Comparison test: diesel versus gasoline engine in the BMW 1 Series Convertible

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Diesel versus gasoline in the BMW 1 Series Convertible

Comparison test: diesel versus gasoline engine in the BMW 1 Series Convertible-versus

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Comparison test: diesel versus gasoline engine in the BMW 1 Series Convertible-comparison

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Comparison test: diesel versus gasoline engine in the BMW 1 Series Convertible-comparison

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Comparison test: diesel versus gasoline engine in the BMW 1 Series Convertible-comparison

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Comparison test: diesel versus gasoline engine in the BMW 1 Series Convertible-gasoline

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Comparison test: diesel versus gasoline engine in the BMW 1 Series Convertible-engine

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Comparison test: diesel versus gasoline engine in the BMW 1 Series Convertible-gasoline

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Comparison test: diesel versus gasoline engine in the BMW 1 Series Convertible-gasoline

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Source: BMW

Sadness and sadness. Those were the reactions of the fabric roof fans when BMW announced the new 3 Series Convertible as a retractable roof coupe. In the meantime, the traditionalists have been given consolation: In addition to the 6 Series convertible, there is again an affordable model with a canvas top – the 1 Series convertible.

W.he convertible is also available with diesel engines in many modern open-top cars – they now run quietly enough to be able to endure them even with the top down, and they are economical. In addition, BMW sells around half of the entire 1 Series as diesel, so it would be a mistake not to offer this engine in the convertible. Only the savings effect, which was known from the past, will hardly occur with the 120d. We compared the 120d with the gasoline model 120i.

All manufacturers feel the dwindling appeal of diesel in their orders since the price of this fuel has climbed almost to the level of gasoline. After all, a diesel car is more expensive to buy than one with a gasoline engine. BMW currently charges 32,000 euros for the convertible 120i, while the 120d costs 33,500 euros. From the factory, the equipment of both models is identical except for a tiny bit: In addition to the soot filter, the diesel also has a protective device on the filler neck. It prevents accidentally filling up with petrol.

In order to recoup the 1,500 euros extra price through lower consumption, the driver of the BMW 120d has to spend a lot of time behind the wheel. With a mileage of 20,000 kilometers and a price difference of five cents per liter, the diesel driver can book a fuel cost advantage of just 500 euros – at least if the comparison vehicles with the EU standard consumption of 6.6 liters (120i) and 5, 1 liter per 100 kilometers (120d) can be moved.

In the practical test, the consumption was higher, as usual, the 120i wanted 7.2 liters, the 120d it was 5.8. The difference changed by 0.1 liters to the disadvantage of diesel. Its nonetheless existing advantage is impaired by the fact that its owner has to pay more vehicle taxes, namely 308 euros instead of 135 euros per year for gasoline-powered vehicles. In addition, most insurers charge a diesel surcharge: because diesel cars drive more on average, they also have more accidents, which is reflected in the premium.

So the one that BMW is so fond of being in the field "driving pleasure" make the difference. Both test cars were equipped with a manual six-speed gearbox and everything the manufacturer currently has to offer in terms of fuel-saving technology: gearshift indicator, braking energy recovery and automatic start-stop – if you stop at the traffic light and take the gear out, the engine will not bother you any further. While the two two-liter convertibles have this technology, buyers of a 125i or 135i have to do without it: start-stop is not yet available for six-cylinder engines.

In terms of performance, diesel and gasoline engines are almost on par

Thanks to the immense progress in the development of diesel engines, the 120i and 120d are closely related in terms of performance. The petrol engine has 170 hp, the diesel even 177. The situation is similar with the performance, where 8.4 and 8.1 seconds (120d) were measured for the sprint from zero to 100. At top speed, the difference can only be measured with the light barrier: 220 to 222 km / h. In the climate evaluation, the diesel has the lead with 134 to 158 grams of CO2 per kilometer.

The difference in elasticity is much more noticeable. The diesel provides its greatest force of 350 Newton meters already below 2000 revolutions. The result: Rapid acceleration even from fifth gear is not a problem. In this discipline, the 120d beats its sister model by two seconds. So if you like to glide lazily down the boulevard, the diesel is very good advice.

The gasoline engine, on the other hand, wants to be kept happy at speed. For a lively driving experience, eager stirring of the gear lever is the order of the day. The tester feels differences in the force that he has to use to press the clutch pedal. The resistance in the diesel is significantly greater, which can be explained by the enormous difference in the torques to be transmitted.

That’s why the 120d is much sportier at the traffic lights. The thrust is enormous, and for a comparable start, the gasoline engine needs a gas supply that brings the driver disdainful looks from passers-by. Even if the diesel cannot deny its design acoustically, both engines work inconspicuously and quietly.

Conclusion: With the generally lower mileage of convertibles compared to closed cars, the higher costs of diesel are difficult to recoup. It should be booked as an amusement tax, because the 120d offers more temperament in everyday use and therefore more driving pleasure. The choice of reason remains the petrol engine for reasons of cost – but this can change again when the vehicle tax is switched to carbon dioxide values.

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