Poll: Which BMW diesel would you like to see in the U.S.?

Interesting | July 28th, 2009 by 31
bmw diesel cars us

Even prior to BMW’s announcement last year that two BMW diesel powered will make their way into the U.S. market, there have been numerous debates …

Even prior to BMW’s announcement last year that two BMW diesel powered will make their way into the U.S. market, there have been numerous debates amongst the BMW fans regarding the best suited diesels to be sold on the American market.

Seven-eight moths later and the debate continues, maybe even more intense than ever and we believe a poll will be appropriate to learn more about your preference when it comes to a diesel engine. Before you vote,we encourage you to take into consideration some of the following factor and not only:

  1. Is there a market for a specific diesel model?
  2. Will it make sense financially to invest into a new marketing campaign to bring awareness to a different type of diesel? e.g a small, very efficient, but less powerful engine
  3. Are the U.S. buyers educated enough to see the advantage of a diesel engine over a gasoline powerplant?
  4. Will it hurt BMW’s brand if, let’s say, a BMW 316d will be sold in the U.S. market?

bmw diesel cars us 655x464

These are just some guidelines to help you make an educated choice, but we’ll go even further and name some of the diesel engines that WE believe might be suited to North American market.

BMW 123d Coupe

bmw 123d side view 654x436

It is powered by a 2.0 liter four cylinder twin-turbo engine which produces 204 horsepower and 295 lb-ft  of torque (400Nm). Fuel consumptions is rated at 45 mpg, but that doesn’t stop the 123d from running 0 to 62 in only 7 seconds. This is one of the best engine in the diesel line-up and a prime candidate for any market. 

BMW 320d Sedan


Powered by a 2.0-liter four turbocharged diesel engine, the 320d has 175 horsepower underneath its hood and 258 lb-ft of torque (350Nm). The engine delivers an impressive 49 mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of just 140g/km. 0 to 62 mph is achieved in 8.2 seconds. (Photo Source: TheMotorReport )

BMW 535d


We’re back to the latest 3.0-liter six cylinder turbo diesel engine found in the 335d and X5d as well. Many U.S. based 5er fans have been requesting a diesel powerplant for quite some time now and the rumors of a 535d coming to the U.S. have been going around many times in the past. The diesel engine in the 535d outputs 272 horsepower and an impressive 413 lb-ft of torque (560 Nm) at only 2,000 rpm. 0 to 62 takes just 6.5 seconds and the 535d is rated at 35.3 mpg. While a 520d might be more efficient, we still believe the 5er needs a more powerful engine.

BMW X1 xDrive23d


This BMW’s latest diesel powered model and will launch in the European market in the Fall. It is still powered by the same engine found in the 123d Coupe, but it’s rated at 37 mpg. BMW North America has already announced that the X1 will make it to the U.S. in 2010, but there was no indication on which engines to expect.

These are some of the prime candidates and the ones that make the most sense, but once again, this is just our opinion, so feel free to tell us yours.

Other vehicles worth mentioning, just to satisfy all the BMW groups and buyers, are: BMW 116d Hatchback (not the most marketable car in the U.S, but definitely the most efficient one), BMW 730d, BMW X3 30sd.

If you believe there is a model that we overlooked and which should have been included in our poll, please let us know and we will make the necessary additions.

In conclusion, will the results of this poll change BMW’s plans of bringing new diesel engines to the U.S.? Probably not, but that doesn’t stop us from expressing our opinion.

[poll id=”41″]

31 responses to “Poll: Which BMW diesel would you like to see in the U.S.?”

  1. Gil says:

    I voted for the 320d (and 123d too, definitely). If BMW wants to really push diesel (and fuel economy, since people are obsessed with that nowadays), those smaller diesels are the way to go. It smacks people with amazing fuel economy, and there’s a very good chance people won’t compare it to the gasoline counterpart. All they’ll see is, “wow, 49 mpg? I’m buying one!”.

