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BMW Diesel Owners / Enthusiasts
Do you own a diesel powered BMW? Maybe a 335d or a BMW x35d? Come and talk about what makes your car great!

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  #51  
Old 05-26-2008, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by StarrDlux View Post
what makes you think diesels get better mpg when you are making 265bhp versus the petrol at the same 265bhp 3.0?
Diesel fuel contains more energy than gasoline. That's one of the reasons you get better mileage with it.
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  #52  
Old 05-26-2008, 08:55 PM
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I just paid $66 for a fillup this past Friday. Huge jump.

That 335d is starting to sound better and better to me. Talk about almost having your cake and eating it too...
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  #53  
Old 05-26-2008, 08:57 PM
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galahad05 galahad05 is offline
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Originally Posted by AK View Post
Diesel fuel contains more energy than gasoline. That's one of the reasons you get better mileage with it.
Plus, they run much much much higher compression ratios (typically around 30 to 1), thus are more adiabatically efficient. Translation: more like an ideal heat engine, which is what an internal combustion engine is, approximately.
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  #54  
Old 05-27-2008, 08:02 AM
sdbrandon sdbrandon is offline
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Diesel fuel contains more energy than gasoline. That's one of the reasons you get better mileage with it.
Between the engine technology to remove sulfur and the diesel processing, I suspect it takes more energy to make 1 gallon of diesel and burn it efficiently.

10 years ago diesel contained more energy and it was burned with no emission standards. Now the amount of energy to produce and burn it takes away any gains of the past.
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  #55  
Old 05-27-2008, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by sdbrandon View Post
Between the engine technology to remove sulfur and the diesel processing, I suspect it takes more energy to make 1 gallon of diesel and burn it efficiently.

10 years ago diesel contained more energy and it was burned with no emission standards. Now the amount of energy to produce and burn it takes away any gains of the past.
So does it actually cost the refinery a measurable amount of energy to extract the sulphur? There's obviously some cost considering how much more expensive Diesel has become over the past couple years. Time to start planting fields of soybeans and start harvesting some Biodiesel
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  #56  
Old 05-27-2008, 11:03 AM
sdbrandon sdbrandon is offline
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Originally Posted by AK View Post
So does it actually cost the refinery a measurable amount of energy to extract the sulphur? There's obviously some cost considering how much more expensive Diesel has become over the past couple years. Time to start planting fields of soybeans and start harvesting some Biodiesel
I am not sure that will work. If you use beans, corn, etc. Farms grow less food for human consumption thereby raising the food costs. So in the end we may pay less for fuel but more for food.

If the government mkes sure that there is ample farming for food and keep farming for bio fuel separate, it might work then.
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  #57  
Old 05-28-2008, 07:29 AM
spockcat spockcat is offline
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Originally Posted by Emission View Post
I'd like to see a diesel X5. I drive the V10 diesel Touareg, and it rocked.

I've owned a Touareg V10 for almost 4 years now. It was really nice when the fuel was equivalent in price to regular gas during the summer months or equivalent in price to premium gas during the winter months. But that doesn't seem to be happening now.

The engine itself is great. Really powerful. You can feel the difference over the V8 gas motor in the same car.

However, for economy, I think that only people who drive lots of miles per year (think 25k to 50k) are going to make out owning a diesel. This is because they are doing a lot of highway miles where diesel really shines. For people who drive less and do a lot of city type driving (stop and go), you are better off with a hybrid.
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  #58  
Old 05-28-2008, 09:31 AM
roadkillrob roadkillrob is offline
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Originally Posted by galahad05 View Post
I just paid $66 for a fillup this past Friday. Huge jump.

That 335d is starting to sound better and better to me. Talk about almost having your cake and eating it too...
A 335d won't save you a dime - it will carry a premium (probably 2k or more) and at the price of diesel over gas, it pretty much washes out the milage gain.

