Frugality & Function: The 120d

Our friends over at The Diesel Driver venture to BMW Plant Leipzig in a five-door hatch. What the 120d offers up is 177hp from the spark-less engine which is ample for Autobahn style cruising and achieved 52 mpg.Here is a small bit of their experience driving one of BMWs most popular offerings in Germany, be sure to read the entire story here.

“The drive from Munich to Leipzig is ca. 425 km and the route takes us on the Autobahn A9 for all but 20 km of the route. Our 120d came in an elegant space grey metallic with business navigation and multiple BMW EfficientDynamics fuel-saving options including regenerative braking and auto start-stop. Regenerative braking recovers energy that would normally be wasted as heat through the brakes and the start-stop technology turns the engine off to avoid unnecessary idling when stopped. The 120d’s engine puts out 177 hp (130 kW) with a combined fuel economy rating of 4.7 l / 100 km (~ 42 mpg in the EU test cycle. The EU test cycle has three components: city or urban driving (the first 800 seconds of the test), highway or extra urban driving (the next 400 seconds), and combined (the complete cycle). On a 300-km stretch with an average cruising speed of 120 km/h (75 mph), the 120d only used 4.5 l / 100 km or 52 mpg.”
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  • cmac

    Why we can’t get these products here in the US is beyond me…

  • chas58

    I’ve driven the Mercedes version (A class), and while the torque was nice on mountain roads I don’t think I could stand having an engine that couldn’t rev and wasn’t all that exciting to drive. Hopefully the BMW isn’t that bad. 1000km on a tank of gas was nice though.

  • Drew

    it’s quite simple…

    BMW DE/NA thinks Americans won’t buy hatchbacks and for the most part they are correct…so you can start by blaming the average American buyer who would prefer to drop $25k on the abomination that is the US spec Honda Accord…

    then you can start blaming BMW DE for ONLY bringing over the 335d/X5 diesels…

    so…BMW, the balls in your court…do you want to start bringing over the smaller diesels or let all that biz go to VW???

  • cmac

    I bet that this engine in the current 1 series, without excessive bells and whistles would sell, but it has to be less than the current 128, way less. 335d is too expensive-have seen them on our lot for 45-55K

  • Axel

    cmac youre right the 335d is expensive Im am planning in buying one OUCHH!! but the MB is more expensive and less appealing. VW is taking and has been since the eighties the DIESEL to buy. BTW I sent for a request quote and yet the local BMW dealer has failed to reach me today even though I spoke to the rep yesterday. That is really annoying me and VW looks good for that matter, problem here is I have to fork out 7k for taxes to the dealer since dealer only pays half taxes and if I bring from the states I would pay 15k yikes!!

  • cmac

    I currently drive an 2011 335d w/sport pack and motorsport option. It’s a great machine, but expensive.

  • Mark

    Just back from Spain where Avis rented us a 6 speed stick shift 116 diesel hatch for a week of mountain driving. Lots of fun: Drives like a BMW. High torque + short wheel base was great for switch backs with unbelievable grades. Build quality was good, and hatch swallowed large amount of luggage with one seat down. Only drawback was that compared to my 535 touring the 116 felt badly underpowered on highway back to Barcelona when we wanted to overtake slower traffic. Obviously not a fair comparison, but the difference was very noticeable.

    Bottom line: With decent marketing by BMW NA, hatch backs and smaller diesels should sell here, not to mention 3 and 5 series touring …