    The X5 35d doesn’t really “get you” psychologically with a 22.5 mpg combined – Lexus RX400h get more. The 335d *almost* gets you at 29.5 mpg combined. I wanna see an eye-popping 45 or 49 mpg being advertised heavily, and those 2 numbers will get people’s attention. People have short attention span and memory. They won’t remember the details of clean diesel vs. dirty diesel vs. gasoline, but they will remember 45 or 49 mpg (and my god, if they can squeeze it to 50 mpg, that’d be awesome!). An exciting BMW car with the fuel economy of a Prius. Yes, it will cost more than a Prius, but once they test-drive a 320d, they will never want to buy the Prius. :) Then after people are hooked on it (and netting a bunch of new BMW lovers), then you bring it the bigger ones, and it’ll be a natural upgrade path.

  2. Gil says:

    And of course, if that plan doesn’t work, BMW canNOT send me their marketing bills… lol.

  3. Nick says:

    123d – I drive 75 miles a day – perfect daily driver for me.

  4. hussain says:

    i cannot imagine ma self driving a diesel car especially a BMW. i would go for japanese cars avoiding the high price

  5. mark says:

    The 2 litre diesel engines are really great. I never understood why in the US you guys usually drive cars with automatic gearboxes while here in Europe very, very few do. Using the BMW 320d as an example, you’re knocking 10 miles off every gallon of fuel to have an automatic gearbox. The 320d achieves 59mpg with a manual gearbox.

    40mpg really isn’t so incredible in this day and age. Here most people buying a car probably look for at least 40mpg, whether petrol or diesel. Few buyers would knock 15% off fuel economy in order to have an automatic gear box. Can people choose to buy a BMW with a manual gearbox over there? I imagine it would greatly affect the resale value so probably not I’m guessing.

    • mark says:

      One more thing having checked, you’re losing 0.6 second from 0-62mph for an auto 320d.

      • mark says:

        No, actually 0.3 so not such a biggie :)

        • babak says:

          We still have most of BMW’s manual offerings. We just cant get it in the X3. Otherwise, every other BMW that offers a manual tranny in other parts of the world is available with manual here as well, but you are right. Only few people get manual, and it will affect the resale value. I don’t know why, but Americans and Canadians believe that the biggest car, with the biggest engine (regardless of efficiency or not) and an slushbox is the way to go.

          • Lance says:

            Maybe it is because of the human’s tendency to be lazy. A true sports car should tend towards a manual gear box… don’t know why the American and Canadian consumers prefer auto. Apparently it is the same in Hong Kong where all BMWs sold are auto.

          • mark says:

            Car culture in the states seems always to have been different than in Europe.

            Maybe an influence of the movie industry, all those old movies in the 50’s and 60’s from college romance to thrillers glamourised big car culture. I remember watching them when I was a child and loving the depiction of American but feeling no connection with it whatsoever. In Europe probably our most iconic cars from the 50’s and 60’s were the Mini, the Citroen 2CV and the Morris Minor. :) I was watching the TV show Weeds recently and the main character went from driving a Range Rover to a prius. Hey times are a changing!

            Anyway,,, driving automatic takes away a big part of the experience in my opinion.
            Oh, and hey Lance . I hope you’re not saying folks in the States, Canada and USA are lazier than in Europe! :)

    • derek says:

