Better fuel consumption with a manual days are long gone guys. I can't imagine myself shifting the gears with only 5k rpm. If you do a lot of highway cruise then I guess it's okay but better let the BMW tranny do all the work on a diesel.
From the look of things, the new 8 speed is very well designed and can you imagine just 15 years ago my 528i only has the crappy gm (albeit reliable) 4 speed!
This is great news! I'll get myself a diesel as DD with all the comfort and economy and keep my M's for when I need to feed my speed bug.
X3 diesel is very tempting.
[E34 520i | E39 528i | E46 M3 | E90 M3 | F25 X3]