2012 BMW 3-Series

328i RWD 4-Dr Sedan I4 man trans

2012 bmw 3-series Reviews and News

2012 BMW 3 Series Front Left View 8
The new F30-chassis 3-series is, like all of its predecessors, a calculated evolution of its predecessors. History's been clear on this: first BMW makes evolutionary changes to a 3-series, then it does a revolutionary re-think. The E21 was updated into the E30. The E36 was a big change -- followed by an evolutionary update that became the E46. The E90 was again a big change, and that means the step from last year's 3-series into this new one is evolutionary.
From a styling standpoint, that's pretty clear. The greenhouse looks so similar to the outgoing 3-series that you might not even notice you're looking at a new one. The rear end too looks familiar -- it's practically indistinguishable from the current 5-series. And the nose? It's new, but it's also exactly what you'd expect from BMW (now that the company has finally grown out of its Ugly Years.)
The F30's interior is an absolute revelation. The E90's cold, stark dash has been replaced by a cabin dressed with unnecessary curves and artful details. It's obvious that nothing in this car's lavish interior was placed there by accident -- each button, control, surface, and curve was actually designed, not just engineered. It's the first time a 3-series has been so form-driven, and the best part is that the designers have sacrificed not one iota of function.
The only sacrifice, versus the E90, is some interior materials. The center console is made of hard, scratchy plastic where it was previously soft and rich. The glovebox door latch feels like it came from a Scion. These are worthwhile sacrifices, though, and the inside of the new 3-series is easily as elegant as the best from Audi. It's about time.
Underneath, the changes to the 3-series are subtle. The front strut-type suspension remains constructed of aluminum, though the rear multi-link is now all steel. (E90s used some aluminum in back.) The designs are similar, however, and the changes to the 3-series seem to be all based around fuel economy, not changing the car's fundamental engineering layout.
On the fuel economy front, the 335i has improved from 19/28 mpg to 20/30 with the 6-speed manual and a very impressive 23/33 mpg with the eight-speed automatic. Those are considerable gains -- considering that the engine and coefficient of drag have remained the same and the six-speed manual has a shorter top gear. Obviously, the eight-speed automatic's wide gear spread is responsible for its benefit over the manual.
We drove both automatic and manual-transmission 335i sedans, and they're both equally impressive. Manual fans will continue to appreciate how easy BMW's clutches are to operate -- the 335i's engagement point is positive, and the clutch effort is not too high. Its long travel is a bit of a chore (could it be that the 3-series is getting a bit big to have a stick? It's a big reach to the floorboard) but the shifter's throws aren't, and the engine's sound and responsiveness makes this a very entertaining powertrain. The eight-speed automatic isn't quite as involving, of course, but its incredibly closely spaced ratios (and the cool BUUURP from the exhaust on full-throttle upshifts) make hard acceleration feel even faster. BMW says either 335i sedan can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds.
The new 3-series switches to electric power assist, which is more often than not a recipe for miserable steering feel. Happily, that's not the case in the 335i, which serves up commendable on-center feel. It's not nearly as good as last year's 3-series, but it's far better than the 5-series' dead tiller, so we remain hopeful that BMW's engineers will continue to refine the system.
Where the steering's assist system really needs help is on the race track. Of course, the mechanicals are perfect -- as a whole, the 335i's steering is perfectly accurate -- but there is absolutely zero feedback at the limit. As you turn into corners, effort builds somewhat naturally (more so in the car's sport modes, which reduce steering assistance), but at no point will you feel through your hands what the front tires are doing -- you'll need your butt for that.
Still, the 335i acquits itself surprisingly well on a race track, with great body control, lots of grip, and brakes that are easily up to the task -- even at Laguna Seca, a track notoriously hard on brakes. Unfortunately, the 335i's competition is close by in the rear-view mirror.
And no, we don't mean Audi. Or Infiniti. Or even Mercedes-Benz. We're talking about the 328i -- the new four-cylinder, entry-level 3-series. The 328i can be had for some $7500 less, and its overachieving four-cylinder puts out only 60 fewer horsepower and a mere 40 fewer lb-ft of torque. Weighing more than 150 lb less, BMW says it's only 0.3 to 0.5 seconds less swift to 60, and it feels like the gap is even smaller.
More importantly, the lighter 328i clobbers the 335i in the corners. We considered the 335i to be the on-track benchmark of the near-luxury sport sedan segment -- until we drove the four-cylinder. The 335i turns in with rubbery reluctance and then settles into mild understeer. The 328i does nothing of the sort -- despite what feels like more body roll from behind the wheel, the four-cylinder Bimmer throws itself at corners like teenage girls at Justin Bieber: with controlled wags of the hips and a breathtaking amount of confidence. The 335i might still be a better corner carver than its chief rivals, but it's no match for the 328i.
So if it's barely faster in a straight line and not quite as great in corners, why would you buy the 335i? To be honest, if you're looking at an automatic 3-series, it's a hard sell. But with a manual, it's no contest -- the 335i is the better car. BMW muted the four-cylinder's noise far more than the blown six's, which was the right choice -- nobody wants to hear a four-cylinder in an expensive car. But that means driving the 328i with a manual requires a lot more attention: you can barely hear or feel the engine, so you wind up taking off with way too many revs -- or stalling it. Revving the engine out in each gear brings no acoustic pleasure, so you short-shift it and ride the enormous wave of low-end torque. And all the while, you're thinking that you'd be just as happy with the automatic.
In the 335i, you revel in the engine's noise. Its broad, flat torque curve means you don't have to rev the engine -- but you want to. You want to hear it, you want to feel it, and you wind up loving it. More so than ever, it's an emotional decision rather than a rational one -- but with three pedals in the driver's footwell, there's still no sport sedan better than a BMW 335i.
(Wishful thinking department: we're holding out hope for a 300-hp 2.5-liter straight-six replacement for the 335i. Lopping off twenty percent displacement for better fuel mileage but keeping the six-cylinder's sound would be the ultimate, um, driving machine.)

