10 Best BMW Diesel Engines (and Cars That Use Them)

BMW is a brand known for making some of the best motors in the world. While the majority of BMW engines are gasoline, BMW has also been greatly involved in making Diesel engines for decades.  

Today I have a list of 10 Best BMW Diesel Engines that BMW has created and cars that are equipped with them.    

1. BMW B37 (2012+)

The B37 is BMW’s only three-cylinder diesel engine. Introduced in 2012, the B37 is still greatly in use on many BMW vehicles. Similar to its petrol cousin the B38, the B37 is a 1.5-L three-cylinder engine producing 95 HP-114 HP. 

The B37 is the smallest diesel engine used in the smallest BMW cars. The BMW 1-series or 116d, and the smaller BMW Mini One D are powered by the 3-cylinder B37.   

Also read: 5 Best BMWs with Over 300 HP (with Costs)

2. BMW B47 (2013+)

The BMW B engine series are all part of BMW modular engines including three, four, and six-cylinder. The B47 is the bigger 2.0-L, four-cylinder turbo variant which succeeded the N47 in 2014.  

The B47 just like the 37 uses 4 -valves/cylinders with common rail injections and rear-mounted timing chains. Both feature VANOS camshaft timing and use the Valvetronic system. They also have a single Bosch-Mahle turbo but the bigger variant of the B-47 is twin-turbocharged. 

What makes the B47 special is its flexible powerband. The B47 is capable of producing power as low as 114 HP used in 316d (2015-19) to 227 hp used in X1, X2, and X5. Other BMW models that feature the B47 are 218d, 318d, 418d, 120d, 220d, 320d along with 125 and 225d. The Mini Cooper SD also features the 2.0 L 186 hp B47D20.        

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3. BMW B57 (2015+)

The B57 is the biggest powerhouse in the BMW B-series. Available in single, double, and quad-turbo, it has a similar design to the B37 and B47. The only difference is the sic-cylinder with per cylinder displacement of 500cc. 

The B57 first debuted in 2015 in the BMW 7-Series and replaced the old N 47. Currently used in many high-end BMW models, the B57 has three variants. 

The B57 D30 O0 (single turbo) is used in 30d models of X3, X4, X5, X6 along with 5,6 and 7-series.  

The B57 D30 T0 (twin-turbo) is used in the 40d models of the X3, X4, M3, M4, and 5,6,7-series. 

The B57 D30 S0 (quad-turbo), used in 50d models of X5, X6, X7, along with the M550d and the 750d all after 2016.    

4. N47 (2006-2014)

The N47 engine was the predecessor of the B47. Introduced in 2007, the N47 was first featured in the newly facelifted BMW 1-series. The N47 was BMWs go-to engine for all its low-mid powered turbocharged diesel models.  

Widely used till 2014 it had 4 single turbos and 1 twin-turbo variant. The 2.0L 4-cylinder N47 started with an 85 kW, 114 HP output in the 116d models and 3-series E90 and F30 316d models. The bigger 140 HP version was used in MINI Courtman, Cooper, Cabrio, Coupe, Roadster, and Pacemen between 2009-2016. 

It also had a low Co2 emission, 160hp variant used in the E90 320d. While the biggest single-turbo variant of N47 was used in 120d, 220d, 320d, 520d with some models of  X1 and X3. 

5. N57 (2008-2015) 

Just like the B57, the N57 was a bigger 6-cylinder turbocharged engine made for the X5, X6, and the 5,6,7 series of BMW.  It used Variable Geometry Turbochargers which allowed it to be coupled with up to three turbo-chargers. 

BMW used the N57 in their diesel models of 3-series, 4-series, 5-series, 6-series, and 7-series. The X4, X5, and X6 also featured this engine till 2015. However, the tri-turbo variant was specifically used in 550d, 750d, and M50d till 2018. 

