|EPA Est. MPG||21|
|Drive Train||Rear Wheel Drive|
|Passenger Volume||105 cu ft|
|Curb Weight||3340 lbs|
Sublime synthesis of performance and comfort, frugal fuel consumption at highway speeds, superb base stereo, rich interior materials.Cons
Cramped rear seat, excessive wind noise, less-than-intuitive stereo and climate controls, polarized sunglasses wash out stereo display
It's hard to make a name for yourself when your big brother's always the center of attention. Just ask the 2008 BMW 328i sedan, which seems doomed to toil in relative obscurity while its steroidal 335i sibling gets all the press. That's a shame, because the 328i is an unequivocal pleasure to drive. It's also roughly $6,000 cheaper than a comparably equipped 335i.
Rather than dismissing the 328i as BMW's entry-level sport sedan, it's best to think of it as a 335i with less motor. These Bavarian brothers are essentially the same everywhere except under the hood. Is the 328i good enough to make you forget about the 335i's extra 70 horsepower and 100 pound-feet of torque? Not a chance. But it's still a world-class sport sedan in its own right, and its buttery-smooth 230-hp inline six-cylinder engine provides enough power for all but the most demanding drivers.
What really set our 328i tester apart was its optional sport package, which provided a magical mixture of handling and compliance. We were treated to the best of both worlds, with a ride that was never harsh, and cornering capabilities that were downright exhilarating. You'd never guess that our 328i had the sport package from its supple composure over bumps and ruts, yet it carves through the canyons at a pace that would put some purpose-built sports cars to shame. Few vehicles at any price can match the all-around excellence of this sport-tuned chassis.
Of course, the 328i's worth can't be measured by its performance alone. Sport-sedan shoppers want athletic driving dynamics in a practical package — and on the latter count the 328i comes up a little short. This is literally true of the backseat, where headroom and legroom are tight for even moderately tall passengers. The functionality of the stereo and climate controls also leaves something to be desired, and while interior materials are generally top-notch, storage nooks for cell phones and such are few and far between.
If you love to drive, though, the sport package-equipped 328i has no equal in this segment. The only question is whether it's worth ponying up the extra cash for a 335i. That's not for us to judge, but we will say this: We wouldn't blame anyone for pocketing an extra $6 grand along with the keys to a 328i.Performance
The rear-wheel-drive 2008 BMW 328i is propelled by a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine generating a velvety 230 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque. Our test car was equipped with the standard six-speed manual transmission, which has an endearingly light and springy feel through the gates and is paired with a user-friendly, low-effort clutch. We recorded a brisk 0-60-mph sprint of 6.4 seconds en route to a quarter-mile time of 14.6 seconds at 94.7 mph.
It's on twisty two-lane roads that the sport-packaged 328i really comes into its own. The car is simply a peerless handler among compact sport sedans, from its ultra-communicative and perfectly weighted steering to its supremely balanced and unruffled character in tight corners. Weighing in at 3,424 pounds — nearly 200 pounds lighter than a comparably equipped 335i — our 328i felt, if anything, a smidge more tossable than its turbocharged counterpart. At the track, the 328i snaked through the slalom cones at 68.5 mph, a few tenths quicker than a 335i sedan we tested recently, and braked from 60 mph to zero in 110 feet, 6 feet shorter than that 335i's best stop.
Happily, the 328i's outstanding all-around performance doesn't come at the expense of efficiency. We averaged a respectable 22.5 miles per gallon over 1,030 miles of mostly enthusiastic driving, against EPA estimates of 18 mpg city, 28 highway and 21 combined. Our 328i even managed 31.2 mpg during a 213-mile freeway slog — frugal enough to give some four-cylinder econoboxes a run for their money.Comfort
Wind noise in our 328i was surprisingly noticeable around the windshield and A-pillars; furthermore, excessive turbulence with the sunroof open made al fresco motoring unpleasant above 50 mph. Otherwise, the 328i's driving environment is beyond reproach. Our tester's sublimely comfortable power sport seats coddled drivers of all statures while also providing excellent lateral support during spirited maneuvers. Pedal placement is spot-on, and the sporty small-diameter steering wheel is pleasingly contoured. We also like that the center stack is slightly canted toward the driver, putting all controls within easy reach.
