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BMW 3-Series Expert Review

MotorTrend Staff

The 3 Series is a benchmark for both luxury and performance in its class, and BMW seems to outdo itself with each new generation of the car. Now entering its sixth generation, the 2012 BMW 3 Series gets a new design for the sedan body style, which arrives February 2012. Redesigned coupe and convertible models will follow, but could be badged as 4 Series models as part of a move by BMW to expand its range and further differentiate the 3 Series sedan from the coupe. For the 2012 model year though, coupe and convertible models from the previous generation will carry over and fill the gap until the new ones arrive.

In the past, the BMW 3 Series balanced good looks, excellent handling, luxurious features, and usable interior space. The sixth-generation model will likely continue in that vein, offering more aggressive front end styling, a larger cabin, and improved tech features. For power, the 2012 BMW 3 Series sedan receives the same 240-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 that powers the 528i and Z3 sDrive28i as a base engine in the 328i. The 335i sedan gets the turbocharged 3.0-liter I-6 that served in the previous model, still producing an even 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque.

The driving experience is enhanced by the available ConnectedDrive system, which can interface with your smart phone through Bluetooth, allowing you to control apps like Pandora streaming radio directly through the system (with the BMW Apps option specified). Three appearance packages are available, each lending a distinctive look to the 3 Series sedan.

Body styles: Four-door sedan, two-door coupe or convertible
Engines: Turbo 2.0L I-4, 3.0L I-6, turbo 3.0L I-6
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 8-speed automatic, 6-speed automatic, 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual
Models: 328i (sedan, coupe, convertible), 328i xDrive (sedan, coupe, convertible), 335i (sedan, coupe, convertible), 335i xDrive (sedan, coupe, convertible), 335is (coupe, convertible), ActiveHybrid 3

The sedan is all new for 2012, receiving a new base engine, new transmission, and revised styling. The 328i sedan loses the naturally aspirated 3.0-liter I-6, replacing it with a more powerful and efficient turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 producing 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The six-speed automatic transmission is dropped for the sedan, replaced by an eight-speed automatic unit similar to that found in the 5 Series. All sedan models get start-stop technology. A six-speed manual is standard on all sedan models, while the six-speed automatic is now available at no extra cost for coupe and convertible models. The optional seven-speed dual-clutch transmission sees a price reduction in the 335is coupe and convertible. A hybrid version of the 3 Series sedan, called the ActiveHybrid 3, will arrive by fall 2012. Combining the turbocharged 3.0-liter I-6 with an electric motor inside the eight-speed transmission, the ActiveHybrid 3 will produce a combined 335 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque, and will achieve a claimed 12.5 percent better fuel economy compared to a 335i. The 335d isn't offered in 2012, but a diesel-powered replacement is likely coming soon.

The sedan's all-new front fascia waves goodbye to convention, replacing the understated good looks of the previous model with a sleeker, more aggressive front end. Many styling cues have trickled down from the 5 and 7 Series, including the rear taillight shape, and subtly raked roofline. Styling cues from past BMWs are prevalent in the 3 Series sedan's exterior, melding some of the German automaker's classic aesthetic features with the brand's current design language. The result is a completely modern yet familiar look. The company's well-known dual kidney grilles are front and center, while the task of illuminating the road falls upon the flanking sets of dual headlights, which now stretch all the way to the grille. Three distinct options exist for exterior styling. Sport Line blacks out exterior trim and the kidney grille slats, while Luxury Line adds chrome accents throughout the 3 Series' exterior. The Modern Line specification uses brushed aluminum accents to achieve a look that BMW describes as avant-garde.

The 2012 3 Series sedan also gets an updated interior, gaining a touch more elegance in the process. Legroom, knee room, and headroom have all increased with the car's exterior dimensions, and wood trim is used heavily with the Luxury Line specification. A next-gen head-up display is available, and can relay information regarding vehicle speed, cruise control settings, and directions from the navigation directly in the driver's line of sight. The navigation screen hump in the center of the previous model's dash has been replaced by a recess in the middle, filled with a wide, high-resolution iDrive display, which is reminiscent of a flat-screen TV. BMW's ConnectedDrive infotainment system is available, and with the BMW Apps option equipped, iOS-based apps like Pandora and Facebook can run directly on the system.