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6. M41 (1994-2000)

BMW introduced the first 4-cylinder engine as the M41. Since it was directly derived from the M51, it was only 14% new and shared most parts with the M51. The M41 produced 89 HP and was used in the E36 models of the BMW 3 door compact, 4-door sedan, and 5-door touring models.  

7. M47 (1998-2006)

The M47 came after the M41 as a straight-4 diesel engine. The 2.0 four-cylinder engine initially used direct injection but later got upgraded with a common rail fuel injection system. The M47 was upgraded multiple times boosting its output from 114 HP to 161 HP. 

Initially, it was used in E46, 318d, 320d, and E39 models of 520d. After a Technical update, the M47 TU was used in the AWD BMW X3 and RWD 320d. Later it was also used in the E87 118d, 120d, E90/E91 318d, and 320d with the E60 520d and E83 X3.    

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8. M51 (1991-2000)

The M51 is one of the oldest BMW diesel engines that we know of today. It was a water-cooled, 6-cylinder turbocharged engine with bosch swirl-chamber injection. The M51 was rated from 114 HP to 135 HP. It was used until 2000 in different E36 325td, E34/E39 525td, and E38 725td.  

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9. M57 (1998-2011)

The M57 was the successor of the M51. It was the same 6-cylinder water-cooled turbocharged engine with common fuel injection. But it had a way better power output than the M51.  

The smallest M57 made 147 HP while its bigger variant the M57D30TOP was rated at 281 HP. BMW used the M57 in all bigger BMW models of the 3-series, 5-series,6-series, and 7-series till 2011. It was also used to power the E83 X3, E50, and E70 X5,  and E71 X6, 

10. M67 (1998-2009)

The M67 was the only V8 diesel engine BMW made. It was made specifically for the 7-series and was used till 2009. The M 67 had two iterations, a 3.9 L and 4.4 L both of which were twin-turbocharged.  

With a power output between 234hp to 324hp, the M67 was used in the E38 model of 740d and E65 model of 740 and 745d.

How Many Diesel Engines Did BMW Make?

Over the last 33 years, BMW has made 11 Diesel engines. The very first engine they ever made was the M21 in 1983. While the most recent one is the B57 in 2015.

Since diesel engines have slightly complex construction it takes more investment and time to build them. 

However, due to regularly changing emission norms, the company has not yet invested in other diesel engines. Rather they are focusing on Petrols, EVs, and plug-in hybrids. 

Does BMW Still Make Diesel Engines?

BMW has ceased to build any more diesel engines. Stricter emission norms have forced BMW to not provide any Diesel options in America and Europe. However, some Asian countries still get to have diesel variants from BMW. 

The most recent diesel BMW you will find in the USA is the 2017 models and 2019 models in Europe. While diesel was once expected to go as long as 2023, the current rise in plug-in hybrids and EVs has made BMW choose otherwise. 

Customers interested in diesel BMW cars can still buy 2015, 2016, or 2017 models of the X3, X5, or the 3-series, 5-series, or 7-series at rather affordable prices. 

Also read: Do Hybrids Last Longer than Gas and Diesel Cars?

Does BMW Make the Best Diesel Engines? 

BMW’s diesel engines are particularly taken as some of the best diesel engines in the market with a life expectancy of 20 years. 

For one, they don’t break down like the other petrol engines. BMW also claims that their diesel engines have the least emissions of all. Given that these are BMW engines, their power output and performance are also on the top. Plus, since they made limited diesel engines they made good diesel engines with the best available technology. 

But, there are still some diesel engines from BMW that are infamous for repetitive failures. The N57 and M57 for example showed faults with turbo and fuel-injectors in 330d. The N47 in 320d and 520d had regular breaking of timing chains and wastegate malfunctioning.    

The good part is that none of these problems carried on with the latest B series. Hence the B-series of BMW diesel engines proved to be the most advanced and durable powerhouse from BMW. 

Thanks to this, BMW models from the last decade are some of the best diesel BMW you can buy in the US.