there’s always this diesel propaganda that it will always save people money. For the overwhelming majority of drivers, it will actually cost them more money to own a diesel.

          • 0 avatar
            redmondjp

            I agree with you. And I’ve owned three diesel vehicles (still have one dead TDI sitting in the driveway) but am driving all-gas cars/trucks now.

            The emissions equipment on the current diesels, when it fails (notice I didn’t say ‘if’) can cost a bundle to replace/repair. Plugged and leaking EGR coolers, plugged DPFs, expensive-to-repair injectors and pumps, and so on. My 1980s-era diesels had simpler systems, higher overall reliability, and lower cost to repair when something did eventually go wrong. And forget about running alternative fuels (in excess of a certain %age of biodiesel) in any modern diesel!

            I don’t recommend diesel vehicles to anybody these days unless they drive (or tow a trailer) a ridiculous amount of miles per year as you mentioned. One major engine repair will wipe out a lifetime’s worth of fuel savings!

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @jacob_coulter
            Imagine if most of the US used diesel and gasoline was ‘new”.

            How much more would maintenance cost for a gas engine compared to now.

            As more diesels come on line the cost of diesel ownership will reduce.

            Diesels will be offered in base model vehicles and not high end optioned vehicles, this adds significantly to costs.

            The manufacturers are still trying to put diesel vehicles (cars) in the US as a more prestigous/greener vehicle, not mainstream.

            It also not my friend that owns the diesel, its me. Most everyone I know own both diesel and petrol.

            Diesels in the US are currently viewed by some in the same category as hybrids, when in fact they aren’t.

            As they become more mainstream they will reduce in cost to buy and operate.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            A 328i msrp is $36.8k. Its 23/33/26 on premium for $1846 annual on 12k miles at $4/gal. If a comparably equipped 328d is only $3-4k more expensive and scores a 35/45/40 that’s $1200 with diesel also at $4/gallon. so takes about 10 years to pay off at 12k a year. 15k per year is $2307 for gas and $1500 for the diesel. at $800/yr savings that’s getting close to a 5 year pay off, and that’s before you count the diesels likely higher residual value.

            The question also is whether this is equivalent to a gas 328i or 320i. its horsepower is more in line with the 320i, but its torque is more than even the 328i, so where would we expect performance to end up? If we say its more comparable to a 320i, then the numbers won’t add up, even though the 320i doesn’t do any better than the 328i as far as fuel economy goes.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I don’t see how “more diesels coming online” will make owning one any cheaper. How many diesel pickups have hit the road since the early ’80s? Replacing the injectors was a $350 deal at most with my 1st diesels. Now you’re lucky if you get out of the shop for less than $3,000. Rebuilt diesel engines start at $15,000. Diesel truck specialists are everywhere now (I wonder why?) and that doesn’t mean repairs are any cheaper.

            All this “residual” this and “resale” that just tells me I don’t want to be stuck with one long term. Getting a huge percentage of the money I laid out in the 1st place is little consolation.

            Boring gas engine FTW! But I still don’t see how diesels grant you most of your (diesel engine) money back if no one wants a used and out of warranty German diesel.

    • 0 avatar
      Power6

      The diesel argument always starts off with highway MPG. Due to my close proximity to work and the other places I need to go, no need to get on the freeway for weeks at a time for me, it colors my view of diesels so I have a hard time seeing the benefit.

      Hybrid beats the diesel six ways to Sunday when it comes to city miles, Volkswagen shows us with the Hybrid Jetta, 42 vs 30 for the diesel in the city EPA rating.

      Diesels are for people who drive a lot on the highway.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    You have to factor in that a TDI holds their value very very well, yes you pay more upfront fuel is about ten percent higher in Nj you get a better driving experience vs the same gas Vw and when you go to sell your car is still worth something vs the gas Vw on my example, TDI hold their value extremely well

  • avatar
    wsimon

    I might have missed this, but is this the 6-cylinder diesel or another 4-cylinder with the misleading 328 badge to make suburban housewives feel better about themselves? From my experience with a 318d a year ago, the BMW 4cyl diesel is considerably noisier and rougher than the MB and Audi units. I’ve heard good things about the 6 cylinder diesel but have not driven one, and remain quite interested in doing so.