BMW is slowly phasing out its naturally aspirated inline-six engines, which we've loved in the past for their remarkable smoothness and brawny torque delivery. That engine is replaced in the sedan by a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 producing 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque--a gain of 10 hp and 60 lb-ft over the outgoing I-6. The turbocharged 3.0-liter I-6 is still offered in the 335i and 335is, producing 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque.

Available transmissions for the sedan include a standard six-speed manual and available eight-speed automatic. Both transmissions receive start-stop capability, helping the new 3 Series save fuel. The 3 Series has historically been known for its exceptional handling, and we expect the 2012 3 Series sedan to continue that tradition. In past models, we've praised the twin-turbo straight-six for feeling more like a high-displacement, naturally aspirated mill, lacking the lag you might normally find in another turbocharged car.

The 2012 3 Series gets dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags with passenger seat sensor, front seat-mounted side impact airbags, side curtain airbags, and automatic crash response system as standard equipment. All safety features are controlled by BMW's Advanced Safety System. An ABS system along with BMW's Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system comes standard. A rear-view camera is available with the Park Distance Control system, and for the first time, the 3 Series gets BMW's Top View camera as an option. This system uses cameras on the mirrors to create a composite birds-eye view of the car, which aids in parking. BMW's radar-based Active Blind Spot Detection and Lane Departure Warning Systems are also available.

328i sedan: N/A
328i coupe: 18 mpg city/28 mpg hwy (manual/automatic)
328i xDrive coupe: 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy (manual), 17 mpg city/26 mpg hwy (automatic)
328ci convertible: 17 mpg city/26 mpg hwy (manual), 18 mpg city/27 mpg hwy (automatic)
335i sedan: N/A
335i coupe: 19 mpg city/28 mpg hwy (manual/automatic)
335i xDrive coupe: 19 mpg city/26 mpg hwy (manual), 18 mpg city/27 mpg hwy (automatic)
335ci convertible: 19 mpg city/28 mpg hwy (manual/automatic)
335is coupe/convertible: 18 mpg city/26 mpg hwy (manual), 17 mpg city/24 mpg hwy (dual-clutch)
ActiveHybrid 3: N/A

  • Stellar performance
  • Variety of models available
  • Decent-sized interior
  • New front end styling won't please everyone
  • Prices shoot up with options and packages

The tastiest bread-and-butter.

  • Audi A4
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Lexus IS
  • Infiniti G
  • Acura TL
Sours: https://www.motortrend.com/cars/bmw/3-series/2012/

2012 BMW328 Pricing and Specs

Compare 6 328 trims and trim families below to see the differences in prices and features.

Trim Family Comparison

i

View 4 Trims

Features

  • 2.0L I-4 Engine
  • 8-spd w/OD Transmission
  • 240 @ 5,000 rpm Horsepower
  • 255 @ 1,250 rpm Torque
  • rear-wheel Drive type
  • ABS and driveline Traction control
  • 17" silver aluminum Wheels
  • front air conditioning, dual zone automatic
  • rear air conditioning, with separate controls
  • AM/FM/HD/Satellite-prep, seek-scan Radio
  • 1st row LCD monitor
  • keyfob (all doors) Remote keyless entry
  • front Fog/driving lights
  • Heated mirrors
  • Windshield wipers - rain sensing
  • leatherette Seat trim

i xDrive

View 2 Trims

Additional or replacing features on i

  • 3.0L I-6 Engine
  • 6-spd man w/OD Transmission
  • 230 @ 6,500 rpm Horsepower
  • 200 @ 2,750 rpm Torque
  • all wheel Drive type
  • 1st and 2nd row regular express open/close sliding and tilting glass Sunroof
  • 16" silver aluminum Wheels
Show More
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Sours: https://www.autoblog.com/buy/2012-BMW-328/specs/
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2012 BMW 3 Series Sedan (F30) 328i (245 Hp) xDrive

