Owner Review

2012 BMW 3 28i Review

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Having lived with my BMW 328i M-Sport for the last 3 years, I am in a good position to share my thoughts on this car. Coming from a Nissan X-trail, in search of a more enjoyable way to get from A to B, the BMW 328i has certainly fulfilled this role.

I thought at the time, and still do today, the 328i is really the sweet spot in the 3 series range (F30 series). Yes the 335i’s motor will sound better when revved, with slightly better performance, however it comes at the cost of weight, efficiency, and most importantly a $30 000AUS premium.

The 320i and 320d are cheaper to buy and to re-fuel, and give you as much performance that you will ever need for the daily commute, but their motors lack the performance edge of the 328i. The 328i being as fuel efficient as it is, I paid very little luxury car tax on it, freeing up funds to option the car the way I wanted it.

It comes with the M-Sport package, mostly cosmetic upgrades, but you do get the perfect steering wheel, 19 inch wheels, and the exclusive to the M-sport range: Estoril Blue II metallic paint. I also optioned the car with the M-adaptive suspension, allowing you to adjust the suppleness/firmness of the ride. Despite riding on 19inch run-flats, I have been amazed by how compliant the ride has been on Adelaide’s very ordinary roads.

The only time you notice the sports suspension is when you run into a pothole. On the mountain road, there is virtually no body roll, and the car just grips. The upgraded Harmon Kardon sound system is well worth it, as it sounds amazing, and not much of a premium to pay if you like your music.

Comfort access is one of those options that once you have it, you cant go back. Just leave the keys in your pocket, and you can operate the car. The only option I regret not getting is the head up display.

It does 0-100km in less than 6 seconds, yet I managed to drive from Adelaide to Melbourne with one tank (60L) with about 100kms in reserve. The efficiency drops to about 9-10L per 100km of premium fuel when driving (enthusiastically) in the urban commute. Drive it sedately, and you could get better results.

Yes, I could have purchased a faster car for less money, but I don’t think I would be as satisfied (not to mention that it is rear wheel drive). Its comfortable, practical and reliable (so far), whilst at the same time I still love the way it looks and drives.

The only downside is the cost of purchase, and the cost of replacement tyres (only needing to replace the rear wheels once for 35 000km, and x1 unfortunate puncture). However, as I look at the re-sale prices, the amount of petrol money saved compared to driving my old X-trail, and the fact that I paid no service costs for the first 3 years as part of the deal on purchase, it’s a price I am willing to pay all over again. The only thing this 328i leaves me wanting is an M3.