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2012 BMW 3 Series Preview and comparison to 2011 328i

Posted by on February 5, 2012 in New Cars, Reviews - 5 Comments

The all new BMW 3 series is set to debut at car showrooms in just a few weeks, with a projected release date of mid February released by BMW themselves. There is a lot of speculation as to what the new BMW will offer, and whether there is a warrant for the $1000 price tag premium over the current outgoing model. Additionally, enthusiasts are nervous that the new standard turbocharged 4 cylinder engine on the 2012 328i will be a different drive and less enjoyable than the current 328i’s standard v6, which is one of the best engines in the entry level luxury vehicle class. With such high stakes at hand (BMW currently leads the entry level luxury vehicle market with the outgoing model of the 328i 3 series sedan), BMW needs to make sure they get it right, or they could be in hot water.

So, what can we expect? What are the critics saying, and is BMW going to finally lose the seat at the top of the entry level luxury class? Firstly, let’s examine some of the differences in the 2 models (2011 328i vs 2012 328i). We will first analyze the pricing options from last year with this year:

BMW 328i Sedan, 2011 vs 2012

i. Standard Features

2011 Sedan 2012 Sedan
2011-bmw-328i 2012-bmw-3-series
Base Price $34,600 $34,900
Base Engine 3.0L 6cyl, 230HP @6500 RPM 2.0L 4cyl, 240HP @5000 RPM
Torque 200 ft-lbs @2750 rpm 260 ft-lbs @1250 rpm
MPG 18/28 23/34
Bluetooth optional standard
Keyless Entry optional standard

Keeping all of this in mind, the base price has a slight premium over lasts years model. So, after all of the new changes including the additional fuel mileage, the better engine, the much stronger torque and the standard amenities such as bluetooth and keyless entry, is the new price worth it? We think yes, as these options traditionally cost a lot more than just $300 more. Also, the fuel savings alone are really worth the investment you’d have to put up to get the new 328i sedan for 2012.

ii. New Styling

2011 Sedan 2012 Sedan
2011-bmw-328i-sedan-front 2012-bmw-328i-sedan-front

One of the most notable differences in the styling is the front headlights, the larger kidney air intakes in the front by the BMW badge and the longer, more agressive looking hood. There is also a much needed update on the headlamps, with LED lighting as an option and “eyebrow” daylight running lamps to fit all of the new trends that the luxury car makers have been taking. Another styling cue that was introduced is the chrome accents beneath the headlamps on the new 328i for 2012; there are longer, more agressive chrome accents throughout the vehicle.

Aside from the newly redesigned front of the 2012 BMW 328i sedan, there are new, standard larger wheels, some more styled lines going across the doors, and a different rear of the car with lowered, and more trendy looking styling points. The side mirrors now include a blinker light, and the C pillars have a different layout and shape to increase driver vision and create more of “couple-like” style that has become so popular lately. Additionally, the roofline is lower and more rounded, the hood is longer and the rear of the car meets the doors with some more styled lines that flow throughout the car, creating a very expensive and sophisticated look. On the modern and luxury lins, there are some added chrome details on the door trims, along with different rims and different coloring.

iii. New Model Lines

One of the most notable differences between the 328i for 2011 and the 328i for 2012 is the introduction of 3 all-new model lines that will really define how a BMW will look and feel, including coloring, chrome and a unique set of matching keys to go along with it all:

Sport Modern Luxury
2012-328i-sport 2012-328i-modern 2012-328i-luxury
bmw-328i-sport-key bmw-328i-modern-key bmw-328i-luxury-key

As shown above, each of the new lines for the 2012 BMW 3 series will come with a specifically designed key to go along with it. This has been another source of ridicule for BMW from die-hard fans and enthusiasts, who believe BMW is sacrificing some of thir name and heritage just to appeal to the masses and sell more vehicles. This may be true, as the new key styling seems like a very cheap attempt at sales and is overall weird; kind of a feature that wasnt really necessary.

iv. Road Test

We are signed up to be one of the first people to test drive the all new BMW 2012 328i Sedan, stay tuned for full video and picture coverage.

Yosef Adelman on Google+

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5 Comments

  1. Jeff Drysdale
    Posted February 13, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Excellent post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Many thanks!

  2. Muchille A.
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 10:34 am

    BMW cars are great! However, each model and type has its own unique specifications. BMW got some sobering news previously this week when the EPA lowered the fuel-economy rating of its 2012 382i eight-speed automatic design. The down-tick came after the federal agency’s own 2nd round of screening.

  3. Posted October 23, 2012 at 12:25 am

    […] around 11-16 MPG in normal driving conditions which is far under that of rivals such as the all new BMW 3 series, the 2012 Mercedes Benz c250 sedan and the Audi A4, to name a […]

  4. Posted April 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    […] the case that the Cadillac ATS deserves to be in the top 5, or even top 3 in the segment. But the BMW 328i is simply better in every single way; the car has excellent road feel, class leading MPG, […]

  5. Posted May 2, 2013 at 1:15 am

    […] When people think about a Mini Cooper, they are most likely imagining a cute little car that can put-put around and dodge traffic while bragging the rights to parking in spots other cars would normally shudder at. What many people do not realize about the Mini Cooper S is that it can actually be a fast car that handles like a champ.The car is respectably fast and with its small, nimble size the car is actually a good contender against many of the more expensive and bigger cars available out there. The more expensive John Works model is even faster and boasts an addition 10% horsepower that actually reduces the 0-60 time to 5.9s, equal to the far more expensive older brother, the BMW 328i Sedan. […]

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