BMW only began selling the 1-series in the U.S. last year, but only in coupe and convertible forms. This hatchback diesel is not available here.
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Bosch, which makes diesel engine components, is promoting diesel cars in the U.S. as a way to increase its markets. This 123d shows that diesel cars are not the soot-spewing, slow-moving hulks of yesteryear.
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The 123d's engine is a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder diesel engine. It makes 295 pound-feet of torque at 2,000rpm, and 201 horsepower at 4,400rpm.
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The hatchback body is a particularly nice style for the 1-series, maximizing cargo space yet still having a nimble, short wheelbase.
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This 123d is also fitted with an M package, giving it a sportier suspension than the standard model. In cornering, it showed excellent BMW handling, with little under- or oversteer and a slight rear slide making the car easy to pivot.
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Diesel only, please. With a 13.4 gallon tank and average fuel economy of 45 mpg, the 123d has excellent range.
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The hatchback offers easy access to the cargo area. The rear seating area is tight, but has better headroom than the coupe.
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The cargo area has plenty of room for luggage or groceries.
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There isn't much in the cabin to let you know the 123d is a diesel. The big clue is the tachometer, with its 5,000rpm redline.