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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As some of you have read my Q50 vs MKZ thread in this forum listing know, I started my new car quest out in looking for a luxury sedan that would return very good mpg in the form of the 2013 MKZ Hybrid. But after driving it several times, came to the conclusion that it just didn't offer up enough power & torque (188hp, 129 torque) for my style of driving. And that led me to the Q50 Hybrid. Which we know has plenty of each and is much more of a fun to drive car.

During that quest I also was interested in checking out the BMW 3 series. I've always been interested in BMW with several friends owning different models (2011 528i, 2012 1M) and wanted to check out the latest 3 series - especially in the larger body style of the 3 that came in 2012. So I made an appointment with a nearby BMW dealership to test drive a 328i Sports package model. It was fun to drive and I like many things about it - especially the "HUD"/Heads-up-display. But the fuel economy of it wasn't up in the range I preferred (22 city, 33 hwy, 26 combo). While lamenting that to my salesman, he told me that the new 2014 328d - as in DIESEL, had just came out and that they had one I could test if interested. When he said that it is rated at 32 city, 45 hwy, and a combo of 37, I said "Let's go drive one!". Below are some pics of a silver 328d that I test drove.










It drove and handled well - though I could tell that its lesser 180hp than the Q50's 360+ combined hp felt apparent at higher speeds and passing. Initial torque felt fairly close though. Still it seemed like the Q50 Hybrid had more grunt there. That said one of the issues that would come to play with the 328d is that when I configured it up to the degree that a Q50S Hybrid with Nav & Tech has, it was pushing $60K! It would be a good $4K-$5K more. AND there's the fact that the 328d is brand new and because it is a diesel is not stocked that heavily right now. So the laws of supply & demand come into play with dealers not willing to wheel & deal on those models as much. Plus I don't have access to any kind of "VPP" type of better pricing with BMW like I do with Infiniti. So I decided that the a Q50S Hybrid still is still the better route.

Shortly after driving the a new 2014 BMW 328d, I started looking into the previous 3 Series Diesel - the 335d. Though BMW stopped making the bigger motored 335d (a twin turbo 6 cyl vs. the new twin turbo 4 cyl of the 328d) in 2011, there are many of them now starting to come of 2-3 year leases. I noticed that several of the DFW BMW dealerships were starting to CPO them and list them out for sale along with other used dealers specializing in BMW and upscale imports. So I found one that was fairly loaded up with a sports package and other amenities and low miles (under 20K) and went to test drive it. Below are photos of that 2011 335d.










I was able to take it out for a couple of test drives. One with the salesman and then after that to take it back home to show the wife and take the kiddo out in the backseat. From both test drives I was VERY impressed with that motor! Wow, the torque on that thing is incredible! The horsepower is good at 265hp. But the 425ftlbs of torque that it has makes it super quick off the line - enough to throw you back in your seat and have it feel like it'll launch you into orbit. And it can do that while returning mpg numbers around the same range as the Q50 hybrid - maybe even a smidge better in actual hwy numbers. The stated mpg numbers of the 335d is 23 city, 36 hwy, and 27 combo. However the real-world numbers reported on Fuelly.com show a combo of around 30-31. Not bad at all. Users on the Bimmerfest boards for the 335d report that even driving it like a total madman speedster will net you numbers in the mid 20's! I could totally live with that and that motor.

Also appealing is the durability of a Diesel motor. Generally speaking they last longer and have less mechanical issues compared to a gas motor. And the ability to deliver that massive torque at lower rpms also has the bonus of great mpg without hybrid battery packs and components that could fail prematurely. Sure Infiniti (like most Hybrid manufacturers) warrants the Q50 Hybrid Components for 8 years and 100,000 miles. But for people like me that keep their cars past that point, it is of great concern. A diesel motor would achieve the desired mpg level and power without those worries.

