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Five diesels under RM100k

BHPetrol (BHP) used to be the only fuel supplier on the block to offer Euro 5 diesel at its stations, a whopping 50 plus locations at last count in Johor, Melaka and the Klang Valley. Much bragging rights to be had for sure, especially with that wide a coverage net.

A little over two weeks ago however, Shell joined the Euro 5 table with five stations including two in the Northern Region, one at the Tapah Rest Stop and another at the Tanjung Malim Lay-by, to go where BHP hasn’t quite reached yet.

Let’s cut to the chase, diesels are fantastic for fuel savings and massive amounts of twisty torque so here are 5 interesting oil-burners with indicative pricing — without a pickup truck or SUV in sight.

1. BMW 320d — RM95,888 (2010)

320 a

Yes, the diesel Beemers could handle Euro 2M with BMW Malaysia’s tweaking i.e. the removal of particulate filters which would have gotten clogged very quickly with dirty diesel. If you find yourself staring at a 320d in the classifieds which has had its injectors replaced recently don’t hesitate to jump on it.

On Euro 2M some customers were claiming a range of 1000km or more on long distance drives, imagine what you could achieve with Euro 5. And that’s just looking at efficiency, post-2009 320d engines had at least 350Nm of torque. Which is a lot.

2. Ford Focus TDCI — RM45,800 (2011)


Pre-owned TDCI Focuses seem to be mostly in sedan guise, unfortunately. Console yourself with this then, a five-year old Focus TDCI sedan can be had for less than half of its original price.

While not as dynamically agile as a standard Focus hatch from the time — a marginal difference if we’re honest — the sedan had a more practical and usable boot. If you still want that hatch however, the only unit we found online is priced about RM13,000 more than a sedan from the same year.

3. Hyundai Starex — RM86,800 (2012)


The most monstrous Hyundai you can buy, the Starex is the affordable alternative to the Toyota Alphard/Vellfire twins. On long journeys its comfortable and massively spacious on the inside, and the diesel clatter is commendably muted. If you have a big brood, or just find yourself carrying a lot of people often, you could do a lot worse than a Starex.

4. Mercedes-Benz E270 CDI — RM49,800 (2003)


This was nothing short of a PR nightmare for Mercedes-Benz Malaysia. The car itself wasn’t bad, but the engine’s inability to cope with sulphur-rich Euro 2M diesel caused more headaches and issues than anyone should experience from a high-end German luxury sedan.

Numerous clogged exhaust filters leading to ECUs shutting down turbos were rife, with cars spending inordinate amounts of time in workshops instead of out on the road. Now however, with Euro 5 diesel available, an E270 CDI with a lot of out of city mileage — these cars had less issues than their city driven counterparts — from around 2003 can be had for less than RM50,000.

5. Proton Wira diesel — RM3,999 (1997)


This is not a diesel Wira but diesel Wiras look the same as regular Wiras. Therefore, this image was just to show you what a Wira looks like if it was even possible that anyone living in Malaysian wouldn’t know.

Bet you never knew this one existed. The Wira is the only Proton ever to be fitted with a diesel mill, a Mitsubishi-sourced 2.0-litre Sirius 4D68 straight four. Two versions were made, one turbo and one naturally aspirated, with Malaysian units only receiving the latter in sedan clothing.

Performance figures were pretty poor, only 64hp and 123Nm, for the non-turbo, but we think this might be a good choice for a small business runabout and also, well, just to tell everyone that you have a diesel Wira.


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