• Jul 23rd 2009 at 5:58PM
  • 42
2009 BMW 335d – Click above for high-res gallery

When Chrysler started its new "Double CA$H For Your Old Car" promotion that included up to $4,500 in incentives on select vehicles, we weren't that surprised. After all, there are plenty of Chrysler products with at least that much cash on the hood. News that BMW is following suit with the same $4,500 in rebates on the purchase of a diesel powered 335d or X5 is a bit more surprising.

BMW is offering the rebates on the X5 35d and 335d as an "Eco Credit" to supplement Cash for Clunkers. BMW points out that on top of the up to $4,500 in incentives, buyers of the Bavarian diesels are also eligible for tax credits of $900 for the 335d and $1,800 for the X5 35d. And since the oil-burners are so efficient, BMW estimates fuel savings over four years at $2,000 verses comparable petrol-powered luxury rides.

The program, which runs through August 31, is being advertised as a one-time special offer, but it could also signal a lack of acceptance for diesel-powered luxury vehicles in the US. That would be too bad, though, because the diesel Bimmers we've driven were flat-out terrific, and with 580 miles/tank and a 20% reduction in CO2, they're eco-friendly, too. Hit the jump to read the BMW press release. Hat tip to Why not the LS2LS7.

[Source: BMW]


Efficiency may be the buzzword of the moment in the automotive industry, but it's hardly a new concept at BMW. We've always lived by the EfficientDynamics philosophy - less emissions without sacrificing performance.

So when the government recently announced its 'Cash for Clunkers' program to reward Americans for driving more fuel-efficient cars, we were inspired to begin an incentive program of our own. Now through August 31, BMW will give you a $4,500 Eco Credit toward your purchase of a 335d or an X5 xDrive35d - the most fuel-efficient vehicles in their class.

But the savings go beyond this limited-time offer. You'll also receive a $900 tax credit3 on the 335d and $1,800 on the X5 xDrive35d. And like any BMW, both diesel vehicles come with 4 years/50,000 miles of zero-cost maintenance. Plus, its best-in-class efficiency will save you approximately $2,000 in fuel costs over four years.4

The question now is not should you or shouldn't you. Instead, it's simply: Are you in the mood for a sleek, all-new sedan or a versatile Sports Activity Vehicle?

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I love the 335d, between performance and economy it's one of the, if not the best out there.

      Does this apply to the diesels in Canada as well, or only in the US?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Congratulations to LS2LS7!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I guess people will only buy diesels in this country from VW/Audi.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is a fail promotion in my opinion (well the whole cash for clunkers program too).

      If a person has a car that would qualify, then I can almost guarantee they can afford a BMW. The car has to have been registered *and* insured for the past year. So unless they gave their kid a "clunker", and they use that to get the rebate.

      The other fail is the 335d. Economical at $43k.....don't think so. And if someone wanted to be "green" they would just buy a hybrid luxury car. (and yes I know it's the torque that is the big draw) For almost $20k *less* you can get a new Jetta TDI. We bought one about a month ago (with a 6 speed) and that is a fantastic car!
        • 6 Years Ago
        You all bring up good points. I was not giving it a fair comparison. It is targeted at people who want that amount of power but not burn as much fuel. (You pay a premium for performance). Comparing it to our Jetta is not a fair comparison.

        I am a huge diesel fan, but I would hate to have BMW use that car as "proof" that Americans don't want diesels. I would *love* to see a 1 series with a smaller diesel for around 30k. Heck, I would to see just a fraction of the diesel engines in any of the cars that are available else where here in America.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agreed SpaceGoatPriest, I think a 123d would be a sweet spot for the BMW diesel in the market. I'm definitely hoping to see something for the 2010 lineup.

        The only 2 reasons I can think of that BMW elected to bring the 3.5L in for 2009 is that they can shoehorn it in to 2 of their luxury cars to show that even though they are some of the most popular gas versions, they can make them efficient and perform as well. The other reason being that the space in the trunk that their diesel system takes up, for the sound dampening, urea injection, etc. The 335 and X5 have space in the trunk to put this, but the 1 series may not have.

        Either way, I think the 1 series, and X3 could be very popular diesel options if they're given the chance, and the 2.8l diesel is a must.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Why can't a $43k car be economical? Sure it still costs the same as a luxury sedan, but there's no reason people can't reduce their carbon footprint by burning less fuel and having less emissions, regardless of the segment their car is from. Some people want the performance of a strictly fuel based car, but an alternative to standard gas.

        Not that I'm saying the Jetta TDI is a bad car, but comparing the 335d to it, is like comparing the 335i to the Jetta 2.5, they are vastly different.
        • 6 Years Ago
        correction: They *can't* afford a BMW. (I should not try and type early in the morning....)

        Seriously can we get an edit button? Please? :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hope this puts people in the seats. The BMW diesels are excellent high performance vehicles that happen to get great mileage.

      High cost and perceived lack of performance have held back sales to all but a very few diesel fanatics. Unlike Hybrid buyers who seem to crave -- in your face smugness-- without regard actual cost of ownership, diesel buyers think and want payback.