That said, I just couldn't live with the smaller size of the car. The smaller body of the 2011 and back 3 series is just too small for my tastes. That aspect combined with the plain, utilitarian interior of BMW's in general still have me leaning to purchase the Q50 Hybrid. The Q's tech and interior just beat BMW hands-down in my book. Their orange-red readouts just seem like their stuck in the 80's. So even though I could get a loaded-up 335d with less than $20K miles (18K in this case) for a good $12K - $15K less (approx. $37,000) than a new 2014 Q50S Hybrid (with Nav & Tech), I just didn't like it as much. Not to mention - the wife gave it a big fat NO (due to size and amenities) in comparison to the Q50. So there you go. Like the idea of the 335d - especially the motor. Wish I could drop that motor into the Q50S!! But I didn't like or want the overall car.
 
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The one other thing about diesels that I never hear anyone talk about is the COST of the fuel. It varies, but at 50-80 cents more per gallon, it takes away the edge in total fuel costs. And as far as the car itself is concerned, the "out of the 70's" dash is a complete turn off to me.:p
 

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A friend of mine got a 3 series diesel. He had a horrible experience with it. He even hired an attorney to pursue a "lemon law" suit (which was not successful).

There were so few BMW diesels in the US that they apparently did not keep a parts inventory here. Anything that needed fixing on the engine had to be ordered from Germany. :(
 

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Back in high school, I worked at a gas station, and around that time is when diesel started becoming more expense than regular gasoline. Can't tell you how many truckers would go apeshit on me because diesel was more than gas.
 

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Holy crap, that diesel has one of the worst looking interiors I've seen in a modern vehicle. Up there with the CLA, but worse. It's slow, ugly, and expensive. A base model Q50 looks way better, and you can buy a lot of fuel for $20k.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The one other thing about diesels that I never hear anyone talk about is the COST of the fuel. It varies, but at 50-80 cents more per gallon, it takes away the edge in total fuel costs. And as far as the car itself is concerned, the "out of the 70's" dash is a complete turn off to me.:p
Agree on the dash Selzini! Though some BMW fans call that "classic" and "sublimely simple". Each to his own. But I don't like. Never been a fan of "orange" readouts. Give me green or white, or even blue (which I'm not that big on - e.g. don't like Hyundai dashes with the blue).

As far as the extra cost of diesel fuel, sites like MPGHead - MPG Savings Calculator and Comparison Tool are good for calculating that. If a 335d and a Q50 Hybrid both got the same combined 30 mpg and diesel cost an extra 60 cents per gallon, it would cost you an extra $240 per year for diesel.

Of course some might argue that the Q50 should be running premium gas. And then the cost differential between premium's extra cost and diesel's extra cost aren't that far off - maybe even close to being even depending on where you live and your local associated fuel pricing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Back in high school, I worked at a gas station, and around that time is when diesel started becoming more expense than regular gasoline. Can't tell you how many truckers would go apeshit on me because diesel was more than gas.
I bet Aggie! They were use to the old days where diesel was always cheaper than gas. Wish that was still true today. That would make diesel cars much more important to the marketplace which in turn would drive improvements to diesel technology. That's almost impossible when the public perceives diesel as not only more expensive but also "dirty" and loud. ;)
 

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Sorry Simpsontide - just have to say it. . . I prefer the integrated nav on the 21012 much more than the 'slapped on' screen in the 2013. I'm sure both work well, just personal preference.
 

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Diesels don't sell very well in the states. Why do you think that is? The mileage is better on them. It must just be a popularity thing, I don't think it has much to do with cost or efficiency.
 

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Hello from Europe. Gas costs here twice as in USA. Here Diesel is cheaper as gas and diesel engines are more efficient then gas engines.That is why we buy diesel engines even they are not so reliable (DPF, injectors etc.), they are more noisy and more dangerous for helth regarding exhausts. (European emission standards favour diesel engines for years.) Q50 with 3,7 gas engine wont be available in Europe, instead of it we will have noisy 2,2 diesel engine from Mercedes-Benz. That saves thousands in life-cycle of the car for the owner. That is the reality. I have already ordered one :)
 

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The price gap between premium and diesel has narrowed significantly. In some places in NY diesel is the same if not less. That said, diesel is making a strong push with luxury brands and even Chevrolet, in the Cruze. Overall it is more efficient, but one needs to look at the long term cost of ownership, as well as availability of diesel fuel near your home.

I will consider a diesel when my BMW lease is up in June, but I am looking hard at the Q50 hybrid as well, especially since we already have one hybrid (RX-450h).
 
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