Challenging the stereotypes about diesel cars with the BMW 535d and 328d

Challenging the stereotypes about diesel cars with the BMW 535d and 328d

This post is brought to you by BMW Advanced Diesel. Clean. Powerful. Efficient.

Let’s talk cars for a minute. More specifically, let’s talk diesel cars. It’s not uncommon for Europeans to be familiar with diesel-driven engines, and the technology behind them. However, for those in the US, diesel has a stigma attached to it. It’s a stigma of poor cold-weather starting, stinky black exhaust and lower performance than their gasoline-firing counterparts. But these are myths, and BMW is hoping that the introduction of the 328d and 535d diesel sedans to the US market can help to quell them.

Over the next week, I’l be driving a 535d, on loan from BMW. It’s the larger of the two cars, touting 413 pound-feet of torque. For those unfamiliar, torque is what gets you moving. The higher the torque rating, the more likely it is that you’ll feel yourself pulled back into the seat as you take off with hard acceleration.

For the 535d, that 413 pound-feet rating places it higher than some names you’re likely to recognize suck as the Porsche 911 Carrera S, the Ferrari California and American muscle like the Dodge Charger or Ford Mustang.

On the other side of the equation is the 328d. The company promises me that drivers will see fantastic fuel economy (around 45 mpg on the highway, which is better than my 2012 Focus SEL daily driver), and I don’t doubt that. Ultra-milage diesel engines have been a staple in Europe for years. But I’m also promised that I’ll see performance the likes of which are not typical for a diesel-powered car. That’s the part that excites me.

The 328d is no slouch when it comes to power, boasting 280 pound-feet of torque. BMW’s 3-series sedans have been a crowd favorite for years, and with good reason. They’re notoriously fun to drive, they ride like they’re on rails and they’re well-equipped at a reasonable price point.

I’ll be looking pretty heavily at points related to the torque and fuel efficiency of the car. I’ll do the usual daily-driver things like merging into traffic, passing and hard acceeleration. But I’ll also be taking the car to a local closed-circuit course to get a better feel for what it can do when you really don’t have to worry about having other people around you.

In all, it should be a good time, and I’m looking forward to digging into the technology that has made BMW pull the trigger on reintroducing diesel engines to the US market. If you have questions, or things that you’d like me to try during the week, drop a comment. Consider yourself a keyboard-version backseat driver for the week.

This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.

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