2015 BMW 328d

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2015 BMW 328d
2015 BMW 328d

Key specs

Base trim shown


Body style


Combined MPG


Seating capacity

182.5” x 56.5”


Rear-wheel drive



The good:

  • Robust turbo-four gas engine
  • Smooth inline-six power
  • Handling
  • Strong brakes
  • Sedan's trunk room

The bad:

  • Spring-back turn signal and transmission levers
  • Leather and power seats optional
  • Many luxury features cost extra
  • Hybrid's battery pack reduces trunk space
  • Hybrid's expensive starting price

2 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2015 BMW 328d trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best Sedans for 2023

Notable features

  • Sedan, Sport Wagon and Gran Turismo body styles available
  • Gas, diesel or hybrid drivetrain available
  • RWD or AWD
  • Active cruise control with Stop &amp
  • amp
  • Go feature available

2015 BMW 328d review: Our expert's take

By Joe Wiesenfelder

Editor’s note: This review was written in May 2014 about the 2014 BMW 328d. Little of substance has changed with this year’s model. To see what’s new for 2015, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.

After a hiatus of three model years, a diesel engine has returned to the BMW 3 Series for 2014. The break coincided with the rollout of a new generation of 3 Series cars, which has claimed the sedan and wagon. New versions of the coupe and convertible have also debuted, now under a new 4 Series umbrella.

The 2014 BMW 328d clean-diesel does a great job of delivering both excellent fuel economy and the BMW driving experience, but it sacrifices some in-cabin tranquility.

Efficiency is the best reason for automakers to offer — and consumers to consider — diesel passenger cars, which are now as clean as their gasoline-powered counterparts. BMW is among the primarily German automakers that have marketed diesels in the U.S. in the past, and like the movement as a whole, BMW hasn’t always made the most of it.

An earlier diesel 3 Series that was sold through the 2011 model year, the 335d sedan, got an EPA-estimated 23/36/27 mpg city/highway/combined, which certainly improved on the regular 328i’s 22 mpg combined, but it came nowhere near the new 328d sedan: The 2014 gets an EPA-estimated 32/45/37 mpg with rear-wheel drive. The all-wheel-drive sedan and a wagon (the latter is not available with rear-wheel drive) are rated 31/43/35 mpg.

How It Drives
We tested a 328d wagon and found the experience very close to that of the gas-powered 328i, which won our Luxury Sport Sedan Challenge last year for its combination of acceleration, efficiency, braking, roominess and more. As you might expect from a diesel engine, the 328d is quick off the line, but its overall zero-to-60 mph time of roughly 7.4 seconds turns out to be slower than the 328i, which can do it in less than 6 seconds with the eight-speed automatic transmission. The diesel’s acceleration is closer to that of the entry-level gas-powered 320i sedan, which hits 60 mph in an estimated 7.1 seconds but is rated 9 mpg worse in combined driving.

The 328d shares the 328i’s handling characteristics, too: precise steering with decent but not exceptional feedback, and good dynamics overall. It felt a bit nose-heavy to me, but the specs suggest the “d” and “i” are practically the same, even in overall curb weight. The all-wheel drive has a rear bias, so it’s easy to overcome the slight understeer.

The similarity between the 328i and 328d says as much about the gas version as the diesel. Both have 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines and turbochargers. Even so, in the old days a gas turbo-four of this size would have been a dog, but thanks to direct injection and the eight-speed automatic, the 328i is sprightly off the line, with no consequential turbo lag. Its horsepower rating is 240 hp versus the diesel’s 180 hp, and its torque peak is 255 pounds-feet versus the diesel’s 280 pounds-feet.

Frankly, the gas drivetrain’s performance and respectable 35 mpg combined (in the wagon) take away some of the diesel variant’s advantage in drivability and efficiency. The days when diesel fuel was cheaper than regular gas seem to be gone for good, but bear in mind that the alternative for the 3 Series, as in most luxury models, is premium gasoline, not regular. As I write this, the national average cost of diesel fuel is $3.98 and premium gas is $4.05 per gallon. For motorists who want higher efficiency, not unlike a hybrid’s, but without the associated awkward acceleration and braking, diesel is a good alternative, especially for those who do a lot of highway driving. First off, diesels excel at highway speeds, where most hybrids are less efficient, and their range on a tank of fuel is impressive. Also, there are plenty of diesel filling stations on interstates because that’s where the trucks are.