    • 0 avatar
      GiddyHitch

      4cyl with the misleading 328d badge. I haven’t driven the Audi equivalent but the 320d engine is a peach and handily beats the Merc in performance and refinement.

  • avatar
    genuineleather

    This makes far more sense than the previous-gen 335d, several examples of which were practically glued to the showroom floor of our local dealer until they threw $7k discounts on the hood.

    I wonder how this will affect leasing; Mercedes charges less for Bluetec E350s than the equivalent gasser because of higher residuals.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    A couple of thoughts:

    - Diesel isn’t more expensive than gasoline everywhere… Last time I looked here in NorCal, Diesel was the same price as mid-grade gasoline. It occasionally costs the same as premium.

    - if every car purchase came down to a dollar and cents calculation, nobody would ever buy a BMW… Purchase price and ownership costs (after warranty especially) would never calculate. Furthermore, if this calculation was everything how would anyone justify buying the bigger engine option? It isn’t like the base 3-series isn’t more than fast enough to blow by most any real world traffic you’ll encounter in the US.

    It’s an interesting intellectual calculation but car purchases aren’t always entirely rational.

    As another Fiat Abarth owner, there were a lot if other cars I could have purchased that were cheaper, more comfortable, quieter, and even more practical… But I really enjoy driving that little thing.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @stevelovescars
      I couldn’t agree with you more.

      To get into a diesel will always cost more compare to the same model.

      But, like myself I calculated how much money I had for a vehicle then spent what I thought represent the most “bang” for my buck. And bang doesn’t necessarily mean the same to everyone.

      If you have $40k to spend you will look at a range of vehicles, including brands. If a diesel does interest you and its within your price bracket you will buy.

      Also, even in Australia diesel have been around for a while, they still retain better re-sale value.

  • avatar
    hachee

    Our main family car is mostly used by my wife during the week, and we need something with a third row. No matter what car you drive, stop and go suburban driving in a hilly area will get you crappy gas mileage. When the lease was up on our 2008 gasoline X5 3.0, I really wanted something with better mileage, mostly because I just felt a bit guilty about using so much fuel, when I could use less. (Yes, I know I could have just gotten a Highlander hybrid or have done other things to save the planet.) I thought the diesel X5 was a good option. While many drivers do, I didn’t really consider how long the diesel, vs. the gas model, would compare in terms of cost, because at the time, diesel prices were similar to premium, and the deal on the diesel was great. The monthly lease payment for the identically equipped car was probably a bit less for the diesel.

    Now, having had the diesel for 2+ years, I see the appeal. Mileage is about 20% better (although diesel costs more than premium), range is excellent, but most of all, I love how the diesel drives. I recently had a gas X5 loaner, and didn’t like it nearly as much.

    So it’s not just the cost equation that people should consider, although I don’t think they’ll ever sell in large numbers if the equivalent model is much more expensive.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    I’ll buy into the fact that you like the way it drives and that you like spending less money on fuel. That’s pretty much the same argument I would use for a Chevy Volt. I’ve seen diesel 33% higher than gas in MN during the winter. Add in the higher maintenance and repairs costs associated with a diesel and the TCO savings just aren’t there for most.

    That said, if GM were to drop a nice little I4 Isuzu turbo diesel into a 1/2 ton chassis I would be all over that. Why, because I buy my trucks to tow and I love how diesels tow. The savings in a heavy truck shaped like a brick would probably be realized quicker than any car. For me the attributes of the diesel would be just as big of a selling point as the improved fuel economy.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    BMW builds cars for apologists now. Here’s another one.

    If diesel catches on in the US, it will drive up the cost of diesel fuel in Europe massively. Funny.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India