BMW 3 Series Sedan 328i Luxury / Sport Review
Four play

Story and photos by Raymond Lai
28 Jul 2012
 

In mid-range 328i form, the 3 Series offers a superb blend of performance and affordability as Raymond Lai found out.

Introduction, styling

There was a time when the German brands offered four-cylinder engines that were unrefined and gutless. Conjure up models with four pot motors like the W124 Mercedes E200, E36 BMW 318i and you’ll get the drift. Well, those were the days. Thankfully, four pot engines from the German brands are anything but gutless and unrefined these days. Thanks to modern day technologies like forced induction, direct injection and balancer shafts, the German four pots offer more performance and almost as much refinement than six cylinder models from the recent past.

BMW too, has joined the forced aspirated bandwagon wholeheartedly. The Bavarian brand might be one of the pioneers of turbo technology in road cars but it was somewhat slow to introduce forced aspiration to their models. These days, every BMW model features at least a single variant powered by the brand’s TwinPower turbo motors. In the case of the F30 3 Series, the whole three-car range utilise TwinPower turbo motors, with more set to follow in the future when the 3 gets the 1 Series’ 1.6 turbo motor in the likely 316i and 318i variants.

We’ve previously tested the range topping 335i and concluded how good it is but how about he mid-range 328i with its four-pot turbocharged motor? Outwardly, the 328i in Luxury trim can immediately be distinguished from the Sport trim 335i via its multi-spoke wheels instead of the five twin-spoke wheels on the 335i, the boot lid badge, the silver instead of blacks inserts for the double kidney radiator grille and the twin exhaust pipe treatment on the left hand side instead of the 335i’s one exhaust tip on each side look.

From the rear, the F30 3 bears a striking resemblance to the popular 5 Series so much so that many will easily mistake it for a 5 if there are no model badges on the boot lid. With that typical long bonnet of a BMW and a long wheelbase, the new 3 features even better judged proportions than its 5 Series big brother’s. It is up front where the new 3 Series looks its most distinctive. The low nose and slim, elongated headlamps give the 3 a shark-like snout that is quite possibly the sportiest looking of any of the current BMW models. With an aggressive snout and handsome proportions overall, the 3 is one good-looking car and is arguably the most handsome of any current BMW model.


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Engine

Engine Capacity 1997cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 245bhp @ 5000rpm
Torque 350Nm @ 1250rpm
Power to Weight 146.7 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 6.1s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 250 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 15.9 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 8 -speed Steptronic
Drive Type FR

Measurements

Body Type Sedan
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4623 x 1811 x 1429) mm
Kerb Weight 1670 kg

Brakes