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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BIMMERPOST Universal Forums > General BMW News and Cars Discussion > N20 and N55 Motors Make 10 Best Engines List by Ward's Auto (2012)



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      12-09-2011, 03:11 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grimlock View Post
False.
The N52 in de-tuned form can be felt to be weak vs. the N20 in highly tuned -28 form. But the N52 in either 255 or 272hp is a thing of beauty. To compare this with a stressed 2.0T is like a featherweight on roids vs. Mike Tyson in his sleep.
It's sacrificing longevity and realiability for performance and economy figures.

There is nothing beautiful about the N20. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then this would require one to be blind.
tell that to my frowny face driving the loaner 328i

I've haven't driven the N20 yet, but I'm pretty sure all those reviews praising the engine aren't lying. I also love it when small little engines can push out big power, starting with the SR20DET from the Nissan S14 to the current Lancer Evolution.
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      12-09-2011, 07:46 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by samchoi604 View Post
The N20 is such a fine engineering beauty. It is a true upgrade to the old I6 N52. Unfortunately, the N55 is not much of an upgrade to the twin turbo N54.
well, twin-turbo's have been around forever. the n55 was landmark in terms of the twin scroll technology.
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      12-09-2011, 10:29 AM   #25
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How did the n55 make it? They are notorious for fuel pump failures??
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      12-09-2011, 10:50 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Remonster View Post
I disagree, there's a reason I waited 2 months for my N55 135i to be built when I could have taken home an N54 that same day. It's a clearly superior engine, and the sound is just absurd. I fall in love with it all over again every time I put my foot down, can't say the same for all the N54s I've driven.

Also, and this is definitely nitpicking, but the N55 did not debut with the LCI 1 series but came out the year before. Mine is a pre-LCI N55 powered 2011 135i, 2012 MY cars got the LCI refresh.
I've owned both.

2008 N54 135
2011 N55 135 (current)

The N54 always felt "stronger" via the butt dyno--no proof, just the way it felt.

The N55 almost feels slow at times...or that I feel as though I have to push the gas pedal through the floor to get it to move.

I've had the N55 for a year, and I have been looking lately to get into an M3 or something similar because it just doesn't feel as good as the N54 did.

Additionally, the gas mileage was definitely better in the N54. Not sure if that is more of a DCT vs. MT or N54 v. N55.

Overall, the N55 135 is a good car...but the N54 just felt so much stronger...the only thing that makes the N55 feel remotely fast is the DCT.

Just my $.02...
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      12-09-2011, 10:51 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahmud///M View Post
How did the n55 make it? They are notorious for fuel pump failures??
Unless I am mistaken, the N54 had many more failures. I haven't heard as much on the N55 HPFP...they are out there for the N55, but not in the same quantities...
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      12-09-2011, 11:42 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmboone25 View Post
Unless I am mistaken, the N54 had many more failures. I haven't heard as much on the N55 HPFP...they are out there for the N55, but not in the same quantities...
from what I heard, the HPFP issue is still there with the n55..might be wrong though.
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      12-09-2011, 12:00 PM   #29
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This was beaten to death recently on 1addicts and the general consensus is that the problem was fixed in 2010, and has not affected any 2011-2012 N55 owners. There's an understanding that they haven't acquired as many miles yet, so it will be a while before we can be sure, but at the very least the number of affected owners will be very small.
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      12-09-2011, 01:47 PM   #30
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The n55 has same power as n54 with better reliability, sound and gas mileage. 50 people on this forum crap on the n55 because it can't do quarter mile as fast as the n55 when modding the crap out of it... But for the tens of thousands of other owners out there not living life a quarter mile at a time, n55 is clearly a better engine!
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      12-09-2011, 05:45 PM   #31
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What is the issue with removing the limiter?
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      12-09-2011, 07:55 PM   #32
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I dont know if the N20 is similar to the Audi A4 DI turbo 4 in any aspect, but being a previous owner of a 2011 A4, the engine sounds and feels cheap. As if it was a Honda civic with a turbo. Its like a loud muffled sewing machine sound when accelarate hard. I guess its pushing the 4 to its limit. But I must say it is a really smooth 4 banger I ever drove. In the end, I rather choose a 6 over a 4 anyday, even if gas or efficiency was the issue.
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      12-09-2011, 08:34 PM   #33
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congrats to BMW for making the list!
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      12-09-2011, 09:55 PM   #34
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Congrats to BMW! I own 2 of those engines on the list and hope to make it 3 very soon. My 11x5 gave me 23mpg avg and did 13second quarter miles with a tune. Can't ask for more out of a sav. And I'll soon be replacing my wife's e90 lci with an 328 or a 528.