General informationBrandBMWModel 3 SeriesGeneration 3 Series Sedan (F30)Modification (Engine) 328i (245 Hp) xDrive Start of production 2012 year End of production 2015 year Powertrain Architecture Internal Combustion engine Body typeSedan Seats 5 Doors 4 Performance specsFuel consumption (economy) - urban 9 l/100 km 26.13 US mpg
31.39 UK mpg
11.11 km/lFuel consumption (economy) - extra urban5.5 l/100 km 42.77 US mpg
51.36 UK mpg
18.18 km/lFuel consumption (economy) - combined6.8 l/100 km 34.59 US mpg
41.54 UK mpg
14.71 km/lCO2 emissions159 g/km Fuel Type Petrol (Gasoline) Acceleration 0 - 100 km/h5.7 sec Acceleration 0 - 62 mph5.7 sec Acceleration 0 - 60 mph (Calculated by Auto-Data.net) 5.4 sec Maximum speed 250 km/h 155.34 mphEmission standard Euro 5 Weight-to-power ratio 6.2 kg/Hp, 161.2 Hp/tonne Weight-to-torque ratio 4.3 kg/Nm, 230.3 Nm/tonne Engine specsPower 245 Hp @ 5000 rpm. Power per litre 122.7 Hp/l Torque 350 Nm @ 1250-4800 rpm. 258.15 lb.-ft. @ 1250-4800 rpm.Engine location Front, Longitudinal Model Engine N20B20 Engine displacement 1997 cm3121.86 cu. in.Number of cylinders 4 Position of cylinders Inline Cylinder Bore 84 mm 3.31 in.Piston Stroke 90.1 mm 3.55 in.Compression ratio 10 Number of valves per cylinder 4 Fuel System Direct injection Engine aspiration Twin-power turbo, Intercooler Engine oil capacity 5-5.5 l 5.28 - 5.81 US qt | 4.4 - 4.84 UK qtCoolant 6.9-7.6 l 7.29 - 8.03 US qt | 6.07 - 6.69 UK qtSpace, Volume and weightsKerb Weight 1520 kg 3351.03 lbs.Max. weight 2060 kg 4541.52 lbs.Max load540 kg 1190.5 lbs.Trunk (boot) space - minimum 480 l 16.95 cu. ft.Fuel tank capacity 60 l 15.85 US gal | 13.2 UK galMax. roof load 75 kg 165.35 lbs.Permitted trailer load with brakes (12%) 1700 kg 3747.86 lbs.Permitted trailer load without brakes 750 kg 1653.47 lbs.Permitted towbar download 75 kg 165.35 lbs.DimensionsLength 4624 mm 182.05 in.Width 1811 mm 71.3 in.Height 1434 mm 56.46 in.Wheelbase 2810 mm 110.63 in.Front track 1543 mm 60.75 in.Rear (Back) track 1582 mm 62.28 in.Ride height 145 mm 5.71 in.Drag coefficient (Cd) 0.30 Minimum turning circle (turning diameter) 11.7 m 38.39 ft.Drivetrain, brakes and suspension specsDrive wheel All wheel drive (4x4) Number of Gears (manual transmission) 6 Front suspension Independent, spring Rear suspension Multi-link independent Front brakesVentilated discs Rear brakesVentilated discs Assisting systemsABS (Anti-lock braking system)
Steering type Steering rack and pinion Power steering Electric Steering Tires size225/50 R17 94W Wheel rims size7.5J x 17
Sours: https://www.auto-data.net/en/bmw-3-series-sedan-f30-328i-245hp-xdrive-17734
BMW F30 328i Beschleunigung Acceleration 0-100 + 100-200 km/h

Are you ready for a BMW 3-series capable of automatic hands-off parallel parking? A Bimmer smart enough to teach you hypermiling, one equipped with enough onboard cameras to scout locations for Warner Bros.? Welcome to the 2012 328i, BMW’s stab at charming the More Generation.

Test-driving the new 3-series this week in Spain revealed a shuffle of BMW’s priority deck. The current E90 3-series earned its respect and compact-sports-sedan supremacy with a double dose of driving fun backed by laudable performance credentials. With the sixth-generation 3-series, BMW is reaching beyond mere dynamic attributes to stir comfort, convenience, and far higher efficiency into the mix. To appeal to those demanding everything from their daily driver—that “we deserve more” crowd—the new F30 is slightly larger inside and out and loaded with features hard-core drivers—the “we love our BMWs” set—never imagined.

The fifth-gen 3-series greeted its driver with a secret handshake: high-effort steering that bends the car smartly into every corner with total authority over body motion. The 2012 edition that arrives in February says, “Have a nice day,” with normal steering effort and a ride that glosses over pavement flaws the way cream cheese fills bagel crevices. Impact harshness is significantly reduced. But with more rubber between you and the road, the cornering response isn’t quite as crisp, and hints of roll, heave, and pitch occasionally fluster the equilibrium. Adjusted to its most aggressive setting, the F30’s optional adaptive suspension provides less body control than the outgoing E90 model’s suspension did.

