Quite a few of us outside the US drive diesels in preference to petrol. Economy is only one reason. Drivability is another and range also. I've owned many cars over the years from 2.0 liter Alfa's to V8 SUV's and my wife has just taken delivery of a new 2.0d X3 coupled with the 6-speed ZF auto.
It's our first diesel and I have to say it's a revelation. Just so easy to drive around the city and smooth. The engine is the latest gen BMW 2.0d as also fitted here to the 1 series, 3 series and 5 series. Wonderful and no regrets.
BTW I have an E90 M3 on order so that's the other extreme I guess!