2012 BMW 335i

On sale: Now (Spring 2012)
Base price: $43,295
Engine: 3.0L Turbo I-6, 300 hp, 300 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-speed manual, 8-speed automatic
Drive: Rear -wheel
Fuel economy: 20/30/23 city/highway/combined (manual), 23/33/26 city/highway/combined (automatic)
2012 BMW 328i Front View
The sixth generation of the BMW 3-series arrives this February in the United States -- in sedan form, at least -- and it's safe to say that the biggest question on the mind of most enthusiasts is: did BMW screw it up?
That is the key question, in part because BMW has shown a penchant for messing with things that didn't need to be messed with. From matters as big as its exterior designs with "flame surfacing" and the replacing of dedicated buttons and switches with iDrive, to ones as small as ditching the mechanical turn-signal-stalk switch for an electronic one, BMW has demonstrated that it sometimes does not know when to leave well enough alone.
It is also a question because the outgoing 3-series is not a car that was crying out for improvement. In fact, most of us would say that, even at the advanced age of six years, the current-generation 3-series is still the most desirable car in its class. Witness its appearance, yet again, on Automobile Magazine's All-Stars list for 2012.
The chief reason that the 3 continues to win accolades is the way that it drives. A glance at the specs of the new car, however, provides some reason for apprehension. The new 3 is larger, the iconic normally aspirated straight-six engine in the 328i has been replaced with a turbocharged four-cylinder, and the steering switches from hydraulic to electric assist. Those are all changes that can affect the delicate formula for a near-perfect sport sedan, even for a company with as much experience at it as BMW.
At least the design of the new 3-series (the F30, to BMW fetishists) is unlikely to put many people off, as it hews closely to the previous car. The most noteworthy -- and strangest -- element is the way the headlamps bleed into the grille. Other less-controversial aspects of the design include a hood that dips down toward the front (helping to achieve a 0.26 Cd) and the slight forward lean of the twin-kidney grilles, which hasn't been seen since the E30 3-series of the 1980s. Compared with the outgoing (E90) sedan, the new version has grown by 3.7 inches in length and the wheelbase has been stretched 2.0 inches. That means the car's trademark ultrashort overhangs have become slightly longer, by approximately one inch at both ends. The width, at least, was held in check (actually decreasing fractionally), and yet the front and rear tracks are both more than an inch wider. What's impressive is that the new 3-series has gotten larger without getting heavier. BMW claims that, on an equipment-adjusted basis, the F30 is a tad lighter than its predecessor. At 3406 pounds, the 328i is also lighter than the Mercedes-Benz C250 and the Audi A4 2.0T.
At the launch event, the BMW people couldn't stop talking about the three Lines, which essentially are optional trim levels. Each one tweaks the look ever so slightly, with its own eighteen-inch wheel design and variations to the grille slats and the lower air intakes, the mix of chrome and gloss-black trim, and the interior decor. The Modern Line has a monochromatic interior with a beige dash, steering wheel, and gauge faces in place of the usual black. The Luxury Line is more traditionally outfitted and uses the most chrome; both Modern and Luxury include leather. You'll likely be most interested in the Sport Line, not for its leatherette upholstery, aluminum interior bits, and red accents, but instead because it comes with sport seats and a lowered sport suspension. (The Sport Line effectively replaces the sport package.) An M Sport version takes things a step further, with restyled lower bodywork, Alcantara upholstery, and a bit more power, but it doesn't arrive until summer.
All three Lines are available on both the 328i and the 335i. The 335i returns with its 300-hp, 3.0-liter turbocharged straight six; in place of the previous six-speed automatic is a new eight-speed transmission, which is a no-cost option over the standard six-speed manual. The 328i has the same two transmissions, but its bigger change is in the engine room. The normally aspirated straight six is gone, and in its place is a new direct-injected turbocharged four-cylinder engine, code-named N20.
This swap has already taken place in the Z4 and the 528i, so perhaps you already know that this engine displaces 2.0 liters and features a twin-scroll turbocharger. In the 328i, it makes 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, and both of those output figures are better than the old six's. Like the turbo six, the turbo four will be available with all-wheel drive once xDrive arrives next fall. Next fall also will see the first-ever 3-series hybrid, which will pair a turbo six-cylinder with an electric motor.
Of the U.S.-market cars, the 328i with the eight-speed automatic is the version that BMW had on hand for us to drive. A Sport Line model in Melbourne red, it was also brimming with all the equipment that's new to the 3-series, including the adaptive M suspension (an option exclusive to the Sport Line), variable sport steering, and a phalanx of electronics: a head-up display, lane-departure warning, blind-spot warning, a rearview camera with surround view, and hands-free trunk opening.
The last item proved somewhat disappointing, as wiggling a foot under the rear bumper failed to produce the desired result and felt as ridiculous as doing the hokey pokey (sensors recognize the motion and the key in your pocket). But then at last the trunk popped open and we threw our bags inside. This would be a good time to mention that cargo volume has improved by one cubic foot.