Considerably less impressive is the 328i's backseat, which is only suitable for adults of average height or under. Mainstream economy sedans offer more head- and legroom in back than this premium four-door, and among competing compact sport sedans, only the Lexus IS 250 is less hospitable. The rear outboard seats are nicely shaped, however, so those who do fit will likely enjoy the ride. Moreover, materials quality throughout the cabin is excellent, with abundant soft-touch surfaces complementing the leather upholstery and brushed aluminum trim.Function
In typical BMW fashion, the analog gauges are a model of simplicity, though the real-time analog fuel economy gauge is a bit gimmicky. Unfortunately, the stereo and climate controls are anything but simple — the radio is operated via a series of identical-looking buttons, and in another nod to BMW tradition, the only way to turn off the climate control system is to press and hold the fan-speed "down" button or tap it repeatedly. To make matters worse, we found that the stereo display becomes illegible when viewed through polarized sunglasses. At least we didn't have to contend with iDrive, though there's no way around it if you want the navigation system.
On the bright side, the base stereo absolutely cranks. We could have sworn it was an upgraded unit until we checked the window sticker and saw that a 10-speaker sound system with two subwoofers comes standard on every 328i. This system remains distortion- and rattle-free at any volume, even with the wonderfully warm and punchy bass turned all the way up. We just wish that a CD changer were standard instead of the anachronistic single-CD player.
We can also report that the 2008 BMW 328i received a passing grade in our real-world usability tests, swallowing our standard suitcase and golf bag with ease and proving just roomy enough in back to accommodate a child safety seat. However, golf bags containing longer-shafted drivers must be carefully maneuvered through the relatively narrow trunk opening, and child-seat installation may require front passengers to pull their seats forward a bit.Design/Fit and Finish
BMW stylists have come under fire in recent years for tinkering with a design language that many consider timeless. Thankfully, the 3 Series' 2006 redesign was for the most part tastefully done, preserving the car's traditional clipped front overhang and taut proportions. Our biggest beef with the 328i's appearance concerns the sport package's nondescript 17-inch wheels, which aren't up to the standards set by the car's performance — we'd like to see something closer to the striking 18-inch rims that come with the 335i's Sport package. Fit and finish was flawless on our tester, with tight panel gaps and nary a creak or rattle to be heard.Who should consider this vehicle
At our test car's $41,550 sticker, no one. For a couple thousand less you could get a base 335i. But if you pare down the options to just one — the $1,700 Sport package — you can enjoy every ounce of our tester's performance, as well as standard features like a sunroof and that superb sound system, for about $35,000. At that price, the 2008 BMW 328i almost seems like a bargain for the driving enthusiast who needs four doors. However, those who prefer feature content to dynamic excellence may find competing models more satisfying.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
Used 2008 BMW 3 Series listings and inventory:
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Price comparisons for used 2008 BMW 3 Series trim styles:
The used 2008 BMW 3 Series 335i is priced around $9868 with average odometer reading of 112204 miles.
The used 2008 BMW 3 Series 328i is priced around $8463 with average odometer reading of 89569 miles.
The used 2008 BMW 3 Series 328xi is priced around $10457 with average odometer reading of 80668 miles.
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What options are available on the 2008 BMW 3 Series?
