BMW Builds More Efficient Car Than Prius With Non-Hybrid 520d

BMW Builds More Efficient Car Than Prius With Non-Hybrid 520d

For years we have been told that the future of fuel efficiency was in improving hybrid technology or finally making fully electric cars more practical for everyday use. And while the Prius is able to get an EPA estimated 50 mpg combined, it does so with what can only be described as an unexciting 98 horsepower.

As Americans we typically want everything to be bigger, faster and better than it was the year before. While the Prius obviously has its market (it does account for over half of all hybrid sales in the United States) many Americans aren’t yet ready to give up the performance of their cars. Enter BMW.

In recent years BMW has taken over as one of the leading innovators of automobile technology. BMW has pioneered everything from improved entertainment consoles and navigation in their vehicles to using infrared night vision to help see people and animals well before the naked eye. But BMW has also been working under the hood as well.

Earlier this year BMW unveiled its newest creation the BMW 520d EfficientDynamics. The 2.0-liter diesel engine model is scheduled for a European release sometime in September, but unfortunately BMW currently has no plans for a US release.

The new 520d will feature a diesel engine that is capable of 184 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. But we expect that from an entry level BMW, what we did not expect is the car would be able to get over 57 miles per gallon with a manual transmission and over 54 mpg with the automatic version. 57 miles per gallon. A full 6 mpg better on the highway than the beloved Toyota Prius.

If the 0 to 62 time of 8.1 seconds isn’t fast enough for you, BMW is offering the 530d and the 535d flagship as well. These two models will each feature larger engines 3.0-liter 204 horsepower diesel capable of 44 mpg on the 530d and a 300 horsepower diesel on the 535d which will do 0 to 62 in 5.7 seconds. That’s an impressive time for a car that can still boast over 46 mpg.

But don’t expect the eBMW 520d to be in US dealerships in September when it official hits the market. Most automakers are hesitant to bring diesel engines to the US, we mainly only see diesel engines in the largest and smallest vehicles from a manufacturer. BMW will be offering a 3-series with a diesel engine and a few of their larger SUVs in the United States, but nothing in between.

In Europe 60-percent of vehicles on the road today are clean-burning diesel engines, here in the US that number drops to a dismal 5-percent. Judging by the quality of automobiles that come out of Europe year after year, it’s a safe bet they know what they’re doing when it comes to driving. Maybe it’s about time we took a good look at what diesel can do. And while, yes it is slightly more expensive than gas at the moment, diesel is much cheaper to refine than the gas we use and would eventually drop in price.