In-depth Diesel Analysis (BMW and competition)

3-Series | November 13th, 2008 by 0

Once again, our friend Jonathan Spira put together a detailed analysis on the BMW’s diesel engines coming to the states and the competition’s response to …

img 2452 497x332 In depth Diesel Analysis (BMW and competition)

Once again, our friend Jonathan Spira put together a detailed analysis on the BMW’s diesel engines coming to the states and the competition’s response to them.  As we reported back on Tuesday, BMW has hold a webcast explaining the technology behind the U.S diesel engines and the advantages of them.

Many people are still wondering how the BMW diesels will hold against the Audi’s TDI or MB’s Bluetec, so take a moment to read the full article.

Spira spent over a month driving various diesels, namely the 335d, 535d, 123d as well as the Audi A6 TDI, VW Jetta TDI, and M-B ML320 and will be driving the new F01 730d shortly. Here’s part of what he said about the 335d: “I only spent a few hours in this car, but all I can say is, ‘What torque! What torque!'”

If you still think that diesels are slow and noisy, and belch black smoke, you’re not alone—but you probably live in the U.S. Today, diesels in Europe account for roughly 50% of the market. In BMW’s home market of Germany, 70% of BMWs sold are diesels.

But in the United States, the market is minuscule, in part because diesel automobiles acquired a reputation for poor reliability thanks in part to diesel models from Cadillac and Oldsmobile in the 1980s. For some reason, the ultra-reliable Mercedes 240d never seems to be what comes to mind, despite the fact that these cars were typically able to last well over 100,000 miles. (Of course, getting one to start at 40 below was an interesting adventure. . . but what’s life without
a little challenge?)

To see what’s changed, I spent over a month driving four diesel-powered automobiles: BMW’s 535d, the Audi A6 TDI, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, and the Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTec. I also
spent a few hours behind the wheel of a BMW 335d and a 123d.

Here’s what I found.

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