      Hi back home I drove only german diesels as most of my family and friends>. As much as you are wright in some aspects , inmany you are way behind a modern technic.
      As far as 320 d you can pull few more MPG, mabey , if you good driver> but here in trafic jams etc noone care for that in retirn of 3-5 MPG!!
      Also into technicat dep. many producers like MB or Audi, for biger stronger carrs like E, A6 etc. with 6 cyl. diesel discontinue manuals due to fact that manual transmitions can not handle tht kind of torque ( of coourse 2.0 L is kind a feble so it will handle)
      Also progressing DSG transmition development will bring much neded change soon. Geat chnge faster than human can ever do, with confor in full automatic mode and sportined and safety of immedaite manula shifts.
      Also for 2011 most new cars with decent size ( mind that 5 series is midsize in US and 3 series is compact/ subcompact) will come with ne ZF 8 gear automatic. How will you handlle that in manual. Also 6 cyl diesels manage up to 40 MPG and withtoeque of 560 NM you do wish 2 or 3 overdrive gears to utilize that in interstae driving and hit unparallel effciency.
      Yet if I am bach in tight and crowded old country I will go for 4 cyl in notiome !!!
      Also as of today 1 gal (3.98l ) of diesel cost $2.79 / do your math and se why guys here can aford to drive biger and bit less effcient cars.

  6. Parker Despain says:

    Id love to have a 320d daily. I love the E90 chassis more than anything, if it got good gas mileage it would be perfect!

  7. whitby says:

    Diesels have a bad reputation here in the US due to the poor efforts by GM and others in the past. Also the cost argument is not as compelling. In Europe diesel fuel has less taxes than gasoline/petrol so it is generally cheaper than petrol. Given the fact that diesels appear to be more expensive to manufacture (possibly because there are not so many made) the total cost of ownership of diesels can be considerably more than petrol powered vehicles in the short to medium term. Note that I think some of the mpg figures quoted ignore the fact that the US and imperial gallon are not the same. The imperial gallon is 25% larger than the US gallon (16 fluid oz to the US gallon, 20 fluid oz to the imperial gallon). I may be wrong and if so I apologize.

  8. JakeC says:

    123d gets my vote. I think it complements the 335d and the x5d we already have in the States. Great way for BMW to increase the MPG for the CAFE requirements coming up and provide another diesel to the line up.


  9. jkp says:

    I’d love to have seen a 123d coupe available. In fact, I would have bought one of those instead of the 135i I ended up getting, no question.

    If a 123d hatchback or an X1-23d is available, it will receive VERY STRONG consideration for our next vehicle, when my wife’s car needs to be replaced (probably in 2-3 years.)

  10. kamil says:

    I’d like to pick two:
    – 535d, which I was given a ride in (in France) and it’s an awesome highway cruiser; would love to drive that cross country, and
    – 320d, cuz the 335d can be a little too much, especially too much money.

    Truth is, if BMW brings more diesels here, it would be one more engine used in few models, so maybe somthing like the 320d and 120d.

    535d won’t make it here cuz the E60 is at the end of its life. The next gen 5-series may be here based on how well the X5d and 335d are selling currently.

  11. Mauro Corti says:

    I would die to have the same price you american people can get on a bmw or on every other car.. in your country with 19k € someone can buy a 250-300hp car, here in Italy and all over Europe you get a mid size car with something that would like to be called an engine… :) I hate u!!! XD

  12. rhnorb says:

    You’ve left out the perfect car for a diesel…the 5 series wagon.

  13. Vitric says:

    The 123d coupe. The most powerful one (at least I think?) still available with a manual transmission… mmmmm… 300ft/lb straight to the rear wheels *drool*

  14. Gord says:

    I think the 320d and 535d seem appropriate. The others seem fine except for the 7 series diesel, because BMW NA seem hesistant to bring any 7 series to America without a V8 or V12.

  15. Mauro Corti says:


    Well in Europe you can have every bmw with manual transmission, even 35i or 35d

    • Vitric says:

      Nice try, but everyone else here knows thats incorrect, and even the UK configurator tells you that you can’t deselect the auto gearbox from the packages list.

  16. Doc Santino says:

    If BMW ever came out with it, I’d love to get my hands on the 730d with a manual transmission and xdrive. I doubt they’ll actually make this available. It’s a tough call. I might just hold out and see if Audi comes out with a tdi model with quattro and a manual transmission.

  17. Bill says:

    I would like to see the 330d sold here. I think it has the best combination of mpg and performance.

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