2014 BMW 328d Diesel Sedan Officially Debuts, All-Wheel-Drive Wagon Variant Coming
The breadth of BMW’s U.S.-market 3-series lineup continues to grow—the newest coupe and high-performance variants still have yet to arrive—and the automaker has announced the latest addition to the 3er family: a diesel model. BMW is calling the new diesel 3-series the 328d, and it joins the low-cost, gas-powered 320i; the 3-series Sports Wagon; the ActiveHybrid 3; and the standard 328i and 335i models in BMW’s U.S. lineup. The oil-burning sports sedan debuted at the 2013 New York auto show.
A diesel 3er coming to the U.S. is hardly a surprise—the company previously announced it was bringing a 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder engine here, and it wasn’t much of a stretch to assume it would end up under the hood of the 3-series. The 328d will arrive with 180 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque—routed through an eight-speed automatic transmission—which should make it feel sprightly, if not as outright speedy as the turbocharged, four-cylinder 328i. The 328i packs 60 more ponies but 25 fewer lb-ft of torque, and we’ve spurred it to 60 mph in as little as 5.6 seconds in our testing. BMW claims the 328d will be able to scoot to benchmark speed in “just over seven seconds.” To be sure, the new 328d won’t be the rocket that the 335d—the last-generation diesel-powered 3-series sold in the U.S.—was; that car packed a 265-hp, 425-lb-ft inline-six that, while it returned okay fuel economy, was geared more toward the fun-to-drive end of the spectrum.
The 328d, on the other hand, will be a more efficiency-oriented piece if BMW’s estimates are anything to go by. The company expects the 328d sedan will see fuel economy of 32 mpg in the city and an impressive 45 mpg on the highway. We’ll have to wait for final EPA figures to become available, but given diesels’ efficiency and the fact that the regular 328i is rated for up to 34-mpg highway, BMW’s claim seems plausible.
- Comparison Test: 2012 BMW 328i vs. Audi A4, Infiniti G25, Mercedes-Benz C250, Volvo S60
- Instrumented Test: 2012 BMW 335i Sedan
- First Drive: 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 3
Besides bringing higher fuel-economy figures to the table, the 328d also will offer something else that the previous-gen 335d didn’t, at least here in the U.S.: A wagon variant. (A leaked photo showing BMW’s 2013 diesel rollout plans presaged this announcement.) The five-door will come exclusively with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive setup, while the sedan will be available with either rear- or all-wheel drive. The diesel 3ers can be spec’d with the same Luxury, Modern, Sport Line themed trim levels available on the gas-powered models; BMW is also offering an M Sport 328d. All three 328d variants go on sale this fall.