All the talk of late has been about the BMW 135i and its 300+ horsepower and potential performance. What we seem to be overlooking, and in part because BMW has chosen not to share it with North America, is the 123d which is their 204-hp diesel engine version of the 1-Series. Well the UK’s TimesOnline is not forgetting the 123d. Despite their despising of the 1-Series 3-Door predecessor that has been available in the UK they opted to give this diesel coupe a chance, and it seems they were not disappointed.
Some impressions that were given is that even though the engine may still sound like a diesel on the outside of the car once you are in the cockpit all you hear is the revving of the engine upon acceleration. The interior apparently boasts more room than the previous 3-Door model from their experience. Ofcourse more important to us is the 204-hp performance of the diesel engine, which they liked so much they would recommend BMW share it with some of their other models. As part and parcel to the performance of the diesel was the fuel mileage. For the duration of their test of the 123d the car achieved a combined rating of 54.3mpg. With its mere 11.5 gallon fuel tank that would give the BMW 123d a range of 600 miles without a fuel stop. Now that would be a test of some bladders out there on the highway.
The main detraction from the BMW 123d, as we might expect, is the price.Â When you take the base price of 24,855 British pounds and add the M suspension package at 1,435 pounds and then navigation and leather upholstery you find yourself up to 30,000 pounds. In other words…Â Â Crap! The conversion of that into US dollars brings the car to a ridiculous number, so there is no point in printing it. The recommendation from the TimesOnline was to leave off the M suspension as it only toughens the ride and pads the price. However, it would seem difficult for any enthusiast not to include the M Suspension package. I would rather go without leather seats first.
Ofcourse, those of us living in North America may never have to worry about any of that as far as the BMW 123d is concerned.Â If it were not such an impressive engine it would be easy to ignore, but nooo… they just had to get it right and then deprive us. Maybe in the coming year BMW will hear our cries and work to make their diesel engine meet the US standards, but I would not hold my breath.
Here are the stats for the BMW 123d that the TimesOnline test-drove:
ModelBMW 123d M Sport CoupÃ©
Engine type 1995cc, four cylinders, twin turbo
Power/Torque 204bhp @ 4400rpm / 295 lb ft @ 2000rpm
Transmission Six-speed manual
Fuel/CO2 54.3mpg / 138g/km
Performance 0-62mph: 7.0sec / Top speed: 148mph
Verdict An exceptional engine in a fair car