Justifying great econo expectations the automaker had for the diesel powered version of its best-selling 3 Series line, the EPA has now confirmed that the rear-drive 2014 BMW 328d Sedan has earned a stellar 45 mpg highway rating while racking up an impressive 32 mpg on the city cycle. The all-wheel-drive 328d xDrive Sedan and its Sports Wagon sibling come in with nearly-as-notable 31/43 mpg marks. Although the Chevrolet Cruze Turbodiesel still leads the overall diesel-compact league with a 46 mpg highway figure, the new 328d family now tops the luxury portion of the segment - although it remains to be seen for how long. A new generation of Mercedes-Benz C-Class is expected to debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show in January. If speculation proves correct, this long-time 3 Series rival also will introduce a mileage-maxing diesel-powered variant into its lineup.

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All 2014 BMW 328d models are fitted with the automaker's 2.0-liter TwinPower 4-cylinder turbodiesel that makes 180 horsepower but a stout 280 lb-ft of peak torque from just 1,750 rpm. Backed by an 8-speed automatic transmission, this ultra-efficient oil-burner promise to match its fuel frugality with equally notable performance -- think 0-60 mph in less than 7.0 seconds. While pricing has not yet been announced, the 2014 BMW 328d lineup will be available in the same Luxury/Sport/Modern trim lines as its gasoline-fired sibling and also offer an M Sport package. These diesel-powered 3 Series models are scheduled to arrive in showrooms this fall.

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