To that end, note one drawback I’ve encountered as the owner of an old diesel sedan: If a true truck stop is your only option, sometimes you have to wait for a tractor-trailer whose large fuel tanks take longer to fill. You might also discover that diesel fuel tends to linger, on the ground and sometimes on a fuel-pump nozzle. Unlike gasoline, which evaporates, diesel is a light oil. If a previous driver overfills and spills, you can easily get the fuel on your hands or shoes and track it into the car, where it can remain on the floor mats — along with its distinctive odor. I keep disposable nitrile mechanic’s gloves in my car (in the glove box, appropriately) for fueling just in case. I haven’t resorted to shoe covering, however. There are limits … .

Again, the 328d’s interior is essentially the same as the gas-powered version’s, offering Luxury Line, Sport Line and M Sport Line trim levels, in the form of option packages. Of the various choices, I found only the base trim level’s interior treatment underwhelming.

One difference between the gas and diesel models — and a big one — is the noise level. Make no mistake: Today’s clean diesels are quieter than old ones were, along with being smokeless and nearly odorless, but they sound different (and typically still louder) than comparable gas-powered engines. That doesn’t mean the engine noise has to be heard inside the car. In the 328d, it is. A lot. It surprised each of our editors who drove the car. Ironically, the 328i gas engine at idle sounds a little like a diesel, and you occasionally hear that inside, but the actual diesel is also audible when accelerating and even when cruising. Each driver will have to determine if it’s too loud, but our suspicion is the average luxury buyer, one who’s trying to decide between the gas and diesel versions, won’t go for this.

In my review of the redesigned 328i and 335i (see it here) I noted how dreadfully intrusive both cars’ automatic stop/start feature was. Diesel engines have higher compression ratios that make them shake more when you start and stop them; I’ve experienced a robust shake when turning off clean-diesel versions of Volkswagens and even Mercedes-Benz. I had low expectations when I experienced my first-ever diesel stop/start feature in the 328d, but was surprised to find it no worse than the gas versions. Unfortunately, this again says as much about the gas versions as the diesel. BMW kindly puts the defeat button for this feature immediately above the start button so you can habitually disable it if you please.

Though it’s almost 4 inches shorter than the sedan from bumper to bumper and has 2 inches less wheelbase, the wagon’s interior dimensions and amenities are essentially the same as the sedan’s, including backseat legroom. Fortunately, the 3 Series also has generous headroom to start, because the panoramic moonroof, which is standard on the wagon, diminishes front-seat headroom by about 2 inches. Even with the moonroof, rear headroom remains better than the sedan’s by a few tenths of an inch.

Ergonomics & Electronics
The stereo and ventilation controls that are relegated to buttons on the dashboard are blissfully simply arrayed. Many other features are incorporated into the iDrive system and its dashtop display. The learning curve is a bit steep, but once you get the hang of it, this system isn’t bad. Though I prefer touch-screens, BMW does a good job of positioning the controller where it’s easily reached on the center console, and the display is up high, close to the driver’s line of sight.

I’ve met BMW and Mini owners who are enthusiastic about the SiriusXM satellite radio interface, mainly because it shows what’s playing on stations you’re not listening to. It reduces channel-hopping … or does it promote it?

This latest iDrive iteration incorporates a touch-pad atop the multifunction controller knob that lets you draw letters and numbers with your finger, which the computer recognizes and confirms visually and audibly. It’s another way to enter, say, an address for the navigation system. Pretty neat. I found it to be faster than rotating the knob to select characters from the alphabet. I question how valuable the touch-pad interface will prove to be over time, however. In my experience, once people “get over” their car’s nifty technology, such as voice-recognition, they stop using it and revert to conventional buttons, dials, touch-screens or what-have-they.

BMW offers an optional head-up display that presents a variety of helpful information, including speed, on the windshield, but unfortunately it becomes virtually invisible if you wear polarized sunglasses — a common problem with this technology, though some brands have solved it.

Cargo & Storage
With 13 cubic feet of cargo volume, the 3 Series sedan has one of the most accommodating trunks in its class. With the exception of the 320i, a 40/20/40-split folding backseat is standard. The wagon adds all the advantages of a hatchback. I and my colleagues are big fans of wagons (see Papa Dave’s examination of the 328d here), and in this we clearly stand apart from most American consumers, who prefer something that looks like an SUV even if a wagon matches it in interior volume, capabilities and everything else. BMW was among the first to determine this when its first SUV, the X5, outsold the 5 Series wagon 30 to 1 in the U.S. The company has since followed by rolling out the X3 and X1 SUVs — the latter of which has just 3 cubic feet more maximum cargo volume than the 3 Series wagon, which comes in at 53 cubic feet. (See the wagon’s specs side-by-side with the X1 and X3 here.)

The main differences between the wagon and an SUV include the wagon’s lower load height, which some will view as an advantage and some a disadvantage. The cargo area itself is also shorter from floor to ceiling than you’ll find in the SUV body style. Otherwise, our wagon had the same kind of power liftgate and versatile 40/20/40-split folding backseat you find in SUVs, and even a retractable net that can span between the seatback and ceiling to cordon off the cargo area from the occupants. However, I admit my wagon advocacy loses steam when you compare its price against that of the X1 and X3, which I’ll do below.

In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the 3 Series earned the best score, good, in all tests except the new small-overlap frontal crash, where it earned a rating of marginal. Though disappointing, the marginal score in this test is shared by three other 2014 models in the BMW’s class. One model had a rating of poor, two got the rating of acceptable and three were rated good (as of publication).

A backup camera comes in the optional Driver Assistance Package. Additional safety features include blind spot detection, lane departure warning, side/top-view cameras and proximity sensors, plus low-speed forward collision warning, which come in a Driver Assistance Plus option package.

The BMW Assist mobile accident-notification system is standard in the 3 Series. See a list of the standard safety features here.

Value in Its Class
Value, especially among luxury products, is often in the eye of the beholder — or, in this case, the driver. Though it isn’t bargain-priced, we concluded that the 328i sedan in our Challenge was indeed a value because of its strong overall performance and amenities. The diesel engine adds another level of value in ownership costs thanks to its high mileage and a minimal difference between diesel fuel and premium gas pricing. Our 328d wagon consistently got between 32 and 35 mpg in combined driving.

The upfront cost, however, is greater: At $39,525 to start (all prices include destination charges), the 328d rear-drive sedan is only $1,300 more than the gas-powered 328i, but a substantial $5,850 more than the 320i. If you want an eco-friendly car and need to be convinced the 328d is worth the extra cash, look no further than BMW’s own ActiveHybrid3 — the hybrid version of the 3 Series sedan. It starts at $50,825 and gets an EPA-estimated 25/33/28 mpg. If there’s a point to this model, apart from making the diesel look like a bargain, I just don’t see it.

Other competitors are few. Though Audi has spoken of a TDI clean-diesel version of the 3 Series’ rival, the A4, one has yet to materialize in the U.S. market. Acura ILX hybrid? Too cheap. Infiniti Q50 hybrid? More expensive and less efficient. At $40,410, the Lexus ES300h hybrid is at least priced close to the 328d and gets an estimated 40/39/40 mpg, but its driving experience — as a hybrid and a front-wheel-drive Lexus — is entirely different. If you don’t mind the engine noise, the 328d seems the best choice.

As for the wagon, I wish I could report more advantages. To start, the wagon adds $2,350 to the cost of the 328d sedan with all-wheel drive. One could argue it’s worth the difference, but if you want a BMW with a liftgate rather than a trunk, the X1 starts $8,850 less than the 3 Series wagon and the X3 is $1,650 less. In the world in which I want to live, there’s a penalty — not a discount — for image weenies who don’t want to be seen in a “station wagon.” In the real world, the weenies are winning.