Given the greater stretch between the axles, it's no surprise that the 3-series' cabin has more space than before, particularly in the rear seats. Six-footers will find decent legroom, generous knee clearance, and adequate headroom. Up front, the driving position is familiar, which is to say great. There's a fat-rimmed, small-diameter steering wheel and a large dead pedal, and the driver sits in close proximity to a fairly upright windshield.
All F30 3-series come standard with iDrive and a free-standing 6.5-inch screen -- cars equipped with navigation get an 8.8-inch screen. The iDrive logic still requires more steps than should be necessary to perform many functions, but there are physical controls for some of the most-used items, including the climate controls and much of the audio system. As is typical of BMWs, the layout of all lesser controls is above reproach. The BMW faithful will find everything right where they expect it, and newbies to the brand will have no trouble adjusting. The interior design has more slashing angles than before, but the cabin still looks like a BMW. Materials quality, while not lavish, has no evident lapses.
Our first drive took us through some stop-and-go suburban driving before we got out into the Spanish countryside, where a long series of two-lane switchbacks delivered us to Montserrat and then on to our hotel. The 2.0-liter four doesn't have quite the sophisticated thrum of a straight six at start-up, but the engine boasts a trick flywheel and two counterrotating balance shafts that help make it quite smooth at idle. Run it up the tach and it emits a satisfying growl. With an additional 60 lb-ft of torque compared with the old six, it also moves the 328i with verve. The car zips from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds (factory figures), which is a full second quicker than the previous 328i with its six-speed automatic. Paired with the manual, the turbo four is even faster, reaching 60 mph in 5.7 seconds (0.6 second quicker than before). With peak torque coming in at a low 1250 rpm, the car is energetic right off the line, and the boost is beautifully integrated.
Of course, the four-cylinder's main mission is to improve fuel economy. The new EPA ratings are 24/36 mpg with the automatic, or 23/34 mpg with the manual. That's far superior to the previous 18/28 mpg. Helping the cause is an auto start/stop system and active alternator management (a clutch keeps the alternator from spinning unnecessarily), which are standard in both 3-series models. Unfortunately, the auto start/stop isn't quite as seamless as it is in a good hybrid, as it creates a little shudder on restart (the system can be disabled with a button next to the ignition).
Standard on the new 3-series is a drive-mode rocker switch to toggle among four settings: Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, and Sport +. Eco Pro is part of BMW's EfficientDynamics push, and it reduces the drag on the engine by running systems such as the air-conditioning and the seat heaters at less than full capacity. That's fine, but it also remaps the throttle to kill engine responsiveness, and it tries to coach you by displaying icons on the dash that nag you to slow down and let off the gas. We quickly grew tired of Eco Pro.
Switching between Comfort and Sport also alters throttle mapping and transmission shift strategy, as well as steering effort and damper firmness (with the optional adaptive suspension). Sport + is the same as Sport but switches the stability control to dynamic mode. Steering effort in Comfort mode is a bit lighter than the BMW norm, so we preferred Sport. The variable sport steering proved a little too variable over the fast switchbacks, however, providing more lock than we thought we'd asked for. It's not nearly as weird as BMW's active steering (which it replaces), but we'd still skip it.
We have no such reservations about the suspension, which exhibits all the athleticism we've come to expect from a 3-series. That was particularly in evidence over five rainy laps of the Circuit de Catalunya, where the new 3 really came into its own. The steering, which we had been thinking was a bit less communicative than the delightfully informative system in the previous car, conveyed plenty of info about the front tires' tenuous relationship with the wet tarmac. Weight distribution is 50/50, and the balanced chassis was neutral and forgiving, allowing us to keep the car in the narrow band between front-end push and power oversteer on the slick circuit. The stability control permits generous drift angles before pulling in the reins and can also be switched off completely; as ever, the 3-series lets go in a controlled manner and is easy to gather up. Even on the track, however, we could not discern much of a difference in the adaptive suspension's firmness between Comfort mode and Sport. It may be that the changes in damping rates are evident only over bad pavement, and we didn't encounter much of that in Spain. Nothing that we found suggested that Sport mode would be unduly harsh, but the roads back home will be a better test of that.
Overall, our first drive shows the latest 3-series to have suffered hardly at all for the cause of greater efficiency. Yes, some aspects of the 3-series have been altered and others have been improved, but the overall character of the car has been maintained. And that's a relief.
2012 BMW 328i
Base price $35,795
Powertrain
Engine 16-valve DOHC turbo I-4 Displacement 2.0 liters (122 cu in)
Power 240 hp @ 5000 rpm
Torque 260 lb-ft @ 1250 rpm
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Drive Rear-wheel
Chassis
Steering Electrically assisted
Suspension, front Strut-type, coil springs