Six Becomes Four (but There’s Still a Six, Too)

For almost 20 years, the 3-series faithful have enjoyed the spellbinding whir of inline-six engines that were seemingly sent from on high. Although the 335i carries on with a single-turbo 3.0-liter six pumping out a handy 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, there’s a new kid on the engine block with a point to prove. BMW’s new N20 2.0-liter four-cylinder powering the 328i sounds like a throwback to simpler times, but that impression vanishes the first time its twin-scroll turbo pumps up 18.9 psi of boost and output swells to 240 hp at 5000 rpm. What this engine lacks in cylinder-count prestige, it more than makes up for with what might be a world record for vigor per gallon.

Teamed with a ZF eight-speed automatic (the only powertrain combo available for driving around Barcelona), the N20 purrs while cruising and then snaps to attention when the throttle is pressed. By 2000 rpm, it’s already high on torque; by 4000, it’s growling like a baby grizzly roused from hibernation; and by 6000 rpm, it’s threatening to rip a hole through the 7000-rpm (redline) ceiling. Thanks to balance shafts and a dual-mass flywheel, this engine never gets the shakes or stammers, and it’s as genteel as a six when soft-pedaled. A two-mode muffler corks the din during cruising and then releases a rousing howl to accompany the stampede. EPA ratings aren’t final, but we’re expecting that the 328i’s highway mileage will reach the high 30s with the eight-speed automatic and that the combined rating might also crack the 30-mpg barrier. Those who pick the six-speed manual transmission will have to bear the loss of a couple of miles per gallon.

BMW claims the new four-cylinder is nearly as quick on its feet as the outgoing naturally aspirated six. That means a 0-to-60-mph run of about 5.6 seconds with the stick shift and 5.8 with the automatic. BMW rates the 335i’s 0-to-60 capability at 5.4 seconds with either gearbox, but it should be about a half-second quicker in our testing.

Stiffer Structure, Duller Responses

This alacrity is partly due to the fact that BMW engineers avoided piling on weight in spite of the 2.0-inch wheelbase stretch and the 3.7-inch gain in overall length. To counteract the negative influence of more suspension rubber, the fully steel unibody’s torsional stiffness is a commendable 30 percent higher. Although the suspension systems are carry-over in design—struts in front, multilink in back—every component has been fiddled with in some way to suit the new mission.

In addition to the slightly duller turn-in agility, we detected a brake pedal that’s a touch softer underfoot. Quicker stops require a mix of pedal pressure and travel in contrast to the mainly pressure-sensitive response provided by the E90’s setup. The 335i upgrades the 328i’s floating front brake calipers to more-rigid fixed four-piston calipers, which might erase this gripe.

Two power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering systems are offered. Base equipment is the speed-sensitive Servotronic arrangement that has been available in the 3-series for ages. Replacing the evil “active steering” option, which had the bad habit of changing its ratio at precisely the wrong moment, there’s a new variable sports steering option. Using rack teeth cut at different helix angles, this gear provides a ratio of 14.5:1 on-center for poised straight-line stability and control, with a quicker 11.1:1 ratio at the extremes of steering lock to expedite parking maneuvers. An electric motor connected to the rack through a toothed rubber belt provides power assist proportional to vehicle speed and the tempo of the driver’s steering commands. The variable sports steering trims the Servotronic’s 2.7 turns lock-to-lock down to a more wieldy 2.2 turns. Steering feedback is comparable to that of the outgoing 3-series, in spite of the noticeable reduction in effort. The new steering system’s quicker ratios compensate nicely for the loss of response that—at least theoretically—accompanies any wheelbase increase.

Specifications

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

ESTIMATED BASE PRICE: $35,795

ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 122 cu in, 1997 cc
Power: 240 hp @ 5000 rpm
Torque: 260 lb-ft @ 1250 rpm

TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed manual, 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode

DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 110.6 in
Length: 182.5 in
Width: 71.3 in Height: 56.3 in
Curb weight (C/D est): 3450-3500 lb

PERFORMANCE (C/D EST):
Zero to 60 mph: 5.6-5.8 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 15.8-16.0 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 14.3-14.5 sec
Top speed: 150 mph

FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST):
EPA city/highway driving: 23-24/34-36 mpg


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Sours: https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a15121979/2012-bmw-328i-3-series-sedan-first-drive-review/

328i hp 2012

2012 BMW 328i review: 2012 BMW 328i

As it's one of BMW's lower-end cars, buyers of the BMW 328i have, in the past, tended to be less serious about driving and more into the status of the blue-and-white roundel. As such, the 2012 BMW 328i's focus on fuel economy would seem a boon to this demographic, who would otherwise be perfectly content driving a Camry.