I have also heard that our refining process is different than in Europe and not geared towards deisel production (and it would take a decade to change it) and since we currently utilize almost all diesel fuel refined, if diesel cars take off in the US, the price of deisel will sky rocket! I think I will stick to gas for now!
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  #59  
Old 05-28-2008, 11:54 AM
Johnny Lee Johnny Lee is offline
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I'm actually waiting for the diesel x5 that is coming this fall so count me in
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  #60  
Old 05-28-2008, 08:16 PM
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I would, infact if its coming out for real, i'll go place a order, love diesels !
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  #61  
Old 05-29-2008, 04:44 AM
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  #62  
Old 05-29-2008, 06:44 PM
Northcar Northcar is offline
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Setting aside the Bio-diesel debate, the attractiveness of having a diesel for fuel economy has gone out the window with the high dollar premium the cleaner diesel fuel has been able to command. The old days of diesel costing less per gallong than petrol are long gone. Apparently the demand for diesel is fixed (commercial uses) and accordingly the suppliers are funneling more product to produce diesel. This in turn has created an artificially inflated limit to the supply of petrol. Economics 101 has come into play and made diesel for the non commercial consumer a less attractive option.
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  #63  
Old 05-29-2008, 08:19 PM
ncsucarjock88 ncsucarjock88 is offline
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I've owned three diesels - a MB 300D. It got rather crappy mileage (20-22), but it did have upwards of 400k on it, and it ran well. It didn't stay long though.
The next one was a 2000 Dodge Ram 2500 ext cab, long bed, 4x4, CTD. It averaged 16mpg in town, and 18 on the highway. Pretty respectable for something that weighed almost 7000# dry, had the camper package, 4.10 gears, and 33" off-road tires on it. In a gasser, I would have been doing well to get 10mpg.
The third one was an '01 VW Jetta TDI. Now, that was the first "modern" diesel I owned...and it was superb. I had it 2 years, put 50k miles on it, and sold it for almost what I paid. It had 90hp - and was slow - but it'd cruise all day at 80-115, and would get 43mpg doing so. In town, I never saw less than 36mpg, and I drove it flat to the floor, all the time. It was surprisingly peppy in low speed traffic, and more than adequate for all of my needs.

I really want another diesel, and I was hoping to wait for the 335d, but honestly, I'd much prefer the 330d, slightly less power, but much better economy. Honda, Subaru, BMW, Audi, MB, and Toyota are all developing diesels for the US. While the current trend in diesel fuel is higher than gasoline, my experience has been that diesels have almost *doubled* my fuel mileage. And those that I know with diesels will echo the same sentiment. There is also a huge difference (currently) in the residual value of the car when it comes time to sell. If I had put 50k on a 4 cylinder jetta (and been lucky to get 20mpg), it would have decreased in value by 50%. The diesel took a 10% hit over the same period.

Diesels aren't the perfect solution, and they may not work for everyone. However, my current 540 gets 15-16mpg in town. If a diesel could raise that to 23-25mpg, that's a 50% increase. And on the highway, more than 100%. I've gotten 25mpg out of the 540 once, but only once - usually it is 23mpg. And when you drive 25k miles a year...it really *does* add up.
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  #64  
Old 05-30-2008, 01:45 AM
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In Europe people are in love with diesels...lots of them on street....but now as the diesel fuel is getting more expensive than petrol, the diesels are not making any sense...

