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      10-25-2015, 09:42 AM   #1
Surg_Capt_R
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I have been a petrol head for more than 15 years. I have had loan diesel cars but never thought to buy one. Here is the deal... Things can get expensive in the UK... The 125d works out cheaper on road tax, insurance and fuel as it is pretty frugal by the sounds of it...

Outside it sounds like a tractor but what is the cabin noise like in comparison to say a 118i?

I have come across a 2012 example with 68k miles but it drives like new. I like it as it has m sport brakes, xenon lights, heated seats, sat nav and 18" wheels. It looks really good in grey. To me xenon is a must as I often drive on unlit roads.

My commute to work is a/b roads and takes about 35 minutes in the morning. With free flowing traffic. Speeds vary between 30-50mph. It is about 12 miles. On the way back I take a different route to cut out as much traffic as I can and that is a 14 mile route with a little stop start.. Again 30-50mph on the roads. Route home takes 70 minutes. I very rarely rag it but like taking off at the lights when no one is around.

I didn't buy my current N52B25 with economy in mind but for the silky smooth straight six. For a while I was pining after my Audi S3 as I missed the turbo shove and torque. I fell in love with my 325i as it is amazing although road tax and fuel adds up.

My annual mileage is about 13,000 miles. We're always hitting the motorway at least once a month to visit family on 200 mile trips.

Do you guys reckon I would be better suited to a 118i M Sport?? I figured it would be better with a remap. I want some economy but I'm not crazy about it and I wonder about things like getting the diesel up to temperature.

I remember my S3 sounded a bit diesel like at times as it used a hpfp system but cannot recall if it was as loud as an actual one.

Has anyone else made the step from a six to a four pot? Have you been able to grow used to it?

Any advice and opinions appreciated.

Thanks
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      10-25-2015, 02:44 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broken_Gearbox View Post
Has anyone else made the step from a six to a four pot? Have you been able to grow used to it?
I went from an E36 323ti to the F20 116i. The performance is almost at the same level, but the sound is rather boring in comparison. The turbo lag is also noticeable. I have grown used to it, but it is slightly less fun to drive.
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      10-25-2015, 04:44 PM   #3
padders
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Mine sounds pretty good but is still obviously a diesel. That said I have an LCI car with the B47 engine which is noticeably smoother than the N47 I had in my previous 320d. The gearing on the auto is so long that unless you drop down 2 or 3 cogs you won't hear any significant engine noise at cruise at up to 3 figure speeds. The 450Nm poke is very addictive and makes for a seriously fast car, yes you miss the last 2K revs which the M135i would offer but a red line at 5200 isn't too shabby for a diesel. The torque also means that the car happily trickles around town at 1200-1300rpms in 6th or 7th or gear without any hiccups. Bloody impressive when you think about it. Don't expect mpg miracles though, if all you do is town driving mid 30s is a real possibility, rising to low 50s on motorway drags. Your mix sounds like low 40s to me, my gut feeling is that the the 120d would be a lot better on fuel.

As I say I have the B47 so I am not sure how helpful my impressions will be but one thing I will say which is probably applicable to the N47 is that I wouldn't be all that keen on a manual, the auto is that good and really suits the delivery of the diesel unit.
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      10-26-2015, 01:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padders
Mine sounds pretty good but is still obviously a diesel. That said I have an LCI car with the B47 engine which is noticeably smoother than the N47 I had in my previous 320d. The gearing on the auto is so long that unless you drop down 2 or 3 cogs you won't hear any significant engine noise at cruise at up to 3 figure speeds. The 450Nm poke is very addictive and makes for a seriously fast car, yes you miss the last 2K revs which the M135i would offer but a red line at 5200 isn't too shabby for a diesel. The torque also means that the car happily trickles around town at 1200-1300rpms in 6th or 7th or gear without any hiccups. Bloody impressive when you think about it. Don't expect mpg miracles though, if all you do is town driving mid 30s is a real possibility, rising to low 50s on motorway drags. Your mix sounds like low 40s to me, my gut feeling is that the the 120d would be a lot better on fuel.