But the 302 boss motor takes the cake for emotional attachment!
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      12-10-2011, 03:27 AM   #35
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Consider the whole package

I like the N55, as I did the N54. I am still not sold on the 4 cyl. THe numbers are impressive and on a test drive it was fine but noisy (X1) I did not test it in the 5 series.

THe one that really surprised me was number 4 on the list. The Pentastar. I drive it in a test of a Jeep and found it to be very badly programmed. THe power was there only the engine management system made you wait while it seemed to ask "Do you really want to leave economy mode, your fuel economy will suffer, well don't say that I did not warn you"

As consumers, it is a whole package, the engine management system, the transmission and the engine. That is how it should be. That is why BMW is so great, they look at the whole. I would not get on a plane if the pilot said "Today I am going to concentrate on airspeed." I want the pilot to balance airspeed, altitude and navigation. Well is it similar with a car. Nice to have a good engine, but have it drive the rear wheels etc.
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      12-10-2011, 03:46 AM   #36
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like usual
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      12-10-2011, 01:00 PM   #37
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remember the N52 is a under-rated and detuned version of BMW's legendary naturally aspirated inline 6.

If the cost saving and additional efficiency from the new N20 is satisfactory to some people, then good for everyone. However, for me, the naturally aspirated inline 6 is still my choice.

However, if BMW would sell the 320d then I would be the first one to sign up. That's real torque and efficiency over the inline 6.


On a side note regarding the Pentastar. I love that engine. I just wish it was paired with a better transmission. I've been looking hard for a Jeep for snowboarding trips and the Pentastar is looking good in my book.
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      12-10-2011, 01:47 PM   #38
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      12-11-2011, 12:00 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Questforpower View Post
Looks like turbo and DI appear to be the future for an excellent blend of fuel efficiency and performance.
What about reliabilty/durability?
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      12-11-2011, 12:02 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samchoi604 View Post
The N20 is such a fine engineering beauty. It is a true upgrade to the old I6 N52. Unfortunately, the N55 is not much of an upgrade to the twin turbo N54.
As an engineer, I see complexity, and lots of things to go wrong. Unfortunately in the UK we got the N53 after then N52 -great headline numbers when new, but very very fragile.
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      12-11-2011, 12:05 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by NoelWatson View Post
What about reliabilty/durability?
It is consistently getting worked on since there is more and more of DI / Turbo cars... I am willing to put money on it that most people will sacrifice a little bit of reliability for improved torque down low / fuel efficiency and overall better performance because once again the old N52 was more antiquated than drum brakes.
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      12-11-2011, 11:02 PM   #42
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Gotta love the N20 and N55.
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      12-12-2011, 09:02 AM   #43
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Nice work bMw
hahahah my thoughts exactly
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      12-12-2011, 12:01 PM   #44
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It is consistently getting worked on since there is more and more of DI / Turbo cars... I am willing to put money on it that most people will sacrifice a little bit of reliability for improved torque down low / fuel efficiency and overall better performance because once again the old N52 was more antiquated than drum brakes.
I will take you up on your offer. The gap in reliability is enormous, if my experience has anything to do with it. Agreed that the newer engine will have better number when new, but once carbon starts to build up, injectors fail, HPFP fails, cats clog up, I don't think performance gap will remain. My 330i was down to 247bhp when last on the dyno.
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