It's been a long while since BMW sold a diesel car in the US market.
Since 1988, when the 524d and 524td sedans left our shores in a cloud of their own soot, the Soviet Union fell apart and Germany reunified. We've had two Bushes and a Clinton in the White House and watched oil prices surge to dizzying heights.
Now, even as crude oil prices continue to fall in the dour economy, BMW has returned with a pair of oil-burners. Starting next year, the German automaker will offer the 335d, a diesel version of the 3-series sedan and the X5 xDrive35d, a diesel variant of the popular X5 SUV.
Both are powered by 3-liter, twin-turbocharged diesel inline-six rated at 265 horsepower and a tarmac-wrinkling 425 pound feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is the only option for both models. BMW has yet to develop a manual gearbox that can handle the immense torque output, so neither US or European customers will be able to row the gears themselves.
Like the new Mercedes-Benz diesels, the oil-burning BMWs will use a particulate filter and urea injection to eliminate soot and reduce emissions. The urea solution - called AdBlue - is carried in a 5.5 gallon tank on both the 335d and X5 diesel. BMW expects a tankful of AdBlue to last for about 15,000 miles.
As a part of the automaker's five-year / 40,000 mile complimentary maintenance program, BMW will refill each car's AdBlue tank at no extra cost at 10,000 miles.
At the pump, the 335d is rated at 23 mpg city and 36 mpg on the highway, with a range of about 560 miles. The X5 diesel carries a 22 gallon tank which translates to 585 miles with a 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway EPA rating.
The 335d will sell for $44,725 and the X5 xDrive35d will go for MSRP of $52,025, including destination and handling.
Both will be eligible for a federal tax credit. The IRS will kick back $900 for each 335d, while X5 xDrive35d customers will qualify for the maximum federal tax credit of $1,550.