recent experience with a 116d B37

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poiuytre111
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recent experience with a 116d B37

Post by poiuytre111 » Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:24 am

I offer the following comments for any of you considering an entry-level BMW diesel.

I recently bought a 20k mile 116d with the 1.5l B37 3 cylinder engine having previously had several M47 and N47 cars including most recently an E81 120d. I chose the 116d as I spend 99% of my miles cruising motorways at moderate speeds these days and was happy with the performance offered - also a 116d became available in the right spec before I found a 118d or 120d so I pulled the trigger.

Since driving the car for several '000 miles I very quickly came to realise that there was a factor I should have considered that significantly changes the nature of the engine and for the worse. I am referring to the inevitable effects of having only 3 cylinders and therefore fewer firing pulses per '000 rpm. Its not about power its about firing pulses.

My 116d runs smoothly enough but idles at 1000 rpm rather than the ~800 I was used to but more significantly it does not want to pull even gently from below about 1400 - 1500 rpm. When you add the fact that the 116d uses a 40mph/1000 top gear/final drive you find that you need to change to a lower gear no matter how gently you are driving, when speed limits take you below about 60 mph. For the record, the 116d can be usefully more frugal than my previous 120d E81 but anything more than very gentle driving wipes that benefit out, taking me back to the still very good economy I was used to with the more powerful car. So, while I am happy with the 116d now I am used to its foibles, I would add my voice to those who say that a 118 or 120 may be a more pleasant car to drive and most of the time is just as frugal. Would I buy the 3 cylinder car again ? It would need to be a very good deal !
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Re: recent experience with a 116d B37

Post by stevesurrey » Sun Sep 01, 2019 12:23 pm

I think its all down to power:weight ratio. A low-powered engine in a relatively heavy car won't make for great drivability nor good fuel consumption when pressing on.
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Re: recent experience with a 116d B37

Post by jason@bwchiptune » Sun Sep 01, 2019 2:02 pm

If you remap the car you will gain a lot more torque
This is what is needed as you need more lower end torque







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Kirito101
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Re: recent experience with a 116d B37

Post by Kirito101 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:28 pm

I think the 116d with around 115bhp is underpowered.

Def worth to try the 118d which is also the same engine but more bhp and pull better

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Re: recent experience with a 116d B37

Post by martin10chk » Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:49 pm

Very useful and informative post. It is clear that fuel savings from lower powered engines are largely illusory. As soon as you demand more than nominal power from them they rapidly become less economical. I have tried a number of 3 cylinder engines and always find them compromised compared to 4 cylinder counterparts.
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Re: recent experience with a 116d B37

Post by SamM140 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:18 pm

My biggest gripe with this engine, is that it so unrefined.

A colleague was a 116d and the gear stick vibrates so noticeably when idling and sounds really course. The petrol version seems much nicer (had it in my other half’s F56 MINI).
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Plus my other half’s 2007 116 cheapy project

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Re: recent experience with a 116d B37

Post by flyboy777 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:47 pm

Kirito101 wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:28 pm
I think the 116d with around 115bhp is underpowered.

Def worth to try the 118d which is also the same engine but more bhp and pull better
118D is 4 cylinders not 3. B47 2 litre same as 120D, not B37.
At least the 18 plate one I drove last week was.
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Re: recent experience with a 116d B37

Post by mupet0000 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:03 pm

I had an automatic 116D Shadow as a courtesy car recently. My car is quite similar but i have the 118i, the car felt so much worse to drive than mine. The engine runs out of steam very quickly, I don't know what the manual is like but the auto gives it quite a good push from a standstill and low speeds so it's good around town but at higher speeds the pick up is very sluggish, the faster you go the worse it becomes. I did find it strange how much I disliked the car compared to my own considering it's almost the same car just missing a few options, the engine really made a big difference.
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The petrol seems a lot more refined and it sounds a lot nicer too, although fuel economy also suffers if you drive it any harder than a grandma, although if you drive gently you can get very good economy.

On the other hand I also had a 118D Shadow courtesy car earlier in the year and that's what made me want the car I eventually got. The 118D felt a lot better to drive, the pickup was always good, it was a manual and it cruised very nicely at 70 in 6th, it also had a good amount of torque to be able to just leave it in 6th at lower speeds, although the auto rev matching made it quite easy to shift down quickly anyway. Also it idled at 800rpm like you'd expect.
Image

Overall I wouldn't even consider a 116d based on my experience. Out of all 3 engines I would pick the 118d, but I have the 118i as I do an awful lot of stop-start driving, the vast majority of my driving is short town journeys so a diesel isn't a good idea for me.
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Re: recent experience with a 116d B37

Post by Kirito101 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:37 am

flyboy777 wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:47 pm
Kirito101 wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:28 pm
I think the 116d with around 115bhp is underpowered.

Def worth to try the 118d which is also the same engine but more bhp and pull better
118D is 4 cylinders not 3. B47 2 litre same as 120D, not B37.
At least the 18 plate one I drove last week was.

