To say BMW AG's new 3.0L inline-6-cyl. turbodiesel checks all the boxes for greatness would be putting it lightly.
Introduced in the '09 335d sedan, as well as the X5 xDrive 35d cross/utility vehicle, no other engine this year captivated our seasoned panel of Ward's 10 Best Engines judges the way BMW's clean-burning diesel did.
From its ability to lay down a gutsy 425 lb.-ft. (576 Nm) of torque at 1,750 rpm — the bulk of which is available from just 1,500 revs — to the gratification induced by 30-mpg (7.8-L/100-km) figures accompanying such thrust, this is one wonderful Teutonic torquemeister.
But its most-pleasing attributes come from its lightweight, all-aluminum construction and advanced compound-turbocharger arrangement, both of which hardly take away from the already stellar driving dynamics of the 3-Series platform.
Saddled with only a minimal weight penalty vs. the gasoline-fueled, twin-turbocharged I-6, the 335d can bob and weave with the best.
And with its pair of turbos huffing and puffing in sequence, lag-free surges of acceleration are summoned with the greatest of ease.
In the diesel world, the BMW's 88 hp/L was almost unthinkable just several years ago.
Engine type: 3.0L twin-turbocharged DOHC I-6 diesel
Displacement (cc): 2,993
Block/head material: aluminum/aluminum
Bore × stroke (mm): 90 × 84
Horsepower (SAE net): 265 @ 4,200 rpm
Torque: 425 lb.-ft. (576 Nm) @ 1,750-2,250 rpm
Specific output: 88 hp/L
Compression ratio: 16.5:1
Assembly Site: Steyr, Austria
Application tested: 335d sedan
EPA city/highway (mpg): 23/36