Available BMW 3 Series 2008 Submodel Types: Diesel, Sedan, Coupe, Convertible, Hybrid, Wagon
Available BMW 3 Series 2008 Trims: 328i xDrive, 320i xDrive, 330i xDrive SULEV, 328i xDrive SULEV, 335i xDrive, 328d xDrive, 325i, 320i, 328i SULEV, 328i, 330i SULEV, 340i xDrive, 325xi, 335i, 328xi, 325Ci, 330Ci, 330xi, 330i, 340i, 335d, 330e iPerformance, 335xi, 323i, ActiveHybrid 3, 335is, 328d, 318i, 323Ci, 328Ci
Exterior Colors: Mineral Grey Metallic, Black Sapphire Metallic, Glacier Silver Metallic, Imperial Blue Metallic, Melbourne Red Metallic, Mineral White Metallic, Platinum Silver Metallic, Mediterranean Blue Metallic, Estoril Blue, Blue Water Metallic, Jet Black, Liquid Blue Metallic, Montego Blue Metallic, Orient Blue Metallic, Estoril Blue Metallic, Mojave Metallic, Orion Silver Metallic, Sparkling Bronze Metallic, Sunset Orange Metallic, Monaco Blue Metallic, Titanium Silver Metallic, Alpine White, Deep Sea Blue Metallic, Steel Blue Metallic, Jatoba Brown Metallic, Silver Gray Metallic, Space Gray Metallic, Sparkling Graphite Metallic, Mystic Blue Metallic, Tasman Green Metallic, Platinum Bronze Metallic, Sonora Metallic, Crimson Red, Le Mans Blue Metallic, Oxford Green Metallic, Atlantic Blue Metallic, Electric Red, Fern Green Metallic, Vermilion Red Metallic, Alpine White III, Arctic Metallic, Barbera Red Metallic, Black II, Deep Green Metallic, Fern Green Pearl Metallic, Gray Green Metallic, Imola Red, Topaz Blue Metallic
Interior Colors: Black leatherette, Black SensaTec leatherette, Venetian Beige leatherette, Black Dakota premium leather, Venetian Beige/Black SensaTec leatherette, Black Dakota w/Dark Oyster Highlight leather, Beige premium leather, Black SensaTec w/Red Highlight leatherette, Black Dakota leather, Saddle Brown Dakota w/Exclusive Stitching premium leather, Oyster Dakota leather, Black Dakota w/Red Highlight leather, Black premium leather, Cognac Dakota w/Dark Brown Highlight leather, Chestnut Brown premium leather, Black, Gray, Venetian Beige/Black Dakota w/Dark Oyster Highlight leather, Beige leatherette, Saddle Brown Dakota premium leather, Coral Red Dakota w/Black Highlight leather, Gray leather, Saddle Brown premium leather, Coral Red Dakota w/Black Highlight premium leather, Natural Brown, Black Dakota w/Red Highlight premium leather, Saddle Brown Dakota w/Brown Highlight leather, Black w/Red Highlight leatherette, Dakota Oyster/Black w/Dark Oyster Accent leather, Gray premium leather, Venetian Beige/Black Dakota leather, Coral Red/Black Dakota premium leather, Saddle Brown/Black premium leather, Black Dakota w/Exclusive Stitching premium leather, Cognac Dakota w/Dark Brown Highlight and Cognac Lower Dashboard leather, Coral Red/Black premium leather, Venetian Beige Dakota premium leather, Cream Beige Dakota premium leather, Gray/Black Dakota premium leather, Oyster Dakota w/Dark Oyster Highlight premium leather, Saddle Brown Dakota w/Brown Highlight and Brown Lower Dashboard leather, Cream Beige leatherette, Cream Beige premium leather, Everest Gray Dakota w/Black Highlight premium leather, Natural Brown leather, Sand, Sand leather, Terra/Black premium leather, Venetian Beige Dakota w/Exclusive Stitching premium leather, Veneto Beige Dakota premium leather
Popular Features: USB Inputs, Alarm, Keyless Entry/Start, Parking sensors, Blind Spot Monitoring, Back-up camera, Heads up display, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Auto Climate Control, Automatic Emergency Braking, Aux Audio Inputs, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Post-collision safety system, Rear Bench Seats, Stability Control, Tire Pressure Warning, Trip Computer, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Sunroof/Moonroof, Upgraded Headlights, Upgraded Stereo, Power Driver Seat, Power Liftgate/Trunk, Fold Flat Rear Seats, 2nd Row Bucket Seats, AWD/4WD, Soft Top, Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Leather Seats, 360-degree camera, Bluetooth, Electronic Folding Mirrors, Heated seats, Navigation
Engine/Mechanics: 4, 6 cylinders
Transmission: AUTOMATIC, AUTOMATED_MANUAL, MANUAL
Fuel Types: premium unleaded (recommended), premium unleaded (required), diesel, regular unleaded
Drivetrains: rear wheel drive, all wheel drive
used 2008 BMW 3 Series Overview
The used 2008 BMW 3 Series is offered in the following submodels: Convertible, Coupe, Sedan, Wagon. Available styles include 328i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 6M), 335i 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M), and 328i 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl 6M). Pre-owned 3 Series models are available with a 0-liter gas engine, with output up to 0 hp, depending on engine type. The used 2008 3 Series comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed manual.