As I say I have the B47 so I am not sure how helpful my impressions will be but one thing I will say which is probably applicable to the N47 is that I wouldn't be all that keen on a manual, the auto is that good and really suits the delivery of the diesel unit.
Thank you. What is the cabin noise like on yours? Does it sound like a tractor?

I guess my main worry is that I wouldn't want to kill the dpf. My morning run sees my oil temperature get up to operating level on my N52 but I know diesels may take longer to warm up. That is what I am trying to get my head around. I think the drive home would be fine. If I ever got stuck in traffic then it'd be comforting to watch that fuel needle stay steady. I know they sound like a bag of nails when you start them up and bliss is with the windows up not down... wondering if they did a good job on sound insulation.

Last edited by Surg_Capt_R; 10-26-2015 at 02:25 AM.
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      10-26-2015, 07:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broken_Gearbox View Post
Thank you. What is the cabin noise like on yours? Does it sound like a tractor?

I guess my main worry is that I wouldn't want to kill the dpf. My morning run sees my oil temperature get up to operating level on my N52 but I know diesels may take longer to warm up. That is what I am trying to get my head around. I think the drive home would be fine. If I ever got stuck in traffic then it'd be comforting to watch that fuel needle stay steady. I know they sound like a bag of nails when you start them up and bliss is with the windows up not down... wondering if they did a good job on sound insulation.
No as I say, the B47 has improved NVH over the N47 and doesn't clatter noticably on a cold start, outside or in, at least so far in my 2 months of ownership. It may get worse when the mercury gets below zero of course. The big 6 has at least 2 litres more oil and water than the B47 4s so I would think all other things being equal that the diesel will get up to temps at least as quick as a 6 if not quicker. Turbo engines heat up pretty quickly in my experience vs NA.

Even when up to temp though the noise never gets all that appealing but the latest engines have 2500bar solenoid valve injectors which are more precise in fuel delivery than previously which seems to lead to a smoother burn than I was expecting. Up to 3500rpm the noise is never all that dieselly and fairly pleasant in a gruff muted way but between 3.5-5K you may occasionally long for the petrol 6. My mechanical sympathy winces a bit near the red line. My god does it shift though, the extra turbo extends the torque sweet spot by around 300rpm at the low end and about 1000rpm at the top vs the single turbo meaning that you have instant oomph from around 1200-4500rpm and the tail off above that isn't all that obvious. It actually has in excess of 370Nm over that entire range, with more than 400Nm all the way from around 1300-4000. The engine is about as far away from the old all or nothing diesels as it is possible to get with current technology I think.

As I noted before though, all this is a bit academic if you are after a pre LCI car since it will have the N47 unit. You probably need to drive one at see for yourself if you can get on with it.
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      10-28-2015, 12:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovekvam View Post
I went from an E36 323ti to the F20 116i. The performance is almost at the same level, but the sound is rather boring in comparison. The turbo lag is also noticeable. I have grown used to it, but it is slightly less fun to drive.
Get a tune, dude. The 116i has a hidden monster inside
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Before: 2009 BMW E90 320d LCI. Now: 2008 E92 M3 & 2014 F20 116i
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      10-28-2015, 05:46 AM   #7
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I still love my 125d.

Diesel noises are at a minimum. You get some at startup, but as soon as you get going, there's no real tractor sound or anything similar. Even when pushing it, it still sounds reasonable for a diesel.



This is me, going on the Nürburgring and you can hear the cabin sound pretty good.
There is no radio on and as soon as there are other (petrol) cars I can barely here my engine.
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      10-28-2015, 05:52 AM   #8
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One thing I would say about my 125d which I alluded to above, granted my car has only 800 miles on it so may still be rather tight but my economy figures are no where near what I had hoped for. I dont mean the fictional EU figures, just that it would be nice to see even 40mpg more often. Obviously YMMV but I am disappointed that it drinks more than an E90 320d
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      10-28-2015, 01:56 PM   #9
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If you want nice consumption figures with an F20/F21, drive slowly. It has lots of aero drag.
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      10-28-2015, 06:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovekvam View Post
It has lots of aero drag.
Mind the wind. On the other hand, aero drag should help to brake at high speeds, adding to safety (this occurs when driving fast ).

