BMW Diesel returned better fuel economy than a Prius

Interesting | March 20th, 2008 by 9

If I were to tell you that a BMW with a diesel engine can "beat" a Prius in fuel economy, would you believe me? No, …

thumb 520d prius

If I were to tell you that a BMW with a diesel engine can "beat" a Prius in fuel economy, would you believe me? No, I didn't think so, cause I would not believe it either. Two writers for the Sunday Times in London, have decided to see if the official fuel economy numbers released by the manufacturers will actually match in a real time scenario. The cars they decided to put head to head, were the BMW 520d with a 2.0-liter diesel engine and the hybrid Toyota Prius. 

Fair game?  Well, most of us wouldn't think so, but they still went ahead and scheduled a test to take place on a route from London to Geneva. 

The results?

The BMW 520d got 41.9 mpg while the full-hybrid Prius, 500 pounds lighter, got 40.1 mpg, of course, U.K gallons(we were too lazy to do the conversion).
Here are some other interesting fragments from their report.

Whilst the BMW "doesn't have the external look of a green car and you don't get the same self-righteous glow when you are driving it," it does have a series of energy-saving features BMW calls EfficientDynamics: battery recharge when braking, good aerodynamics, low rolling resistance, a continuous fuel consumption gauge on the dashboard, and a six-speed manual transmission that is rated as improving fuel economy by about 10%. Testers found the 520d "not startlingly quick … [but] it cruised happily at the French autoroute limit (dry conditions) of 78mph towards the champagne region." When the trip was done, the BMW still had a third of its tank in reserve. 

Now, we can we all say to BMW: what are you waiting for?? Bring us the diesel engines already.

Full article on

9 responses to “BMW Diesel returned better fuel economy than a Prius”

  1. RawAutos says:

    I know BMW’s get fantastic gas mileage. Anyone that has ever told me that they didn’t I always pointed to my readout on my 05 330i ZSP. I got a little over 500 miles to a tank twice on trips down to FL. And I averaged between 460-480 miles when driving with a healthy dose of city and highway driving… The BMW I6 is a great gas mileage engine, probably the best in the world.

  2. Mark Wagner says:

    Is anyone really going to care for a diesel car when we are now seeing diesel for $4/gallon??? Diesel where I lives is now $.50 MORE than a gallon of 93 octane…the new BMW diesels better get 45mpg or better to justify the $4/gallon

    • Jason says:

      well you can thank T bobbe pickens for the price of diesel. A man who made millions on big oil..the bmw diesel motor will last longer than a prius will so your $4 a gallon will be justified in the end.. and dont give me some mess about leasing a car if u do that your a idiot!

  3. Mirko says:

    The 520d has a 46 mpg (US) rating. A 320d has a 49 mpg rating. A 318d has a 52 mpg rating.
    The four-cylinder diesels are really fantastic engines.

  4. M Govender says:

    I drive a 2007 BMW 335i with 29000km on the odo. I am currently getting over 1000km range on the 63 litre tank far better than the 330i model with average speeds of 110km/h on a long stretch and average 10.6 litres /100km in town driving. This is acheived by using the cruise control on long stretches and not using hard takeoffs.

  5. Can-Ad says:

    CAN – AD is:
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    • CAN – AD cleans so efficiently that soot is released in the combustion chamber, as are bacterial-type contaminants in both the tank and fuel lines.
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  6. Jackson says:

    The article discribes “features BMW calls EfficientDynamics: battery recharge when braking…” What would be the point of regenerative breaking in a Diesel car without an electric engine? Does that mean that they have eleminated the Alternator to increase mileage? Interesting though that a diesel can beat a standard Prius. Wonder how that will hold up as Plug in Hybrids start reaching the market?

  7. Chrismagafas says:

    How is Can-Ad Fuel Condiotner working for you guys out there??? I have seen a 13% Fuel Savings with my Honda Odyssey. Finally a product that is 100% Organic and IT ACTUALLY WORKS. Euro-Ad

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