Suspension, rear Multilink, coil springs
Brakes Vented discs, ABS
Tires Bridgestone Potenza S001
Tire size f, r 225/40YR-19, 255/35YR-19
Measurements
L x W x H 182.5 x 71.3 x 56.3 in
Wheelbase 110.6 in
Track F/R 60.3/61.9 in
Weight 3406 lb
Fuel mileage 23/34 mpg (manual), 24/36 mpg (automatic)
0-60 MPH 5.9 sec
Top speed 130/150 mph (base/sport)
2012 BMW 3 Series Rear Three Quarters
The sixth generation of the BMW 3-series arrives this February in the United States—in sedan form, at least—and it’s safe to say that the biggest question on the mind of most enthusiasts is: Did BMW screw it up?
That is the key question, in part, because BMW has shown a penchant for messing with things that didn’t need to be messed with. From matters as big as its exterior designs, with “flame surfacing;” and the replacing of dedicated buttons and switches with iDrive; to ones as small as ditching the mechanical turn signal stalk switch for an electronic one, BMW has demonstrated that it sometimes does not know when to leave well enough alone.
It is also a question because the outgoing 3-series is not a car that was crying out for improvement. In fact, most of us would say that even at the advanced age of six, the current-generation 3-series is still the most desirable car in its class. Witness its appearance, yet again, on Automobile Magazine’s All-Stars list for 2012.
The chief reason that the 3 continues to win accolades is the way it drives. A glance at the specs of the new car, however, provides some reason for apprehension. The new 3 is larger, the iconic straight six has been replaced with a turbo four, the steering switches from hydraulic to electric assist, and regenerative braking has been added. Those are all changes that can affect the delicate formula for a near-perfect sports sedan, even for a company with as much experience at it as BMW.
At least the design of the new 3-series (the F30, to the BMW fetishists) is unlikely to put many people off, as it hews closely to the previous car. The most noteworthy—and strangest—element is the way the headlamps bleed into the grille. Other, less controversial aspects of the design include a hood that dips down toward the front (helping to achieve a .26 cD) and the slight forward lean of the twin-kidney grilles, which hasn’t been seen since the E30 3-series of the 1980s. Compared to the outgoing, E90 sedan, the new version has grown by 3.7 inches in length while the wheelbase has been stretched 1.9 inches. That means the car’s trademark ultra-short overhangs have become slightly longer, by approximately one inch at both ends. The width, at least, was held in check (actually decreasing fractionally) and yet the front and rear tracks are both more than an inch wider. Impressively, the new 3-series has gotten larger without getting heavier. BMW claims that, on an equipment-adjusted basis, the F30 is a tad lighter than its predecessor. At 3460 pounds, the 328i is also lighter than the Mercedes-Benz C250 or the Audi A4 2.0T.
At the launch event, the BMW people couldn’t stop talking about the three Lines, which essentially are optional trim levels (above the base car). Each one tweaks the look ever so slightly, with its own eighteen-inch wheel design, variations to the grille slats and the lower air intakes, the mix of chrome and gloss black trim, and the interior décor. The Modern Line has a monochromatic interior, with a beige dash, steering wheel, and gauge faces in place of the usual black. The Luxury Line is more traditionally outfitted, and uses the most chrome; both Modern and Luxury include leather. You’ll likely be most interested in the Sport Line, not for its leatherette upholstery, aluminum interior bits, and red accents, but instead because it comes with sport seats and a lowered, sport suspension. (The Sport Line effectively replaces the sport package.) An M Sport version takes things a bit further, with restyled lower bodywork and Alcantara upholstery, but it doesn’t arrive until summer.
All three Lines are available on both the 328i and the 335i. The 335i returns with its 300-hp, 3.0-liter turbocharged straight six; in place of the previous six-speed automatic, there is a new eight-speed. It’s a no-cost option over the standard six-speed manual. The 328i has the same two transmissions, but its bigger change is in the engine room. The normally aspirated straight six is gone, and in its place is the new, N20, direct-injected four-cylinder turbo.
This swap has already taken place in the Z4 and the 528i, so perhaps you already know that this engine displaces 2.0 liters and features a twin-scroll turbocharger. In the 328i, it makes 240 hp and 260 pound-feet of torque (both of those output figures are better than the old six’s). Like the turbo six, the turbo four can be had with all-wheel drive—that is, once xDrive arrives next fall. Next fall also will see the first-ever 3-series Active Hybrid, pairing a six-cylinder with an electric motor.
Of the U.S.-market cars, the 328i with the eight-speed automatic is the version that BMW had on hand for us to try. A Sport Line model in Melbourne red, it was also brimming with all the equipment that’s new to the 3-series, including the adaptive M suspension (an option exclusive to the Sport Line), variable sport steering, and a phalanx of electronics: a head-up display, lane-departure warning, blind-spot warning, a rear-view camera with surround view, and hands-free trunk opening.
The latter proved somewhat disappointing, as wiggling a foot under the rear bumper failed to produce the desired effect and felt as ridiculous as doing the Hokey Pokey. But then at last the trunk popped open and we threw our bags inside (sensors recognize the motion and the key in your pocket). We should at this point mention that cargo volume has improved by 1 cubic foot.