But the technology that gives the new 328i its very good fuel economy may be either beyond the comprehension of this traditional buyer, or prove too disturbing in daily driving. Beyond such cool features as direct injection, a twin-scroll turbo, and BMW's double-Vanos system, the car's idle-stop system may feel a little rough for someone who gets the car more for a luxury sensation than for its responsive driving character.

BMW fits the 328i with a system that shuts down the engine at traffic stops. And unlike the system in the Buick LaCrosse I tested recently, BMW's starts with a shudder, the engine making itself felt when I lifted a foot from the brake. Likewise, the fact of the engine shutting down when sitting at stop might send more casual drivers into a panic, looking for the emergency flasher switch and the number for AAA.

When the tach needle sits at the Ready position, the idle-stop feature has shut down the engine. It will restart as soon as the brake pedal lifts.

Although BMW says it uses an electro-mechanical power steering system, the wheel becomes immovable when idle-stop kicks in, something I would expect more from a hydraulically boosted system. At one stop, as a strength exercise, I pulled the wheel hard, moving it half an inch, at which point the engine kicked back to life as it sensed I needed the power-steering boost.

BMW makes idle-stop defeatable with a button near the ignition, useful for situations such as stop-and-go traffic. Working as a complement to idle-stop is BMW's regenerative braking system, converting stopping energy to electricity to run various car systems when the engine is off, and reduce alternator drag on the engine at speed.

The complexity of those systems is enough to make engineers salivate and send status buyers scrambling for a copy of E Magazine. But it does not stop there.

The new 328i heralds the return of a four-cylinder engine from BMW to the U.S. Throwing its model-name logic further out the window, BMW fits this car with a 2-liter, four-cylinder engine. And not only does this engine get fuel sprayed directly into its cylinders, mixed with air forced in from a twin-scroll turbocharger, but its valves use computer-driven logic to vary timing and lift.

By the numbers, all that technology results in 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. BMW even includes virtual gauges on a screen that show the output while you drive, except using kilowatts and Newton-meters instead of our quaint English measurements.

The sport gauges are on a cool, somewhat hidden screen that shows horsepower measured in kilowatts and torque in Newton-meters.

What will make the status buyer comfortable is the lack of turbo lag in the new 328i. Stepping on the gas propelled the car smoothly forward, helped along by the nicely geared eight-speed automatic transmission. The power was not enough to torque the tread off the tires, but it proved more than enough for typical city and freeway maneuvering.

The result of BMW's engine tinkering, or what the company calls Efficient Dynamics, is 25 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. During a week of driving, the car proved those numbers reasonable, never dropping below 25 mpg in tedious city driving and averaging an even 30 mpg, with a bit of aggressive mountain and moderate highway driving added to city and high-speed freeway roving.

And true to BMW's reputation, the 328i begged to be driven exuberantly. Maybe I had spent too much time behind the wheels of boring cars lately, but from the first feeling of how the steering and suspension responded, I wanted to be hammering this 328i. At every city stop light I yearned to be getting the power down in a tight mountain curve.

Along a mountain testing route, the car showed that uniquely responsive BMW handling. No understeer or oversteer; the car tended to keep grip and go precisely where I pointed it. In BMW's overly complex manner, the car had a button on the console to cycle its accelerator response through Sport, Comfort, and Eco Pro modes, while the shifter also had a Sport/Manual position.

BMW's sculpted-looking shifter puts the car in normal and sport modes, and performs manual gear selection.

Using manual gear selection, shifts from the eight-speed showed slight hesitation, but weren't nearly as laggy as with most automatic transmissions. Taking the mountain curves at a healthy 50 mph, I found fourth gear kept the revs at the right balance, showing that BMW cut up its ratios evenly between all eight.

