The last diesel 3 Series sold in North America, the 335d, was wicked fast but BMW emphasized performance over fuel economy and it was at the top of the BMW 3 Series range meaning it cost more than a 328 or a 335i.
So with the 2014 BMW 328d, the Bavarians are targeting a more traditional diesel audience in the United States, the one that is really not going to consider a diesel unless it makes something in the range of 40 MPG. Early EPA estimates of fuel economy for the 2014 328d sedan are 45 MPG highway and mid-30s for the city! Pricing should place it between the F30 328i and the 335i sedans.
BMW also says that production starts in July and deliveries will begin shortly after.
To test drive the 2014 BMW 328d, I headed to Woodcliff Lake, NJ where BMW has its North American house. Despite the fairly short test drive, I have had plenty of time to form an objective opinion of the four-cylinder diesel.
The 328d almost didn’t seem like a diesel to me. It wasn’t noisy like a diesel and did not smoke like the old kind either. Under the hood it packs a 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbocharged diesel unit producing 180 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque.
The 328d revs quickly with loads of torque down low combined with a rapid shifting ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and this yields a reasonably quick car. 0-60 time is said to be 7.2 seconds.
It wasn’t the stump pulling torque monster of the E90 335d which was available from 2009 until 2011 and gave a 0-60 time of 5.7 seconds with its 3.0 liter diesel making 265hp and 425 lb-ft, but it weighted 3,825lbs.
The 2014 BMW 328d helps keep emissions down with the AdBlue urea fluid injection into the exhaust. The fill tank on the 328 for this AdBlue is conveniently located in the fuel filler door as opposed to a separate door like the previous E90 diesel.
The drive was limited to speeds less than 45mph on local roads surrounding BMW NA headquarters, so look for a more thorough review in the coming months when we get our hands on one.
Here is a video of the engine sound: