The BMW 328xi comes with a long list of good news, and a very short list of bad news. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I am no expert, but this review might help those of us who are (*ahem) "norma...
The BMW 328xi comes with a long list of good news, and a very short list of bad news. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I am no expert, but this review might help those of us who are (*ahem) "normal" people driving in the real world.
STEERING. Let's start with the bad news. The steering only really feels "tactile" when you push the button for Sports mode. And even then, steering is not as communicative as it has been in previous years (I drove a 2011 as well, and the steering was much better...but that's all that was better). When the car is in Comfort or Eco mode, the steering is just downright limp. So, I exclusively drive in Sports mode. If you're thinking, "That sounds like a minor complaint...push a button to get good steering," you're right. But it's really the only thing I can find that I could call a "con."
STYLING. Now the good news. The styling is spectacular. BMW's new design looks great from the front, amazing from the back, and spectacular from the inside. Perhaps one minor exception is that the navigation/media screen does not feel intrinsic to the dashboard. But the trade-off is worthwhile; the screen is super easy to see and suffers almost no glare at all.
PERFORMANCE. How BMW engineers came up with a 240 hp 4-cylinder engine that gets, in my own experience, about 29 mpg in combined highway and city is beyond me. Once on a 4-hour trip, I averaged 36 mpg on the highway. That's just impressive. And pickup is very strong at just about any rpm, with almost no lag in acceleration, even from a dead stop (the exception to the 328i's great torque/acceleration is the utterly pointless "Eco" mode, which seems to save very little fuel while making the car run as sluggishly as a loaded semi). And the handling is just spectacular. You will be tempted to take highway on-ramps WAY too fast. So much fun.
COMFORT. This is one of the most ergonomically sound cars I've ever ridden in (I have short legs, so I don't know if tall people would agree). The controls are both "naturally" placed and very intuitive to use. I was worried about iDrive after hearing horror stories about the 1st generation, but I absolutely love it, and it took no time at all to get used to the menus.
SUMMARY. I don't get out as much as some drivers, to be sure, but this is the 7th car I've owned, and is by far the best. Reliability has been great so far, but it's only a year old, But if reliability is as good as everything else on this car, then it's going to be around for a while.