Send Joe an email  

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.4
  • Interior design 4.6
  • Performance 4.5
  • Value for the money 4.5
  • Exterior styling 4.9
  • Reliability 5.0

Most recent consumer reviews


Best Economy Car No One Knows About

I purchased the 328d used, which is the reason for the high Value for the Money rating. Buying it new would be a poor rating. I purchased the this vehicle due to my long commute (135 miles per day). It had 50k miles and was 3 years old at the time I purchased it, now has 132k. The cost was less than 1/2 of the original MSRP. This is a very comfortable and stylish vehicle that has excellent performance. The 8 speed transmission is always in the right gear. It is really hard to describe how effortlessly the car moves, with the 4 cyl, turbo diesel. It is not a race car, but it is so balanced between quickness, handling, braking, ride quality, and of course fuel economy. As far as mpg, mid 40s is typical. I’ve have a few tanks that were over 50, and none less than 40. I just completed a one day trip of 1300 miles, and the vehicle returned 48.1 mpg, and that was at an average speed of 75 mph. The cruise speed was set at 81, nearly the entire drive. I’ve owned an excellent Lexus CT200 hybrid, but the driving characteristics are nowhere close to the BMW. It’s too bad BMW has stopped making this car. Look for a used one, you will be very impressed with this vehicle as a daily driver.


Extremely regret

I leased a 2015 BMW 328d wagon few years ago. I owned Audis and Infinitis before, so I am not new to this class. The BMW is ABSOLUTELY the WORST car I have bought or leased in my life, regret so much ! The car is just a "ultimate driving machine" (they are not lying), but NOTHING MORE ! The ride quality is absolutely garbage ! Feels like no damping at all, extremely bumpy! When it goes over the water draining pit, it sounds like "bang bang" and send me a great shock! Seems like the car is jacked up in the air and bounces back to the ground. Extremely ridiculous ! In addition, everything is so user unfriendly. MP3 player plays the same folder again and again, will not jump to the second folder automatically. When I use bluetooth to connect to internet radio, it can only be connected around 30% chance, the other 70% chance just no sound at all, no idea what is happening ! I tried 3 Android phones but still the same. The so-called leather steering wheel is harder than hard plastic ! The driver seat adjustment range is not big enough, the seats cannot be adjusted to very high seating position. Central door lock will NOT automatically unlock when the driver door is opened from inside, and there is no setting for this (but there is an option for driver door opening from outside in i-Drive, strange ?), and the central door lock button is on the center of the dashboard, not on the door. There is no height adjustment for seat belt (it is a $50k car, not a $15k car !). The knuckle is far too low, scratching the seats by itself (fortunately the repair is covered by warranty). The memory seat buttons are on the edge of the seat, not in the door panel (like most other cars). The air cond left-right independent temperature controls are always independent, unlike most cars which have "sync" button. The amber gauges looks like a design from 90s, twenty years behind others. However, the service of the dealer is great ! And it covers all scheduled maintenance for 4 years with no cost. The dealer asked me to lease another BMW again, I said this is my first and last, no more. And I immediate returned it after the lease was finished. Although the handling is quite good, it does not feel like a $50k car at all. The ride quality and the design make you feel like you are driving a $15k car. I write this review just because I hope BMW can improve. It is a car with good handling capabilities, but other things just too ridiculous.


Driving Experience is Mind Blowing

Everyone knows BMW's perfection in design and mechanical prowess, but I love my BMW for its effect it has on my mental well being. It's a treat everyday to enter my vehicle and enjoy luxury, speed, agility and power. I'm on Cloud 9 even driving to mundane destinations. Happy to be a BMW owner.

See all 10 consumer reviews


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by BMW
New car program benefits
48 months/50,000 miles
144 months/unlimited distance
48 months/50,000 miles
48 months/50,000 miles
Roadside assistance
48 months/unlimited distance
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Certified Pre-Owned Elite with less than 15,000 miles; Certified Pre-Owned with less than 60,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
1 year/unlimited miles from expiration of 4-year/50,000-mile new car warranty
Dealer certification required
196-point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

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