This 328i had come in Luxury line trim, as opposed to Sport or Modern, a new scheme BMW found to exact an extra $2,100 from buyers. As such, it seemed the suspension had been tuned for some level of comfort to make it more palatable to the typical status buyer. In the turns, it made the car feel slightly floaty, a little looser on its feet than would have been optimal.

The luxury line also meant chrome elements on the exterior and the opportunity to pay even more for paint and interior options. If there is one thing BMW does well, it is making brilliantly handling cars. But a second area where the company shows its expertise is option pricing. Although you can get a 328i for its base price of $34,900, CNET's car weighed in at close to $50,000.

A good chunk of that price came from what we at CNET regard as necessary technologies, such as navigation, Bluetooth phone integration, and a stereo with a USB port. One of the coolest new features, a heads-up display, comes with navigation under the heading of the Technology package. This display shows the vehicle speed and route guidance, using multiple colors to distinguish information. It is a sharp, good-looking display with adjustable height on the windshield.

3D rendering of buildings may or may not aid navigation, but it sure looks cool.

BMW's navigation system is also very worthwhile, with perspective and plan maps stored on hard drive. In bigger cities, the system shows 3D-rendered buildings. Browsing the maps to look for a destination or see where a road went, I was impressed that there was almost zero lag when moving to new areas. In the mountains, the maps showed topographic detail, letting me see where a road went up a mountain or through a valley.

Traffic integration is also very good, showing incidents and traffic flow information on the map. This data is also integrated with dynamic routing, so the car will try to find a way around particularly slow traffic. As part of the BMW's ConnectedDrive telematics service, I could do a Google search for nearby locations on the car's LCD. The results are integrated with the navigation system, making it easy to select one and set it as the current destination.

Additionally, this 328i came with the BMW apps option, which integrates the ConnectedDrive iPhone app with the car. This integration let me get Twitter and Facebook updates in the car, or listen to Pandora or MOG online music services. Impressively, using either Pandora, MOG, music stored on the car's own hard drive, or a connected iPod, the BMW's screen showed album art for the currently playing track.

The premium Harman Kardon audio system in this car, only a $950 option that includes satellite radio with a one-year subscription, produced very well-balanced sound. I was pleased by its detail and treble production. When listening to the extraordinarily challenging deep bass on the track "Fantasy," by The XX, the system came through with flying colors. The low tones emanated distortion-free through the car with palpable force, but did not rattle panels.

Not only does BMW's Pandora integration let you choose or create a station, it also shows album art.

An interesting note about BMW's Bluetooth iPhone connectivity: once you connect for hands-free, you can also select audio streaming. If you connect the iPhone through its cable for music playback, the car will disable its audio streaming.

This step might seem unnecessary, but it is actually a good thing, as the iPhone cannot stream music through Bluetooth and its cabled connection at the same time. With many other cars, if I plug in the iPhone before starting the car, that wired connection will not transmit audio after the automatic Bluetooth pairing kicks in. Either way it is going to be inconvenient, but BMW prevents a situation where you choose iPod as the source but get no music playback.

In sum
The 2012 BMW 328i shows what good engineering can accomplish. BMW does not compromise the power or handling of the car while at the same time dropping two cylinders and significant displacement from the engine. The idle-stop feature could have been made to come on a little smoother, but I get the feeling that BMW thinks its drivers should not be afraid of the engine.

As for cabin technology, BMW is at the top of the game, keeping up with competitor Audi by bringing in connected features. You do have to pay for every little feature, but the quality of the tech makes it worthwhile. The navigation system's maps respond quickly and look good, while integrating traffic data and Google local search results. The stereo plays just about every source you can imagine and the Harman Kardon system does not buckle under stress.

The body of the 328i has a more conservative appeal, being a nice, smooth design without drawing particular attention to itself. It is recognizable as a BMW but not terribly different from recent generations of the 3 Series. It offers some good practical features, though, such as the way the rear seats fold down, allowing full pass-through to the trunk.

