Tuesday, March 31, 2009

2009 BMW 335d - Road Test

So here’s BMW’s first diesel offering in the U.S. in almost a quarter-century. But as you survey the tempting array of 3-series cars, you may be asking, “So what? Why should I care about this oil burner?”

It’snot because you’re gonna save a bundle on fuel. Check our statistical sidebar. Yes, the 335d has better EPA fuel-economy ratings—23 city, 36 highway, 27 combined—than either of the 3-series gasoline burners. A 328i automatic is expected to achieve 18/28/22, and the 335i is rated at 17/26/20. But at this writing, ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel (now the nationwide standard) costs about 15 percent more per gallon than premium gasoline.

Factor in the higher cost of the car—with a base price of $44,725, the 335d is the most expensive non-M member of the 3-series—and the math gets worse. The feds will give you a $900 tax credit on this diesel, but even so, you’re looking at a $1575 disparity between a 335d and a 335i automatic.

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