Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test-drivers. Enjoy.
As appealing as BMW's ridiculously fast 335i may be to the enthusiasts, its $40K-plus price tag puts a damper on all the fun real quick. That's a sizable chunk of dollars for a sedan that's barely able to swallow an average-size family.
So what do most buyers do? Give up the European dream? Buy the fully loaded Camry instead and try not to think about it? Maybe, but plenty of buyers also take the step down and opt for the base 328i instead. With a base price of just over $34K, it's still a stretch even if it's the base model.
How big of a step down is it? Well, the horsepower drop is pretty big, and the torque falls off pretty substantially, too. But it's still fairly light at just over 3,300 pounds and BMWs are known for making the best of their available power. Just look at what it can do to the back tires. Surely it must be quick down the drag strip, no? Read on to find out if BMW's 3 Series for the Everyman is still worth paying up for.
Vehicle: 2010 BMW 328i
Driver: Chris Walton
Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: 6-speed manual
Engine Type: Inline-6
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 2,996/183
Redline (rpm): 7,000
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 230 @ 6,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 200 @ 2,750
Brake Type (front): Ventilated disc
Brake Type (rear): Ventilated disc
Steering System: Speed-proportional power steering
Suspension Type (front): MacPherson strut
Suspension Type (rear): Multilink
Tire Size (front): 225/45R17
Tire Size (rear): 225/45R17
Tire Brand: Continental
Tire Model: ContiProContact SSR RSC
Tire Type: All-season
Wheel Size: 17-by-7 inches front and rear
Wheel Material (front/rear): Alloy
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,314
0 - 30 (sec): 2.3
0 - 45 (sec): 4.2
0 - 60 (sec): 6.4
0 - 75 (sec): 9.5
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 14.7 @ 94.8
0 - 60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 6.0
30 - 0 (ft): 30
60 - 0 (ft): 126
Braking Rating: Average
Slalom (mph): 65.0
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.84
Handling Rating: Good
Db @ Idle: 43.8
Db @ Full Throttle: 70.2
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 64.5
Acceleration Comments: About a half second was gained with a wheel-spinning launch. The shifter is happy to be slammed and there is some sort of spark/retard or electronic shift smoothing that utterly eliminates shift shock at redline (or even below). Seem to make most of its power up high in the rev range.
Braking Comments: Consistently average distances with virtually zero fade or loss of pedal feel. Very little dive under hard braking.
Handling Comments: Slalom: With ESP off, this is a perfect teaching instrument for rear-wheel-drive dynamics -- every driver input has an immediate, predictable and appropriate outcome. Not the fastest sedan ever through the cones, but one of the best in terms of feel and setup. Skid pad: Moderate understeer and good response to the throttle means the steering wheel doesn't move one bit all the way around the circle. While the ultimate figure is not world-class, everything about the way the steering felt during the test was exceptional.