what I hate the most about diesel is the trail of black smoke coming out of exhaust when you floor it....man that sucks....and it happens for the most modern diesels as well, including BMW...
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  #65  
Old 05-30-2008, 12:58 PM
Supraman1 Supraman1 is offline
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We have 2 diesels, the GL320CDI and a E320CDI......Love them
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  #66  
Old 05-31-2008, 10:03 AM
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Our other vehicle is a Dodge diesel pickup, and until recently was very interested in the 335d. Out here in California, diesel is over $5/Gallon. I get the feeling the advantage of diesel economy is lost when it costs +70 cents more than premium gas.
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  #67  
Old 05-31-2008, 12:28 PM
Supraman1 Supraman1 is offline
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Our other vehicle is a Dodge diesel pickup, and until recently was very interested in the 335d. Out here in California, diesel is over $5/Gallon. I get the feeling the advantage of diesel economy is lost when it costs +70 cents more than premium gas.
Our Range Rover got 11 MPG, the new Benz GL320CDI gets 25, advantage diesel. At least until diesel cost twice as much or 8 or 9 dollars a gallon.
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  #68  
Old 06-04-2008, 11:35 PM
SonicDeathMnkey SonicDeathMnkey is offline
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I know this topic has been discussed ad infinitum, but people's math seems to be all wonky. I've read several posts that the benefits of the diesel aren't worth the increase in fuel cost nor the uplift in price which is just not true. ROI for the uplift in price and difference in price of fuel can be realized as soon as 60k miles.

I'll do the math in a second but the one thing to keep in mind is what the US Gov't is making BMW report as MPG is very subjective. As some one who has owned both a diesel truck and diesel car I can tell you it is pretty easy to manipulate your MPG by your driving style. BMW is reporting that the 335d with a 33MPG rating when several reputed sites and auto pundits are reporting 35MPG - 40MPG on ave not just hwy. So my calculations are based on what "Could" be, at least in my world.

The constants are...

$4.25 for Premium (Lowest price in my area)
$5.10 for Diesel (Lowest price in my area)
37MPG for 335d ave as reported by This review
25MPG ave for 335i as reported all over this website

$4.25/25 = $0.17 per mile for 335i
$5.10/37 = $0.137 per mile for 335d
$0.17 - $0.137 = $0.033 more expensive per mile to drive 335i
$2000(Cost premium of 335d over 335i)/$0.033 = 60,606 miles to recoup uplift

Even if you do the more conservative 27 for the 335i and 35 for the 335d you can still recoup the difference in 181,818 miles.

$4.25/27 = $0.157 per mile for 335i
$5.10/37 = $0.146 per mile for 335d
$0.157 - $0.146 = $0.011 more expensive per mile to drive 335i
$2000(Cost premium of 335d over 335i)/$0.033 = 181,818 miles to recoup uplift

So if you were to take a snap shot right now you could realize ROI somewhere between 60k and 180k miles for the expected $2k uplift on the diesel. This works out strongly in favor of those planning in buying the car not leasing them and keeping them for at least 6 years (Buying the extended warranty of course).

Most people who are planning buying the diesel, at least right off are just that type. Road warriors like myself who ave 3k miles a month.

There are many things that can change the outcome in the next 6 years though. First off, we are pretty much at capacity for refined diesel and commercial vehicles get a set percentage so demand for consumers is high which inflates the price. If there isn't some other extenuating circumstances the much touted influx of diesels will cause higher demand for consumer diesel and therefore higher prices.

That may not be the case if oil refining shifts some petrol capacity to diesel which may happen. If we don't get more diesel (Which is also Jet A) the country's economy will fall even further. Transportation and airlines are two backbone industries for the US and if they start to have problems we are screwed.

Another potential cause of change will be if cheap bio diesel becomes readily available. I understand there is a new way to refine bio-diesel that is much cheaper than the old flash refining process. I am not real sure what the new process is but there are several start-ups in California that are requesting permits for a new type if bio-diesel refineries.

So the bottom line is we don't really know because of the state of flux everything is in right now. Personally I would say if you plan in holding the car for a while and buying it diesel probably makes sense. If you are going to lease it and don't put a ton of miles on a car than petrol probably makes more sense. Speculate and take your chances.
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  #69  
Old 06-05-2008, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by SonicDeathMnkey View Post
I'll do the math in a second but the one thing to keep in mind is what the US Gov't is making BMW report as MPG is very subjective. As some one who has owned both a diesel truck and diesel car I can tell you it is pretty easy to manipulate your MPG by your driving style. BMW is reporting that the 335d with a 33MPG rating when several reputed sites and auto pundits are reporting 35MPG - 40MPG on ave not just hwy. So my calculations are based on what "Could" be, at least in my world.