I just noticed the car seems to consume more fuel in very wet conditions. I guess it could be due to rolling resistance from the water.
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      11-01-2015, 06:35 AM   #11
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I went from a 2011 Audi S3 to my 125D. Even though I don't do big milage seeing an average of around 24mpg was playing on my mind so much, also the 265 miles tank range. I had mine from Cockermouth BMW and drove it home to South Wales, I averaged 48MPG, much better on the mind. I put a Bluespark tuning box on it the following day. I have it on the max settings which is supposed to be 281BHP, not sure what it actually producing though. I love the car and the torque it produces, it's unassumingly fast. The M-sport brakes are really powerful and nothing seems to fade them.
In the new year I am thinking of a proper remap as I have read these are actually better than the piggyback boxes.
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      11-02-2015, 05:20 PM   #12
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I went from an 8P S3, to an A6 6 cylinder diesel, and also drive 330d, 335i and 530d at work.

Wife had a 120d, and for the last year until ditching the A6 we used her car by choice, and our only regret was not getting the 125d in the first place.

Had a 125i as a courtesy car at the weekend, was so glad to get back to the 120d after two days. Economy and low down torque win the day for me, both as refined as the other for me. Love this car.
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      11-08-2015, 07:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broken_Gearbox View Post
I have been a petrol head for more than 15 years. I have had loan diesel cars but never thought to buy one. Here is the deal... Things can get expensive in the UK... The 125d works out cheaper on road tax, insurance and fuel as it is pretty frugal by the sounds of it...

Outside it sounds like a tractor but what is the cabin noise like in comparison to say a 118i?

I have come across a 2012 example with 68k miles but it drives like new. I like it as it has m sport brakes, xenon lights, heated seats, sat nav and 18" wheels. It looks really good in grey. To me xenon is a must as I often drive on unlit roads.

My commute to work is a/b roads and takes about 35 minutes in the morning. With free flowing traffic. Speeds vary between 30-50mph. It is about 12 miles. On the way back I take a different route to cut out as much traffic as I can and that is a 14 mile route with a little stop start.. Again 30-50mph on the roads. Route home takes 70 minutes. I very rarely rag it but like taking off at the lights when no one is around.

I didn't buy my current N52B25 with economy in mind but for the silky smooth straight six. For a while I was pining after my Audi S3 as I missed the turbo shove and torque. I fell in love with my 325i as it is amazing although road tax and fuel adds up.

My annual mileage is about 13,000 miles. We're always hitting the motorway at least once a month to visit family on 200 mile trips.

Do you guys reckon I would be better suited to a 118i M Sport?? I figured it would be better with a remap. I want some economy but I'm not crazy about it and I wonder about things like getting the diesel up to temperature.

I remember my S3 sounded a bit diesel like at times as it used a hpfp system but cannot recall if it was as loud as an actual one.

Has anyone else made the step from a six to a four pot? Have you been able to grow used to it?

Any advice and opinions appreciated.

Thanks
I feel a bit related: since I take the daily train to and from Brussels, I only use my car (e39 530i) to hit the railway station, about.... 3 miles down the road! Alhough your usage is a bit different, you also don't drive enough to motivate a 125d which is a bit of a schizophrenic car when you start to think about it: the hart of a long distance cruiser and the rest is...hmm, just not the choice of a cruiser. Probably this is the reason that BMW is unique in this offering, there is no real market opportunity to host a lot of competition in this shallow segment.

My godchild had one, and I expected a blast because of the torque, but it didn't hit me like I expected it would. When you don't have high tensioned expectations, you'll positively feel it has grunt as from low down. On higher rpm's, it doesn't make a case for itself though. the occasions I drove it, I was wondering why a 120d would be the lesser transport solution seen the price hike.

The 118i seems the better match seen your driving profile. But maybe you should consider being unfaithful... a Golf GTI Performance is usually not much more, but delivers way above a 118i and also makes the thought living without the 125d very bearable.
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