Recently I passed 20,000 miles on my 2012 BMW 328i – so how do I like the car? What’s the good, the bad, and the ugly of this Bavarian car? I’ve been a BMW fan since I owned a 2002 back in 1988. Getting another go around with a 4-cyl BMW was a mixed blessing – and end to my run with Saab cars, but a return to something from when I was younger. So how has the car been? Read on!
- Decent performance – not spectacular, but not bad. This is not really a performance car. It is hard to ding the car for not being as powerful as my Turbo-X – but there it is. I am feeling a bit under powered. The exhaust note could be better.
- Easy to get the rear end loose – even in dry weather.
- Stick shift is fun, short, but a bit notchy.
- Handling is great – turning precise and the car really hugs the road.
- No mechanical issues – flawless performance.
- 30.9 MPG over the full mileage! Fantastic!
- Mineral grey paint is decent, but lacks the shine and depth of jet black that I really like. On the plus side is shows less dirt.
- Klasse – Pinnacle combination is a wonderful treatment on this car. After a long hot summer in Philly rain still beads great and the shine is still good.
- The contours of the car are pretty complex, but I do like the shape of the front-end and hood.
- The paint has held up quite well in comparison to previous cars, but its true that last winter was pretty mild.
- The low-dust brakes on this model make a huge difference in keeping the wheels clean. Kind of a mixed feeling about it since you expect a BMW or Audi to have nice dirty wheels. While I’m on the wheels…they stick out just a bit from the rubber and are incredibly easy to rub up against a curb. I’ve got a bit of rash on 3 out of 4 – incredibly annoying, but my fault I suppose and not the car’s.
- Interior takes a lot of dusting with all the shiny black trim.
- Shiny black trim has resisted scratches better than expected.
- The red trim, stitching, and floor mats look great and many people comment on this.
- The black headliner turns out to be one of my favorite features. It really enhances the interior the cuts down on glare. Such a simple thing makes a big difference.
- Bluetooth – near perfect integration with my phone. It is a little strange when leaving the car with a call still connected. You need to actually walk out of the range for the phone to return to handset mode. A bit odd. Other than that – the bluetooth integration works perfectly.
- iPod: Pretty decent with this one, but it is difficult to navigate and the constant need to keep turning on random for search results is very annoying. It takes a bit to figure out how to get to the playlists and stuff, but once you get that sorted out it works fine. It would be nice if the search and played song list as remembered between car starts. Every time you tart the car it re-runs the playlist from the beginning. Annoying.
- The rest of the electronics are pretty solid. Like all recent BMW’s the AC is a little underpowered and too noisy, but in the 328i the automatic wipers work well (in my X5 they are crazy in auto mode).
- What is with the giant key fob? Is there any kind of reasonable explanation as to why it is so big? Did all those clever German guys go on holiday when it came time to work on the key fob?
Overall Thoughts on the 2012 328i
I’m happy with the car – especially when you look at the total package of the electronics, sport edition goodies, and the great mileage. If you are considering this car I would recommend it, but be sure to do a test drive of at least 15-20 miles so that you can get a full sense of the driving dynamics. Not a fast car off the line, once the car is moving you have the typical BMW feel that is enhanced by the sport line dynamics. There’s probably an upgrade or two on the BMW Performance site that would solve my desire for a bit more power and exhaust note.
Here are links to all my posts on this car.