I see, sorry for my eror as I thought the b37 was also a 3 cylinder engine

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Re: recent experience with a 116d B37

Post by Kirito101 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:38 am

mupet0000 wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:03 pm
I had an automatic 116D Shadow as a courtesy car recently. My car is quite similar but i have the 118i, the car felt so much worse to drive than mine. The engine runs out of steam very quickly, I don't know what the manual is like but the auto gives it quite a good push from a standstill and low speeds so it's good around town but at higher speeds the pick up is very sluggish, the faster you go the worse it becomes. I did find it strange how much I disliked the car compared to my own considering it's almost the same car just missing a few options, the engine really made a big difference.
Image

The petrol seems a lot more refined and it sounds a lot nicer too, although fuel economy also suffers if you drive it any harder than a grandma, although if you drive gently you can get very good economy.

On the other hand I also had a 118D Shadow courtesy car earlier in the year and that's what made me want the car I eventually got. The 118D felt a lot better to drive, the pickup was always good, it was a manual and it cruised very nicely at 70 in 6th, it also had a good amount of torque to be able to just leave it in 6th at lower speeds, although the auto rev matching made it quite easy to shift down quickly anyway. Also it idled at 800rpm like you'd expect.
Image

Overall I wouldn't even consider a 116d based on my experience. Out of all 3 engines I would pick the 118d, but I have the 118i as I do an awful lot of stop-start driving, the vast majority of my driving is short town journeys so a diesel isn't a good idea for me.

Good input, if it wasnt for motorway miles, would you still pick the 118d over the 118i? In addition, in regards to power, which engine between the 118d and 118i feels more responsive ?

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Re: recent experience with a 116d B37

Post by tonirai » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:53 am


Kirito101 wrote:
flyboy777 wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:47 pm
118D is 4 cylinders not 3. B47 2 litre same as 120D, not B37.
At least the 18 plate one I drove last week was.
I see, sorry for my eror as I thought the b37 was also a 3 cylinder engine
You're mixing all up...
What he told you is the 118d is 4 cylinders because it's a B47.

It's not a 3 cylinder (which yes, is the B37).

125d, 120d and 118d are 4 cylinders B47;
116d and 114d are 3 cylinders B37.

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Re: recent experience with a 116d B37

Post by Kirito101 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:57 am

tonirai wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:53 am
Kirito101 wrote:
flyboy777 wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:47 pm
118D is 4 cylinders not 3. B47 2 litre same as 120D, not B37.
At least the 18 plate one I drove last week was.
I see, sorry for my eror as I thought the b37 was also a 3 cylinder engine
You're mixing all up...
What he told you is the 118d is 4 cylinders because it's a B47.

It's not a 3 cylinder (which yes, is the B37).

125d, 120d and 118d are 4 cylinders B47;
116d and 114d are 3 cylinders B37.
All clear now, Thanks :)

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Re: recent experience with a 116d B37

Post by mupet0000 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:35 pm

Kirito101 wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:38 am
Good input, if it wasnt for motorway miles, would you still pick the 118d over the 118i? In addition, in regards to power, which engine between the 118d and 118i feels more responsive ?
It's sort of hard to judge as the 118d I drove was a manual and my 118i is an auto. It's quite interesting because I did drive a manual 118i early last year and honestly it felt slower than my current 118i with an auto box, the auto box makes a big difference and I think the 116d in manual form would feel worse. The 118d with the manual compared to my 118i with an auto, the 118d definitely felt more powerful and responsive, I think if it was manual vs manual it would be a lot quicker. It pulled well and unlike the petrol, it didn't need to be revved out to get the power down.
Image
Never got a picture of the rear of that car :(

That's really what kills the fuel economy on the 118i, you can make good progress but the auto box will be shifting you at 6K, although it sounds great :lol:

If it wasn't for my stop-start short journeys then yes I would pick the 118d, the improved fuel economy and torque wins me over even if it doesn't sound nice.
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Re: recent experience with a 116d B37

Post by Kirito101 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:50 am

mupet0000 wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:35 pm
Kirito101 wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:38 am
Good input, if it wasnt for motorway miles, would you still pick the 118d over the 118i? In addition, in regards to power, which engine between the 118d and 118i feels more responsive ?
It's sort of hard to judge as the 118d I drove was a manual and my 118i is an auto. It's quite interesting because I did drive a manual 118i early last year and honestly it felt slower than my current 118i with an auto box, the auto box makes a big difference and I think the 116d in manual form would feel worse. The 118d with the manual compared to my 118i with an auto, the 118d definitely felt more powerful and responsive, I think if it was manual vs manual it would be a lot quicker. It pulled well and unlike the petrol, it didn't need to be revved out to get the power down.
Image
Never got a picture of the rear of that car :(

That's really what kills the fuel economy on the 118i, you can make good progress but the auto box will be shifting you at 6K, although it sounds great :lol:

If it wasn't for my stop-start short journeys then yes I would pick the 118d, the improved fuel economy and torque wins me over even if it doesn't sound nice.

Nice and on offical, the manual is faster than the auto but I guess auto is much faster to shift than manual which I could be wrong

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