Have had my 328i (automatic w Premium package) for one month now. It is a mixed bag of pros and cons. For a $40K car, I expected better and well thought out amenities to come standard. Not sure how long I may keep it.
I just returned my 2012 328i with around 30,000 miles at the end of a 3 year lease. Although the 2.0 liter twin scroll turbo engine has plenty of power and the 8 spd automatic transmission was great, the base suspension was so soft and unsettled that just driving the car made me nauseated. This was my 6th BMW and suspension wise, the worst. Early on in the lease period, I changed to sport springs which made a big improvement in handling. Near the end of the lease, I changed back to the OEM springs and couldn't wait to return the car.
This is my second BMW; my first was a MY 2006 325i that I bought new. This time I decided to get a CPO 2012 328i. I have had the car for about 45 days; it has been in the shop for 15 of those days. It needed: A NEW TIMING BELT (after I was told that the blender-like noise the engine was making was "normal" until I took it back to the dealer to investigate it further), an new window regulator, a new seat belt latch, re-charged AC, and crack in the instrument panel plastic covering the instruments. A week later I had to take it BACK because the steering wheel was making a load groaning noise when turned, and the stereo intermittently recognizes that I have a CD in the player or my iPhone connected to the USB. Sometimes I have to go without music on the wonderful upgraded Harmon Kardon stereo until the system decides to reset itself. The dealership still cannot diagnose this issue. Also, the only way to drive this car is to leave it in "Sport" mode. The default "Comfort" mode makes the car feel like a 1980's-era Cadillac-all floaty and bouncy on the highway. Steering and handling are tops in Sport mode, though. Overall I'm disappointed in the quality. I had the 2006 325i for 5 years, and had ZERO issues other than the sunroof not wanting to close from time to time. I put 102,000 miles on it and only did basic maintenance-no unexpected warranty visits. Thank tha LAWD I got the extended warranty with this CPO (Certified Piece Of _____). I had a Mercedes C300 and Volvo S60 in the interim of the BMW's and getting this car-sad to say, I think I may go back to either one of them. Beautiful car inside and out, though.
To add to my review on 3/17/2012 ... I have now had the vehicle for 4 months and still love the car. It is one seamless and smooth driving machine and I especially appreciated it on a recent road trip of 358 miles each way. Most was freeway driven and I was absolutely amazed at my average MPG of 37.5 primarily freeway and on Econ mode with average 69 MPH.
This is my first BMW and I was reluctant to buy a German car due to maintenance/reliability issues that I've heard before. But after 1500 miles the car is still silky smooth and no issues, knock on wood. The new 2.0L Turbo engine is amazing, acceleration is very good and there is no lug between pedal action and engine response. This car is fun to drive! The leather seats are much better than anything I had before, very comfy and the quality is very good. All features expected in a luxury car are there and they are worth every penny. The only thing that I miss are 1) a storage compartment for sunglasses and bigger storage for phone/wallet somewhere near the driver.
Melbourne Red Metallic Paint ($550); Premium Package ($3,600 -- includes universal garage door opener, keyless ignition, power moonroof, auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors; power front seats with lumbar support and driver seat memory and Dakota leather upholstery); Technology Package ($2,550 -- includes hard drive-based navigation system, real-time traffic information, voice-activation capability, head-up display); Sport Line ($2,500 -- includes sports leather steering wheel, 18-by-8-inch double-spoke (style 397) light alloy wheels with 225/45R18 tires, black mirror caps, sport seats, sport suspension, Anthracite headliner, Sport Line aesthetic elements and increased top speed limiter); Cold Weather Package ($1,350 -- includes heated steering wheel, split fold-down rear seat, three-stage heated front seats, multilevel heated rear seats and retractable headlight washers); Premium Sound Package ($950 -- includes Sirius Satellite Radio with 1-year subscription, Harman Kardon surround-sound system with 420-watt amplifier and 13 speakers); Xenon Headlights ($900 -- includes xenon high-intensity-discharge (HID) high- and low-beam headlights with auto-leveling, adaptive light control and automatic high beams); Adaptive M Suspension ($900 -- includes electronically-controlled dampers); Park Distance Control ($750 -- includes front and rear sonar); BMW Assist With Enhanced BT & USB ($650 -- includes BMW Assist, 4-year subscription to BMW Assist Safety Services, Bluetooth wireless technology); BMW Apps ($250 -- BMW Apps allows an iPhone to access the BMW Connected app and certified 3rd-party apps)
Turbocharged, direct-injected inline-4 with auto-stop/start
DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, variable intake- and exhaust-valve timing, variable intake-valve lift
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
240 @ 5,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
255 @ 1,250-4,800
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
I = 3.683; II = 2.062; III = 1.313; IV = 1.000; V = 0.809; VI = 0.677; R = 3.348; Final drive = 3.909
Rev-limited to 3,800 with ESC on; no limit (below redline) when it's off. Seems relatively indifferent to launch technique -- only a few hundredths of a second separate clutch dump from careful modulation by 60 mph. Shifter is less likable when rushed in this environment. Engine is done at 6,500.
Confident pedal every stop, but fade (+6 feet) present. Not the best braking in the segment.
Skid pad: Heavy steering with quite good communication at the limit. More body roll than expected makes sensing grip limits more difficult. Still, good balance. Adjustable, but slower to respond that I'd prefer. Slalom: Ample body roll makes quick transitions feel awkward. Even so, limits are reasonably well defined. Excellent ESC produces quickest slalom time by 0.01 sec.