Given the greater stretch between the axles, it’s no surprise that the 3-series cabin has more space than before, particularly in the rear seat. Six-footers will find decent legroom, generous knee clearance, and adequate headroom. Up front, the driving position is familiar, which is to say great. There’s a fat-rimmed, small-diameter steering wheel; a large dead pedal; and the driver sits in close proximity to a fairly upright windshield.
All F30 3-series come standard with iDrive and a free-standing 6.5-inch screen—cars equipped with navigation get an 8-inch screen. The iDrive logic still requires more steps than should be necessary to perform many functions, but there are physical controls for many of the most-used items, including the climate controls and much of the audio system. As is typical of BMWs, the layout of all lesser controls is above reproach. The BMW faithful will find everything right where they expect it, and newbies to the brand will have no trouble adjusting. The interior design has more slashing angles than before, but the cabin still looks like a BMW. Materials quality, while not lavish, has no evident lapses.
Our first drive took us through some stop-and-go suburban driving before we got out into the countryside, where a long series of two-lane switchbacks delivered us to Montserrat, and then on to our hotel. The 2.0-liter four doesn’t have quite the sophisticated thrum of a straight six at start up, but the engine boasts a trick flywheel and two counter rotating balance shafts that help make it quite smooth at idle. Run it up the tach and it emits a satisfying growl. With an additional 60 pound-feet of torque compared to the old six, it also moves the 328i with verve. The car zips from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds (factory figures), which is a full second quicker than the previous 328i with its six-speed automatic. Paired with the manual, the turbo four is even quicker, reaching 60 mph in 5.7 seconds (0.6 second quicker than before). With peak torque coming in at a low, 1250 rpm, the car is energetic right off the line, and the boost is beautifully integrated.
Of course, the four’s main mission is to improve fuel economy. EPA figures are not yet available, but in the 528i paired with the same eight-speed automatic, this engine manages 23/34 mpg (city/highway), and it should do at least that well here. That’s far better than the previous 18/28 mpg. Helping the cause is an auto start/stop system and regenerative braking, which are standard in both 3-series models. Unfortunately, the auto start/stop isn’t quite as seamless as it is in a good hybrid, as it creates a little shudder on restart (the system can be disabled with a button next to the ignition). The regenerative brakes, on the other hand, are much better than those in most hybrids but are still a little grabby in light pedal applications.
Standard on the new 3-series is a drive mode rocker switch, to toggle among four settings: Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, and Sport-plus. Eco Pro is part of BMW’s Efficient Dynamics push, and it reduces the drag on the engine by running systems such as the air conditioning and the seat heaters at less than full capacity. That’s fine, but it also remaps the throttle to kill engine responsiveness, and it tries to coach you by showing little nagging icons on the dash, suggesting that you slow down and let off the gas. We quickly grew tired of Eco Pro.
Switching between Comfort and Sport also alters throttle mapping and transmission shift strategy, as well as steering effort and damper firmness (with the optional adaptive suspension). Sport-plus is the same as Sport, but switches the stability control to dynamic mode. Steering effort in Comfort mode is a little lighter than the BMW norm, so we preferred Sport. In either mode, however, the variable sport steering provided a little too variable over the fast switchbacks, providing more lock than we thought we’d asked for. Overall, though, it’s nowhere near as weird as BMW’s active steering (which it replaces), but we’d still skip it.
We have no such reservations about the suspension, which exhibits all the athleticism we’ve come to expect here. That was particularly in evidence over five rainy laps of the Circuit de Catalunya, where the new 3 really came into its own. The steering, which we had been thinking was a bit less communicative than the delightfully informative system in the previous car, here conveyed plenty of info about the front tires’ tenuous relationship with the wet tarmac. The chassis balance (weight distribution is 50:50) was also evident, helping us on the slick circuit to keep the car in the narrow band between front-end push and power oversteer. The dynamic stability control permits generous drift angles before pulling in the reins. It also can be switched off completely by holding down the DTC button; as ever, the 3-series lets go in a controlled manner and is easy to gather up. Even on the track, however, we could not discern much of a difference in firmness between the adaptive suspension in Comfort mode and in Sport. It may be that the changes in damping rates are only evident over bad pavement, and we didn’t encounter much of that in Spain. Nothing that we did find suggested that Sport mode would be unduly harsh, but the roads back home will be a better test of that.
Overall, our first drive shows the latest 3-series to have suffered hardly at all for the cause of greater efficiency. Yes, some aspects of the 3-series have been altered, and others have been improved, but that the overall character of the car has been maintained. And that’s a relief.
The Specs
2012 BMW 328i
Base price: $35,775 (estimated)
On sale: February 2012