Tech specs
Model2012 BMW 328i
TrimLuxury line
Power trainTurbocharged direct-injection 2-liter 4-cylinder engine, 8-speed automatic transmission
EPA fuel economy24 mpg city/36 mpg highway
Observed fuel economy30 mpg
NavigationOptional hard-drive-based navigation system with traffic data
Bluetooth phone supportOptional
Disc playerMP3-compatible single-CD
MP3 player supportiPod integration
Other digital audioPandora, MOG, onboard hard drive, Bluetooth streaming, USB drive, satellite radio, HD Radio
Audio systemHarman Kardon 420-watt 13-speaker system
Driver aidsHeads-up display, blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, surround-view cameras, backup camera
Base price$34,900
Price as tested$49,070
Sours: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/reviews/2012-bmw-328i-review/
BMW 328i F30 2013

Barcelona, Spain—It's raining—not exactly ideal conditions to wring out the new 2012 BMW 328i on the Circuit de Catalunya F1 track. But some 12.5 million 3 Series cars have been sold since 1975, so this 6th-generation car, known internally as the F30, surely must work well in a variety of road conditions.

2012 BMW 328i

The new BMW 328i comes with the turbocharged and direct-injected 240-bhp 2.0-liter N20 inline-4 that also sees duty in the Z4 and the 5 Series. BMW calls this engine TwinPower not because of twin turbocharging, but because of the combination of its double VANOS variable camshaft timing and Valvetronic variable valve timing with a twin-scroll single turbocharger fed by two separate exhaust banks. The result is a healthy bump of 10 bhp and 60 ft.-lb. of torque compared to the previous 328i equipped with a 3.0-liter inline-6 engine. In fact, BMW tells us the N20 delivers its 260 ft.-lb. of peak torque at mere 1250 rpm, helping the new 3 Series sprint to 60 mph in 5.7 sec (with the 6-speed manual transmission), or 5.9 sec (8-speed automatic).

2012 BMW 328i

The new 328i comes with a number of drive settings that adapt to various road conditions and driver preference. Comfort, Sport and Sport+ modes will change not only the throttle and engine response, but also the power steering assist and stability control settings based on how aggressively and fast you want to wind through corners. For maximum efficiency, there is the Eco Pro mode that will damp the first 70 percent of your throttle input, optimize the car's accessory power draw, plus provide a visual guide on the instrument panel to assist you in minimizing fuel consumption per mile. For driving enthusiasts, the M Sport package, such as on the car I drove, features aggressive exterior and interior trim. More important, it lowers the car by 0.4 inches, and the front strut and rear multilink suspension gets adjustable electronically controlled damping to ensure maximum traction at all times.

2012 BMW 328i

The F30 3 Series is just a little taller and longer than its predecessor. The wheelbase is extended by nearly 2 in. to accommodate a welcome 0.6 in increase in rear knee room. The exterior styling is evolutionary, but with slimmer looks and cleaner lines. The most noticeable change is the more upright signature kidney grille outline connecting to the headlights on both sides. Inside, gone is the double-hump dash that housed the gauges and the infotainment LCD. The new 3 Series has a cleaner and more open dashboard, with a less cumbersome 6.5-in. display that you want to take with you like an iPad, but can't. There are Sport, Luxury and Modern packages, each with their own interior and exterior trim details.

2012 BMW 328i

Outside of Barcelona, the 328i carves up the mountain roads with aplomb, exhibiting a buttery-smooth steering feel, s responsive chassis and confidence-inspiring grip. The N20 turbo-4 sounds a bit wheezy, even diesel-like when idling. But when you ask for full power, the tremendous torque helps the new 3 feel much like a more powerful sports car. At high speeds, the cabin is surprisingly quiet thanks in part to an impressive drag coefficient of 0.29.

2012 BMW 328i

Around the Circuit de Catalunya, the 3 Series feels right at home. Despite lapping the track under a steady rain, the 328i is surefooted in braking and through the corners. With Sport or Sport+ turned on, the BMW increasingly hands over control to the driver, but all the while keeping the car pointed forward. With all safety systems off, the car's limits are very high and still very predictable. Moderate understeer is sensed just off center, but quickly and progressively transitions to mild understeer as you dial in more steering combined with just a touch of trail-braking. Full throttle past the apex will get the rear out, but it's easily reined in with slightest countersteer. Just can't imagine what this car would be like in the dry.

2012 BMW 328i

The list price for the BMW 328i is $35,775. And for the 335i (powered by a turbo inline-6) the sticker rises to $43,275. Look for the M Sport package to be available in July, and in the fall of 2012 we'll see a 300-bhp ActiveHybrid 3 and all-wheel drive. Based on my brief (and damp) impression of the new 2012 3 Series, it's clear to me that BMW has once again improved its benchmark sport sedan.

2012 BMW 328i

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