BMW will expand US diesel offerings with oil-burning 5 Series
Volkswagen made it more difficult, but not impossible, to get diesel cars certified in the US.
Andrew KrokReviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Just because it's much harder to get a diesel approved for sale in the US in 2017 doesn't mean automakers are giving up on the idea entirely.
BMW has confirmed that it will bring a diesel-powered 5 Series to the US, although it's unclear when it will arrive. Since there are more variants of the 5 Series set to debut in the US later this year, I feel like that would be the time to do it. It will probably arrive as part of the 2018 model year, which also includes the performance-oriented M550i.
Sadly, it appears the diesel 5 Series onslaught will be limited to a single model, the BMW 540d. It's unlikely that BMW's brand-new, quadruple-turbochargedM550d will be coming along for the ride, as well. One can certainly hope, but I wouldn't go holding my breath.
Once it lands Stateside, the BMW 540d will stand alongside other diesel Bimmers, including the 328d and X5 35d, both of which had to pass ultra-strict diesel testing in order to be sold in the US.
You can thank Volkswagen for the extra scrutiny, because of that little thing called Dieselgate. For the time being, the Volkswagen Group has all but abandoned its hopes of bringing new diesels to the US, although it is selling a small number of 2015-model-year vehicles that have been suitably repaired to curb diesel emissions.
The stricter testing regimen has claimed vehicles from other automakers. Mercedes reportedly canceled importation of the C300d luxury diesel sedan in order to focus on bringing a diesel-powered GLS-Class, since it was tough to make a business case for the C300d when its larger SUV would feature a higher take rate for diesel engines.
BMW's latest performance diesel has a quad-turbo engine