I was originally looking at the 320d, but given the options that come standard in the 328i being the ones I would have put on the 320d. As a premium luxury vehicle with all manner of tech gizmos, the new 328i might equal—or better—the old. Sure enough, when I drove an automatic 328i on the highway, even when climbing moderate inclines the tachometer needle hovered below 1,500 rpm. And later, when we hopped into a post-face-lift, Sport-package-equipped E90 328i, it was game over for the F30. On sale now, the 2012 sedans come only with rear-wheel drive.
Traffic integration is also very good, showing incidents and traffic flow information on the map. First, the nameplate that everyone once loved is still amazing but no longer as universally adored, and a lot of people are wondering why. It is the lightest weight though. The low tones emanated distortion-free through the car with palpable force, but did not rattle panels. Cabin technology stays on the cutting edge with app integration and other connected features.
The coupe, convertible and ultimate-performance M3 will continue for two more model years in their current form. 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. The iDrive multifunction controller is now standard with a 6. Its trunk space is bigger on paper but no more usable. The redesign replaces conventional hydraulic power steering with electric power assist.
With the optional 19-inch alloy wheels, whatever way you go, you have to admit it does look a little exotic and firmly prestigious. On song, if you give it a shoeful, it makes a sporting wail, but is otherwise a quiet and refined unit, staying smooth as revs peak. The luxury line also meant chrome elements on the exterior and the opportunity to pay even more for paint and interior options. 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. 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. I wanted to share my love for the automotive world with the rest of the world. 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.
You'd never know you were driving a four-cylinder, and definitely not a turbo four. You feel and hear the difference with the six-cylinder's greater urgency and pleasing exhaust note. There was some chirping wheelspin off the mark as the 350Nm of torque commands more inertia than the 255-section tyres can handle. If you connect the iPhone through its cable for music playback, the car will disable its audio streaming. The interior design is starting to age though.
The regular suspension in the base, Modern and Luxury lines isolates road imperfections better than the previous generation did, but it also allows more body motions, including a surprising degree of — something that's no longer an unavoidable tradeoff. The exterior styling is evolutionary, but with slimmer looks and cleaner lines. With such linear output figures, the engine is never far from performing at its best. Good fuel economy — 6. The 328i will probably further diminish the 335's share of sales — roughly 30 percent at the end of the 2011 model year. Just wish it were a bit less bland. No other Smartphones are currently supported.
Some of these options we feel should come as standard equipment, such as the adaptive headlights and parking assistance systems; after all, the 328i is not the base model. I called the dealership right away within the week of me buying the car. The eight-speed shifts quickly and smoothly, and it doesn't hesitate too long before to pass, especially when in the Driving Dynamics Control's selectable Comfort or Sport modes, which also vary the accelerator and power steering responsiveness. At that rate, all of the new car's expensive technology would save a tank roughly 17. It offers some good practical features, though, such as the way the rear seats fold down, allowing full pass-through to the trunk. Second, if you examine where the 3-series is going, you learn something about the industry that follows it. The style is more timeless than ultra-modern but the combination of wood, metal and grained plastics across the dash impart a premium and quite exclusive air.
Speaking of erratic, the controversial active-steering option has been discontinued, replaced by a more straightforward variable-ratio steering option that gives more steering angle from less turn of the wheel. It allows you to cycle through the various modes without pushing a bunch of separate buttons. The results are integrated with the navigation system, making it easy to select one and set it as the current destination. Steering feedback is comparable to that of the outgoing 3-series, in spite of the noticeable reduction in effort. Those who pick the six-speed manual transmission will have to bear the loss of a couple of miles per gallon. The new car's electrically assisted power steering is quite good and, thanks to software updates, will likely get better , but it's not great, and when it occasionally communicates what the chassis is doing, it tells you what just happened.
Standard equipment for the 328i is still a long list, with ample luxury and lots of technology. We found it all reasonably easy to use and navigate once you spend some time with it, and get used to its sideways sliding menu functions. The body of the 328i has a more conservative appeal, being a nice, smooth design without drawing particular attention to itself. The transmission is sharp - smooth to the point of being almost undetectable and gearshifts are lightening fast, certainly a rival for any dual clutch system. The maroon car here is a 2008 328i—six cylinders, 230 hp. A two-mode muffler corks the din during cruising and then releases a rousing howl to accompany the stampede. Full throttle past the apex will get the rear out, but it's easily reined in with slightest countersteer.