Body style: 4-door sedan
Accommodation: 5-passenger
Construction: Steel unibody

Powertrain
Engine: 16-valve DOHC I-4 turbo
Displacement: 2.0 liters (122 cu in)
Power: 240 hp @ 5000 rpm
Torque: 260 lb-ft @ 1250–4800 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Drive: Rear-wheel
Fuel economy: 23/34 mpg (city/highway, estimated)

Chassis
Steering: Electrically assisted rack and pinion
Turning circle: 37.1 ft
Suspension, front: damper struts, coil springs
Suspension, rear: multi-link, coil springs
Brakes: Ventilated discs, ABS
Wheels: 19-inch aluminum alloy
Tires: Bridgestone Potenza S001
Tire size, front: 225/40R-19
Tire size, rear: 255/35R-19

Measurements
L x W x H: 182.5 x 71.3 x 56.3 in
Wheelbase: 110.6 in
Track F/R: 60.3/61.9 in
Headroom F/R: 40.3/37.7 in
Legroom F/R: 42.0/35.1 in
Cargo capacity: 13 cu ft
Weight: 3406 lb
Fuel capacity: 15.6 gal
2012 BMW 3-Series
2012 BMW 3-Series
The 3 Series from BMW is one of the most popular and most capable cars offered from BMW. The company's slogan has long been "the ultimate driving machine" and when you consider all that the 3 Series has to offer this may be the car that they had in mind. The 3 Series BMW's continue to be the top selling model in the United States and these sports sedans, wagons and coupes offer some of the best engineering, technology and power that BMW offers in any of their models.

The 3 series family of cars encapsulates a wide variety of body styles, engine options and of course price. There are enough options to make each vehicle as unique as the person driving it. If you are looking for the top of the line in the M Series that would be the M3. This sports sedan is boasting a big V-8 that turns a harmless looking sedan into a real road warrior. The M3 is a powerhouse and an elegant vehicle offering top of the line suspension, power train and comfort. Combining sheer power, performance and luxurious comfort is one of BMW's specialties and it really shows in the M3.
2012 BMW 328i Front Right View
Know why that 3-series driver tears up an on-ramp out of nowhere, swoops across three lanes of traffic right in front of you, then settles into the fast lane for a nanosecond before departing toward the horizon at warp speed? Because he can.

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2012 BMW 3-Series Specifications

