Diesel engines and American-market cars are an unlikely combination, but for this week’s Classifieds Challenge, we found two examples that BMW did bring to our shores—and which have managed to entice in-the-know enthusiasts ever since.

Last week we looked at two cars for vastly different purposes that happened to be in the same price bracket: an S54-powered “clown shoe” M coupe and a contemporary M6 Gran Coupé. Neither was much of a coupe at all, but it is interesting to explore the markets crossover of these two models—which have, for a moment at least, the same value. This week we’re exploring two more performance-oriented BMWs, but not necessarily of the BMW M variety. The first is a 2014 535d,  the second a 2015 328d Touring; it’s a battle of two different BMW diesel engines in two rather unlikely cars. As usual, we’re pulling from the BMW CCA Classifieds as our top source for enthusiast-spec BMWs.

The 5 Series, which can be seen at its listing here, is one of the last of the F10 generation, and a stately example complete with the full M Sport package (featuring better-proportioned bumpers front and rear, plus sport seats and the sport steering wheel) and finished handsomely in Carbon Black over black leather. It has also has been driven just 27,400 miles over four years, leaving plenty of opportunity for enjoyment of the diesel platform.

Desirable features aside, the most interesting part of the car by far is the drivetrain; this 535d is NOT an xDrive model, meaning you get the six-cylinder twin-turbo N57D30 engine, eight-speed transmission, and yes, rear-wheel-drive. 

It’s worth mentioning that the variation of the N57 in U.S.-market 535d models is not exactly the full-fat European engine; our 535d, with 255 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, is badged a 530d on the Continent, with their 535d making 308 horsepower and 465 twisties. But compared to the rest of BMW’s diesel offerings in the U.S., this oil-burning Autobahn cruiser is the peak of performance, finesse, and diesel punch—plus, for anyone concerned, this low-mileage F10 is still covered by its factory warranty until September 2018. And all of its diesel goodness can be yours for $31,500.

While a diesel 5 Series might sound like the most practical all-around option to balance performance, function, and practicality, our second option could give it a strong run for its money. While it may not be the most popular body style in the U.S., our second option is possibly the ultimate enthusiast daily driver: the 328d xDrive Touring. 

While its four-cylinder B47 diesel (making 161 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque) is not as powerful as the N57, this 2015 328d from the BMW CCA Classifieds is a strong performer with gobs of passing power suitable for any situation. Like the 5 Series, our 328d gets a different name in Europe, where it is merely a 320d, but this example has been breathed on to at least look the part of a big-engine oil-burner. With a range of desirable cosmetic add-ons (including an M Performance front lip) and the M Sport package, this wagon is striking and functional—and as a 2015, still protected by its factory warranty.

The F31 Touring is one year newer and has 38,200 miles, but its owner is actually asking slightly more than the F10 at $33,500. Both have some time remaining on their factory warranties, and both have low enough mileage to be a reasonable daily driver—but which would you choose?

Let us know your selection in the comments below, and as usual, if you have any recommendations on cars from the BMW CCA Classifieds that you’d like us to compare, drop us a note on those as well!—David Rose



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