BMW of North America LLC opts for higher profits for its diesel vehicles than its major rivals do by charging a premium that tops $4,000 for one model.
The X5 xDrive35d diesel crossover will cost $52,025, compared with $47,925 for the X5 xDrive30i gasoline model. The 335d diesel will cost $44,725, up from $40,925 for the comparable gasoline model. Prices include shipping.
The Mercedes-Benz ML320 Bluetec crossover costs $49,475, compared with $47,974 for the ML350 gasoline model -- a $1,501 premium. The Volkswagen Jetta diesel sedan and wagon have a premium of about $2,000.
BMW says that although diesel fuel costs more than premium gasoline -- which all its vehicles require -- the ultraclean diesels are about 30 percent more fuel-efficient. BMW says the 3-series diesel has a range of 560 miles on one tank, and the X5 can go 585 miles before refueling.
The X5 xDrive35d and 335d go on sale in late December in the United States, but BMW says some dealers may not be fully stocked with them until the first quarter of 2009.
BMW has not projected diesel sales, other than saying they could represent 25 percent of U.S. sales in the long term.