      The cost has been a major factor in BMW diesel's slow sales. I've heard of dealers who have yet to sell their first one. If prospective customers see value they may open their minds to a test drive the X5 and 335d. Once in the seat the inherent virtues will become obvious.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Seanleeforever: Comparably equipped the 335i is $3,025 more expensive than the 335d after rebates and tax break. Add in the extra mpg and quicker response to 30 mph and the economy vs. performance argument is not so clear...is it?
      • 6 Years Ago
      how about a stick shift bmw? Come on now!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Both trucks are car qualify for the Cash For Clunkers but not the motorcycles.

      • 6 Years Ago
      BMW kind of blew the diesel thing the way Honda messed up the Accord Hybrid. When people think 'diesel' they think 'awesome mileage'. Same with 'hybrid'. Both these cars placed too much emphasis on performance and not enough on kick-ass-never-have-to-go-to-the-gas-station mileage. The diesel 3 series gets ok mpg for a BMW, but compared to a similarly sized Civic sedan gets the same numbers.. with normal, regular gasoline. Regardless of brand and luxury, the BMW just isn't impressive. Highly efficient diesels will sell without incentives. Just as the Jetta does.
        • 6 Years Ago

        "BMW have a couple diesels in 3-series cars in Europe and chose to bring the most expensive best performing but lowest mileage version to the US"

        As Mirko said, they have a lot more diesels to offer in Europe. Granted, no need to offer same 6 diesel engines here in U.S. but at least two?

        As I said months ago here, the best thing BMW could do for their fortunes in U.S. would be to fire every single person from BMW U.S.A. and start anew.

        You know, when a person with household income >100k a year without kids in early 40s won't even step into a BMW store in U.S. - there is something terribly wrong with that. Especially if you consider that the same person would consider at least 3 models in any European BMW showroom. And that same person would consider buying BMW before any other brand.
        • 6 Years Ago
        BMW doesn't have a couple diesels in Europe - they have 6 diesels (316d, 318d, 320d, 325d, 330d, 335d). Or even 7, if you count the Alpina D3 Biturbo.
        The 320d is significantly cheaper than a 328i and still does 0-60 in well under 8 seconds. They should try offering THAT in America.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think your analogy to the Accord Hybrid is spot on. BMW have a couple diesels in 3-series cars in Europe and chose to bring the most expensive best performing but lowest mileage version to the US. Probably not the best choice when all the performance minded people will be going for the 335i. Now, if gas were $6 a gallon in the US...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Biggest issue I have with this car is...the price. While there are plenty of performance diesel buyers (especially in Europe), this thing needs a smaller engine and less features to bring the price to that of the 328i.

      For reference:

      328i - $33,600
      335i - $40,300
      335d - $43,900

      Problem is, they are trying to sell this on an economic platform - ummm, I could buy a 328i for $10,000 less. That is a lot of fuel, and more importantly, less up front cost (that IS important). The sort of person who would be able to spend $43k on a small sedan is probably also going to be willing to spend the extra money on fuel.

      Make this the 'fun' diesel alternative vs. the luxury diesel (that can be on the 5 Series). Someone who wants to get 30+ MPG all day long, but still wants a fun, semi-affordable car.

      Obviously, this car also needs a 6-speed manual vs. the automatic-only we have here.

      (Yes, I realize part of the allure of this car is the wall of torque, but you are paying a dear price for that).
        • 6 Years Ago
        In Europe, the 320d is the top seller. It's price tag is about 75% of the 335d's. Would that work?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Excellent point. These cars/SUVs are not directly comparable to the Euro market because Europeans get a lot of entry-level diesels, whereas ours are only in the highest of the range.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Give me a 1 series hatch with a diesel. I'd happily take a 120d, but I'd love a 135d. A 40-5pg car with enough torque to shred tires and pull tree stumps with great handling would be on my radar.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Also, it's not going to get 50mpg. Maybe 40mpg highway.

        I have a 1-series diesel hatch. 40 mpg is my lifetime average. 50 mpg is possible, but not fun. The worst I have ever got was around 33 mpg (pedal-to-the-metal autobahn driving at around 120 mph all day), relaxed slow Autobahn driving at speeds comparable to American freeways results in mid-40s mpg.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The torque on a Diesel doesn't make it to the road. And due to the heavy engine, it wouldn't be the handler you make it out to be. Also, it's not going to get 50mpg. Maybe 40mpg highway.
        • 6 Years Ago
        How big are your gallons?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I converted from my l/100km observations to US mpg. I'm German. No gallons used here. We use metric and like Hasselhoff. (Actually I don't)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Because BMW brought the wrong diesels over. No one wants a performance diesel -- if they're considering diesel, they're doing it for non-performance reasons. They should have brought the 320d over instead of the 335d. IMHO, market research fail.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Correct. for now. Once the US market realizes the advantages to the diesel platform on cheaper, economy cars, they will be in position to buy a diesel performance sedan. BMW needs to work on this. VW and Audi pretty much already have it down, but I really want a BMW diesel. with a 6 speed please. 135d would do nicely.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Or offer me a 335d coupe. I have an old S15 Jimmy that's begging to be CFC'd.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe, there just isn't that much of a diesel market here in America. At least not for personal conveyance.

      Maybe, coming from a 12 - 15 mpg SUV, most americans are quite happy with a 25 - 30 mpg Fusion, Accord, Malibu, Camry, Altima. These are the folks you see, that will me most concerned with fuel economy, not someone willing or able to plunk 40+ large for LUXURY ride.

      Americans still doesn't associate luxury with diesels.
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