The constants are...

$4.25 for Premium (Lowest price in my area)
$5.10 for Diesel (Lowest price in my area)
37MPG for 335d ave as reported by This review
25MPG ave for 335i as reported all over this website

$4.25/25 = $0.17 per mile for 335i
$5.10/37 = $0.137 per mile for 335d
$0.17 - $0.137 = $0.033 more expensive per mile to drive 335i
$2000(Cost premium of 335d over 335i)/$0.033 = 60,606 miles to recoup uplift

Even if you do the more conservative 27 for the 335i and 35 for the 335d you can still recoup the difference in 181,818 miles.

$4.25/27 = $0.157 per mile for 335i
$5.10/37 = $0.146 per mile for 335d
$0.157 - $0.146 = $0.011 more expensive per mile to drive 335i
$2000(Cost premium of 335d over 335i)/$0.033 = 181,818 miles to recoup uplift

So if you were to take a snap shot right now you could realize ROI somewhere between 60k and 180k miles for the expected $2k uplift on the diesel. This works out strongly in favor of those planning in buying the car not leasing them and keeping them for at least 6 years (Buying the extended warranty of course).
A couple issues I noted with your analysis. First off, the 37 mpg you quoted in that article is from a British publication, and a British gallon is larger than a U.S. gallon. The 335d is expected to get a U.S. EPA rating of 23/33, and the reported mixed average that I've seen is about 28 mpg. Second, your estimate of the 335i achieving an average of 25 mpg is very optimistic - most drivers on BF (including me) are reporting a 21-23 mpg average. The 335i is EPA rated at 17/26 (under the new standards IIRC) so a 25 mpg mixed average is highly unlikely.

Third, a ROI of 180,000 miles is absolutely ludicrous. I would venture to say that even 60,000 miles is poor, but that number will vary based on a person's tolerances. Given how long cars typically last, with 15k being average annual mileage for most people and that the average new car buyer keeps a car for 4-6 years, I would expect a return in 30-40,000 miles to really be worth it. I don't want to wait more than 2-3 years to begin saving anything given all the 335d's other disadvantages.

That said, if we re-run your same fuel cost numbers using what I consider to be more accurate mpg estimates:

$4.25/22 = $0.19 per mile for 335i
$5.10/28 = $0.18 per mile for 335d
$0.19 - $0.18 = $0.01 more expensive per mile to drive 335i
$2000 335d cost premium/$0.01 = 200,000 miles to recoup uplift

That makes the 335d a complete waste to me given our current fuel cost conditions. On top of that, the 335d's performance is similar to the 328i - so the comparison should probably be made against it instead of the 335i. That will swing the ROI even further out, if there's any recoup at all. Plus the 335d is Steptronic-only and has an un-BMW-like low redline/low revving nature typical to a diesel.

Bottom line - I have yet to see virtually any substantial arguments as to why a 335d, at its significantly higher up-front cost would be worth purchasing over the only slightly less-frugal 328i. Or the 335i as shown above for that matter. Someone please correct me otherwise because IMO BMW has a complete dud with the 335d (in the U.S. at least).
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  #70  
Old 06-05-2008, 11:31 AM
sdbrandon sdbrandon is offline
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Our Range Rover got 11 MPG, the new Benz GL320CDI gets 25, advantage diesel. At least until diesel cost twice as much or 8 or 9 dollars a gallon.
Diesel costs 20% more than regular gas. So your 25MPG is really 20MPG. Plenty of vehicles in the same class get 20MPG or more with regular gas. No savings there and since diesel engine cost more you running at a loss.

Hybrids are for low emissions. They do not save you any money. That is all marketing fluff. You pay a premium for the Hyrbrid and the batteries have to be replaced at some point. Plus there maintenance on the electrics and engine. When you run the numbers you would be far better off with a Corolla, Civic, etc. With a Hybrid, you are paying for the fuel upfront in the form of batteries and Hyrbrid drive.