Quick Glance:
Engine
2.0L I4Engine
Fuel economy City:
23 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
34 MPG
Horsepower:
240 hp @ 5000rpm
Torque:
260 ft lb of torque @ 1250rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats (optional)
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
Vehicle
50,000 miles / 48 months
Powertrain
50,000 miles / 48 months
Corrosion
Unlimited miles / 144 months
Roadside
Unlimited miles / 48 months
Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:20
Component
SEATS:FRONT ASSEMBLY:HEAD RESTRAINT
Summary
BMW IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2012 BMW 3-SERIES VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM OCTOBER 19, 2011, THROUGH MARCH 18, 2012, THAT HAVE FRONT SEAT HEAD RESTRAINTS THAT EXCEED THE DOWNWARD MOVEMENT LIMIT OF 25MM IN THE HIGHEST POSITION. THUS, THESE VEHICLES FAIL TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 202A,"HEAD RESTRAINTS."
Consequences
IN THE EVENT OF A VEHICLE CRASH, THE HEAD RESTRAINT MAY UNEXPECTEDLY MOVE DOWN SLIGHTLY IF IT WAS ADJUSTED TO THE FULLY EXTENDED POSITION, INCREASING THE RISK OF PERSONAL INJURY.
Remedy
BMW WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL ATTACH A CLAMP TO THE FRONT SEAT HEAD RESTRAINT POSTS, FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON MAY 30, 2012. OWNERS MAY CONTACT BMW CUSTOMER RELATIONS AND SERVICES AT 1-800-525-7417.
Potential Units Affected
7,600
Notes
BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:30
Component
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:POWER ASSIST:VACUUM
Summary
BMW of North America LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2012-2014 320i, 328i, 320i xDrive, and 328i xDrive sedans; model year 2014 328i xDrive Sports Wagons; model year 2012-2013 528i and 528i xDrive sedans, model year 2013-2014 X1 sDrive28i and X1 xDrive28i vehicles and model year 2012-2014 Z4 sDrive28i roadsters. Due to insufficient lubrication, the vacuum pump that supplies brake power assistance may fail.
Consequences
A failure of the brake vacuum pump results in a reduction in braking power that could increase the risk of a crash.
Remedy
BMW will notify owners, and dealers will modify the vehicles to prevent insufficient vacuum pump lubrication, free of charge. The safety recall began on January 31, 2014. Owners may contact BMW customer relations at 1-800-525-7417 or email BMW at CustomerRelations@bmwusa.com.
Potential Units Affected
76,191
Notes
BMW of North America, LLC


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:30
Component
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:POWER ASSIST:VACUUM:HOSES, LINES/PIPING, AND FITTINGS
Summary
BMW of North America LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2012-2014 320i, 328i, 320i xDrive, and 328i xDrive sedans; model year 2014 328i xDrive Sports Wagons; model year 2012-2013 528i and 528i xDrive sedans, model year 2013-2014 X1 sDrive28i and X1 xDrive28i vehicles and model year 2012-2014 Z4 sDrive28i roadsters. Due to insufficient lubrication, the vacuum pump that supplies brake power assistance may fail.
Consequences
A failure of the brake vacuum pump results in a reduction in braking power that could increase the risk of a crash.
Remedy
BMW will notify owners, and dealers will modify the vehicles to prevent insufficient vacuum pump lubrication, free of charge. The safety recall began on January 31, 2014. Owners may contact BMW customer relations at 1-800-525-7417 or email BMW at CustomerRelations@bmwusa.com.
Potential Units Affected
76,191
Notes
BMW of North America, LLC


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:41
Component
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:POWER ASSIST:VACUUM
Summary
BMW of North America LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Sports Wagon, 2012-2014 BMW 320i Sedan, 328i Sedan, 320i xDrive Sedan, 328i xDrive Sedan, 2012-2013 BMW 528i Sedan, 528i xDrive Sedan, 2013-2014 BMW X1 sDrive28i, X1 xDrive28i Sports Activity Vehicle, 2013-2014 BMW X3 xDrive28i Sports Activity Vehicle, 2012-2014 BMW Z4 sDrive28i Roadster, and 2014 BMW 428i Coupe, and 428i xDrive Coupe. Due to insufficient lubrication, the vacuum pump that supplies brake power assistance may fail. Note: This recall is an expansion of recall 13V-454.
Consequences
A failure of the brake vacuum pump results in a reduction in braking power that could increase the risk of a crash.
Remedy
BMW will notify owners, and dealers will install a locking ring in the camshaft to retain the camshaft seal disk in the proper location, free of charge. The recall began on December 2, 2014. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.
Potential Units Affected
8,988
Notes
BMW of North America, LLC


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:41
Component
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:POWER ASSIST:VACUUM:HOSES, LINES/PIPING, AND FITTINGS
Summary
BMW of North America LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Sports Wagon, 2012-2014 BMW 320i Sedan, 328i Sedan, 320i xDrive Sedan, 328i xDrive Sedan, 2012-2013 BMW 528i Sedan, 528i xDrive Sedan, 2013-2014 BMW X1 sDrive28i, X1 xDrive28i Sports Activity Vehicle, 2013-2014 BMW X3 xDrive28i Sports Activity Vehicle, 2012-2014 BMW Z4 sDrive28i Roadster, and 2014 BMW 428i Coupe, and 428i xDrive Coupe. Due to insufficient lubrication, the vacuum pump that supplies brake power assistance may fail. Note: This recall is an expansion of recall 13V-454.
Consequences
A failure of the brake vacuum pump results in a reduction in braking power that could increase the risk of a crash.
Remedy
BMW will notify owners, and dealers will install a locking ring in the camshaft to retain the camshaft seal disk in the proper location, free of charge. The recall began on December 2, 2014. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.
Potential Units Affected
8,988
Notes
BMW of North America, LLC


