For decades now, the BMW 3 Series has set the industry standard in its premium compact segment. A change in nomenclature means that coupes and convertibles are now known as 4 Series cars. That leaves a 3 Series lineup of sedans and wagons.
The BMW 3 Series is the industry benchmark for the luxury standard. The 2014 BMW 328i is available as a sedan, while U.S. production ceases this year on the convertible and coupe. It’s also offered as a diesel variant, wagon and as a Gran Turismo vehicle.
What's New for 2014
A sport leather steering wheel, BMW Assist eCall and BMW TeleServices features are now standard. xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive is available on the 328i.
Choosing Your BMW 328
Buyers of the 328 get a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine as standard equipment. It produces 240 horsepower and an EPA rating of 22 mpg city and 34 mpg highway for the manual transmission; those numbers gain 1 mpg each with an automatic.
True to BMW tradition, the list of standard equipment isn't generous. It includes automatic stop-start, halogen high and low-beam headlights, eight-way power front seats, a 6.5 color flat screen, a USB connection and automatic climate control.
Standalone options include sport brakes, sport transmission with shift paddles, a moonroof, rear window shades, heated front seats and active cruise control.
The first step in building a 328 is choosing a body style and drive type:
You will then select one of three themes:
Luxury Line: Wood trim, 18-inch wheels and leather stitching are standard. An optional luxury package includes lumbar support, satellite radio, a moonroof and keyless entry.
M Sport: This performance-minded trim comes standard with sport suspension, an aerodynamic package, sport seats, an M steering wheel and 18-inch star spoke wheels.
Sport Line: Standard features include the M steering wheel, sport seats, black door mirror caps, and several gloss trim variations.
Finally, it's time to select from an array of option groups including:
- Cold Weather Package: Heated front seats, heated steering wheel, retractable headlight washers and heated rear seats.
- Driver Assistance Package: Park distance control and a rear view camera.
- Driver Assistance Plus: Active driving assistant, speed limit information, blind spot detection, and side and top cameras.
- Dynamic Handling Package: Variable sport steering and adaptive M suspension.
- Lighting Package: Adaptive light control and xenon headlights.
- Premium Package: Lumbar support, satellite radio, keyless entry and moonroof.
- Technology Package: USB and smart phone integration, BMW apps, real-time traffic, navigation with touchscreen, and a head-up display.
As with any BMW purchase, an option package here and an option package there can send an MSRP into the stratosphere. Unless your budget is unlimited, we advise moderation and restraint.