If you want a Prius for lower emissions and green. Good for you. But the pollution to make the batteries was done at the factory. So there is no less emissions. Great marketing gimmick though.

If you take any small car, remove all horsepower and strip it down like a Prius, you will easily get 35-45MPG. If anythign the Prius is more of a polluter since more energy was used to create the car and the mileage is not all that great.
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  #71  
Old 06-05-2008, 01:41 PM
SonicDeathMnkey SonicDeathMnkey is offline
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Originally Posted by jwac View Post
...

Bottom line - I have yet to see virtually any substantial arguments as to why a 335d, at its significantly higher up-front cost would be worth purchasing over the only slightly less-frugal 328i. Or the 335i as shown above for that matter. Someone please correct me otherwise because IMO BMW has a complete dud with the 335d (in the U.S. at least).
You know I totally jonesed and forgot the Imp gal was larger, you are correct. That said, I think the 33MPG for the 335d reported by the EPA is a little modest. My VW TDI reported 45MPG and I could get over 50MPG all day long by taking it easy off the line and pulling the foot off the pedal on down hill grades.

You are probably right the 335d will be a dud at launch and I hope they don't pull it because of that. The promise of diesel in the US is big. Speculators all over the place are banking on it's viability in the US market. If the new cheaper refining process for bio-diesel actually pans out and farm production can support more soy growth diesel will most definitely take off.

The one thing that keeps me from buying one is diesel is the most taxed fuel in the US. If they reconfigure the fuel tax to more represent the consumer diesel purchase it will be much closer to the Premium required in the car.

I just checked gas prices on my way in this morning and diesel went down and premium went up so if we take what I believe I can get as far as mileage in these cars the math looks a little different.

$4.41/23 = $0.192 per mile for 335i
$4.99/30 = $0.166 per mile for 335d
$0.192 - $0.166 = $0.026 more expensive per mile to drive 335i
$2000 335d cost premium/$0.026 = 80,000 miles to recoup uplift

That I can live with because diesels tend to last much longer then petrol cars and 90% of my driving is hwy. Admittedly I am an atypical driver because I can easily put 40k - 50k miles on a car in a year.

One final note, I completely disagree with you on your performance assessment. I've owned the same vehicle as a petrol and a diesel and can tell you what Eric Buell of Buell Motorcycle fame says is true. "Horsepower sells cars, torque wins races." If the 335d is as modifiable as other diesels I've owned I know I could make it kick the pants out of any 335i out there stock or otherwise. Audi TDI + Le Mans = Winnar!
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  #72  
Old 06-05-2008, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwac View Post
That makes the 335d a complete waste to me given our current fuel cost conditions. On top of that, the 335d's performance is similar to the 328i - so the comparison should probably be made against it instead of the 335i. That will swing the ROI even further out, if there's any recoup at all. Plus the 335d is Steptronic-only and has an un-BMW-like low redline/low revving nature typical to a diesel.
Will the US market get any other diesel engine options, e.g. 330d or 32_d?
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  #73  
Old 06-05-2008, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwac View Post
A couple issues I noted with your analysis. First off, the 37 mpg you quoted in that article is from a British publication, and a British gallon is larger than a U.S. gallon. The 335d is expected to get a U.S. EPA rating of 23/33, and the reported mixed average that I've seen is about 28 mpg. Second, your estimate of the 335i achieving an average of 25 mpg is very optimistic - most drivers on BF (including me) are reporting a 21-23 mpg average. The 335i is EPA rated at 17/26 (under the new standards IIRC) so a 25 mpg mixed average is highly unlikely.

Third, a ROI of 180,000 miles is absolutely ludicrous. I would venture to say that even 60,000 miles is poor, but that number will vary based on a person's tolerances. Given how long cars typically last, with 15k being average annual mileage for most people and that the average new car buyer keeps a car for 4-6 years, I would expect a return in 30-40,000 miles to really be worth it. I don't want to wait more than 2-3 years to begin saving anything given all the 335d's other disadvantages.