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:30
Component
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:POWER ASSIST:VACUUM
Summary
BMW of North America LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2012-2014 320i, 328i, 320i xDrive, and 328i xDrive sedans; model year 2014 328i xDrive Sports Wagons; model year 2012-2013 528i and 528i xDrive sedans, model year 2013-2014 X1 sDrive28i and X1 xDrive28i vehicles and model year 2012-2014 Z4 sDrive28i roadsters. Due to insufficient lubrication, the vacuum pump that supplies brake power assistance may fail.
Consequences
A failure of the brake vacuum pump results in a reduction in braking power that could increase the risk of a crash.
Remedy
BMW will notify owners, and dealers will modify the vehicles to prevent insufficient vacuum pump lubrication, free of charge. The safety recall began on January 31, 2014. Owners may contact BMW customer relations at 1-800-525-7417 or email BMW at CustomerRelations@bmwusa.com.
Potential Units Affected
76,191
Notes
BMW of North America, LLC


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:30
Component
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:POWER ASSIST:VACUUM:HOSES, LINES/PIPING, AND FITTINGS
Summary
BMW of North America LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2012-2014 320i, 328i, 320i xDrive, and 328i xDrive sedans; model year 2014 328i xDrive Sports Wagons; model year 2012-2013 528i and 528i xDrive sedans, model year 2013-2014 X1 sDrive28i and X1 xDrive28i vehicles and model year 2012-2014 Z4 sDrive28i roadsters. Due to insufficient lubrication, the vacuum pump that supplies brake power assistance may fail.
Consequences
A failure of the brake vacuum pump results in a reduction in braking power that could increase the risk of a crash.
Remedy
BMW will notify owners, and dealers will modify the vehicles to prevent insufficient vacuum pump lubrication, free of charge. The safety recall began on January 31, 2014. Owners may contact BMW customer relations at 1-800-525-7417 or email BMW at CustomerRelations@bmwusa.com.
Potential Units Affected
76,191
Notes
BMW of North America, LLC


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:41
Component
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:POWER ASSIST:VACUUM
Summary
BMW of North America LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Sports Wagon, 2012-2014 BMW 320i Sedan, 328i Sedan, 320i xDrive Sedan, 328i xDrive Sedan, 2012-2013 BMW 528i Sedan, 528i xDrive Sedan, 2013-2014 BMW X1 sDrive28i, X1 xDrive28i Sports Activity Vehicle, 2013-2014 BMW X3 xDrive28i Sports Activity Vehicle, 2012-2014 BMW Z4 sDrive28i Roadster, and 2014 BMW 428i Coupe, and 428i xDrive Coupe. Due to insufficient lubrication, the vacuum pump that supplies brake power assistance may fail. Note: This recall is an expansion of recall 13V-454.
Consequences
A failure of the brake vacuum pump results in a reduction in braking power that could increase the risk of a crash.
Remedy
BMW will notify owners, and dealers will install a locking ring in the camshaft to retain the camshaft seal disk in the proper location, free of charge. The recall began on December 2, 2014. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.
Potential Units Affected
8,988
Notes
BMW of North America, LLC


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:41
Component
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:POWER ASSIST:VACUUM:HOSES, LINES/PIPING, AND FITTINGS
Summary
BMW of North America LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Sports Wagon, 2012-2014 BMW 320i Sedan, 328i Sedan, 320i xDrive Sedan, 328i xDrive Sedan, 2012-2013 BMW 528i Sedan, 528i xDrive Sedan, 2013-2014 BMW X1 sDrive28i, X1 xDrive28i Sports Activity Vehicle, 2013-2014 BMW X3 xDrive28i Sports Activity Vehicle, 2012-2014 BMW Z4 sDrive28i Roadster, and 2014 BMW 428i Coupe, and 428i xDrive Coupe. Due to insufficient lubrication, the vacuum pump that supplies brake power assistance may fail. Note: This recall is an expansion of recall 13V-454.
Consequences
A failure of the brake vacuum pump results in a reduction in braking power that could increase the risk of a crash.
Remedy
BMW will notify owners, and dealers will install a locking ring in the camshaft to retain the camshaft seal disk in the proper location, free of charge. The recall began on December 2, 2014. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.
Potential Units Affected
8,988
Notes
BMW of North America, LLC


NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
Good
IIHS Overall Side Crash
Good
IIHS Best Pick
1
IIHS Rear Crash
Good
IIHS Roof Strength
Good

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5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2012 BMW 3-Series

Depreciation
31.8%
Loss in Value + Expenses
= 5 Year Cost to Own
Depreciation
$13,630
31.8%
Insurance
$8,690
20.2%
Fuel Cost
$10,004
23.3%
Financing
$3,041
7.1%
Maintenance
$3,828
8.9%
Repair Costs
$3,320
7.7%
State Fees
$409
1%
Five Year Cost of Ownership: $42,922 What's This?
Value Rating: Below Average