The reason the Mini Cooper D isn't sold in the US isn't because BMW doesn't see a point, but because it is very hard to get a diesel to pass the US emissions!I firmly believe that a Mini D in the US should be sold for the same price as the baseline petrol. Or at most tag on an addition $500.
When looking at the difference in fuel consumption of the base petrol motor vs the diesel, combined with the (relatively) cheap price of petrol in the US, paying more than $500 extra just doesn't make sense.
Let's assume the petrol engine gets 35mpg and the diesel 55mpg. With an average cost of fuel at $3.25, and an average driving distance of 12,000 miles per year, at the end of 5 years the diesel will have saved you only $2000. And that number is a bit optimistic.
Consider the price of diesel in the US costs more than regular petrol (even the 93 octane). Also any premium you pay for an optional diesel engine is likely to be added on your car loan, amortized over 5 years, thus reducing savings even further.
This is another reason BMW doesn't see a point in bringing the diesel Mini to the states
VW does sell the TDI engined cars in the US. My daily driver was a Golf TDI until recently. But that car is not common. I can't think of how many times station attendants came running out to keep me from ruining my engine by filling it up with Diesel.I understand the reputation point, diesel in Europe has a better 'image', in part because of tax breaks of one form or another and the VW TDI engines which made diesels accessible and quick. I had forgotten the low octane rating of US petrol (ours starts at 95 and goes up to 98/99) which means there would be a noticeable performance advantage over the standard MC, even if the BHP figures aren't that different, the torque from a diesel is 'massive'.