That said, if we re-run your same fuel cost numbers using what I consider to be more accurate mpg estimates:

$4.25/22 = $0.19 per mile for 335i
$5.10/28 = $0.18 per mile for 335d
$0.19 - $0.18 = $0.01 more expensive per mile to drive 335i
$2000 335d cost premium/$0.01 = 200,000 miles to recoup uplift

That makes the 335d a complete waste to me given our current fuel cost conditions. On top of that, the 335d's performance is similar to the 328i - so the comparison should probably be made against it instead of the 335i. That will swing the ROI even further out, if there's any recoup at all. Plus the 335d is Steptronic-only and has an un-BMW-like low redline/low revving nature typical to a diesel.

Bottom line - I have yet to see virtually any substantial arguments as to why a 335d, at its significantly higher up-front cost would be worth purchasing over the only slightly less-frugal 328i. Or the 335i as shown above for that matter. Someone please correct me otherwise because IMO BMW has a complete dud with the 335d (in the U.S. at least).
One factor that may override all other cost considerations is the depreciation. The VW TDI engined vehicles are currently depreciating far less than the much cheaper petrol variants with the same performance. The perception in the market is that the TDI models are far more valuable than the petrol engined ones with the current fuel price. This may well happen with the 335d versus the other 3-series models, leading to an overall lower TCO.

Here in Canada VW is not able to keep up with diesel engined deliveries of the Golf/Rabbit, the waiting list seems to be about 6 months at the moment.
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:36 PM
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I would consider it if it still saved money after factoring the extra intitial purchase cost and higher price per gallon for diesel fuel.
However, if I'm really concerned about cost, I would probably buy a more economical car such as the upcoming Honda Accord diesel.
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonicDeathMnkey View Post
You know I totally jonesed and forgot the Imp gal was larger, you are correct. That said, I think the 33MPG for the 335d reported by the EPA is a little modest. My VW TDI reported 45MPG and I could get over 50MPG all day long by taking it easy off the line and pulling the foot off the pedal on down hill grades.
VW's TDI isn't really comparable - it's a 4-banger heavily geared towards fuel economy versus the way BMW is marketing the 335d as a "performance" diesel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SonicDeathMnkey View Post
One final note, I completely disagree with you on your performance assessment. I've owned the same vehicle as a petrol and a diesel and can tell you what Eric Buell of Buell Motorcycle fame says is true. "Horsepower sells cars, torque wins races." If the 335d is as modifiable as other diesels I've owned I know I could make it kick the pants out of any 335i out there stock or otherwise. Audi TDI + Le Mans = Winnar!
You're right that the performance is debatable, I know that the massive 425 lb-ft of torque really helps give the 335d a lot of kick over the 328i. For the 335d to be worth it to me beyond the poor ROI, it has to offer something else over the 335i. The engine performance I presume will be a complete disappointment for me because I adore the velvet-smooth, free-revving BMW inline-6. It's heavier and considerably slower, still I do want to drive one if it ever gets here.

As for tune-ability, out-of-the-box the 335d does 0-60 in a bit over 6 seconds compared to the 335i's 4.8-5.0 seconds. A Bimmerfest board sponsor has a piggybacked 335i with some other mods (exhaust, tires, etc) that hit 0-60 in 3.5 seconds. Consider me a skeptic, but I highly doubt a 335d will be able to beat that with its already considerable 1+ second disadvantage. Plus, every time I see a highly boosted diesel drag it billows black smoke - that's disgusting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1985mb View Post
Will the US market get any other diesel engine options, e.g. 330d or 32_d?
BMW hasn't announced any other diesel options for the U.S. 3-Series. It's really expensive to adapt and certify an engine for the U.S. market, and weak-sauce 4-banger diesels could be detrimental to the brand. There is a small enthusiast contingent that wants BMW diesels in the States, but in the broader picture they would probably make up such a small fraction of sales that it simply wouldn't be worth the cost. The general American populace still dislikes diesels.
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