Forty years ago the BMW 3 Series redefined the definition of a practical sports car and became the benchmark for a whole new segment, a role that many feel the 3 Series still holds today. The 328, with its powerful and efficient turbocharged engine, agile handling and striking good looks represents driving prestige with a reasonable price tag.

Pricing and Equipment

The 2016 BMW 328i is available as a sedan, sports wagon or convertible. Rear-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is available.

The 328i is powered by a 2-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual transmission is available as a no-cost option in the 328i sedan.

BMW also offers the 328d which uses a 2-liter turbo diesel four-cylinder engine and the eight-speed automatic transmission.

The 2016 BMW 328i is available in seven models:

The nicely equipped base 328i sedan starts at $38,350 and includes SensaTec (high-quality leatherette) upholstery, a nice-sounding audio system, push-button start and much more.

The all-wheel drive 328i xDrive sedan starts at $40,350.

The all-wheel drive top-trim 328i xDrive Gran Turismo sedan starts at $43,300.

The all-wheel drive 328i xDrive is also available as a Sports Wagon, and prices start at $42,650.

Pricing for the diesel-powered 328d sedan starts at $39,850 and all-wheel drive 328d xDrive sedan begins at $41,850.

The diesel powered all-wheel drive 328d xDrive Sports Wagon starts at $44,150.

Package pricing varies, but highlights include:

  • The M Sport Package with an upgraded M branded steering wheel, M Sport suspension, shadowline trim, and an exterior aerodynamic ground effects kit.
  • A Technology Package with remote services, advanced real-time traffic information, navigation, BMW Online and Apps, head-up and an upgraded instrument cluster with extended contents.
  • Harmon Kardon Sound System with a 360-watt amp, five tweeters, five mid-range speakers, and two central bass speakers under the front seats.
  • And a Driver Assistance Package with park distance control and a rearview camera.

Performance Pros

BMW 328 Side

The 328i is powered by a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The engine is quite sufficient for the 328i, providing excellent acceleration (0 to 60 mph zips by in as little as 5.7 seconds) while also providing excellent fuel economy.

  • The 328i rear-wheel drive sedan returns 23 mpg city and 35 mpg. Even the heavier all-wheel drive 328i xDrive Sports Wagon makes 22 mpg city and 34 mpg highway, which represents the worst mileage of all the 328i trim levels.
  • The 328d is powered by a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine that produces 180 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. The diesel engine may not offer quite the kick of the gas-powered counterpart, but the excellent torque propels the 328d to 60 mph in as little as 7.4 seconds. Of course the big news is fuel economy: The 328d earns up to 30 mpg city and 40 mpg.

The BMW 3 Series has earned a legendary status of being one of the best handling cars on the road. The latest version of the model does not fail to disappoint. Whether you opt for the base sedan, sports wagon or diesel variant, handling and braking are superb. Adding options like the M Sport package or the $700 Adaptive M Suspension only makes the driving dynamics even better.

Unlike many manufacturers, the 328i still offers a manual gearbox in at least some of the trim levels. While the eight-speed automatic is truly marvelous, the connectivity that rowing through the gears affords the driver is priceless.

Performance Cons

We don't have many quibbles with 3 Series performance, but we wish the turbocharged engine didn't require premium fuel.

Interior Pros

BMW 328 Interior

The 328 offers excellent interior space. Front-seat passengers and cargo have plenty of room to spread out and get comfortable in the nicely appointed cabin. Those familiar with BMW, even models built before many of us were born, will immediately recognize the essential layout of the 328’s driver-centric cockpit. The formula has remained unchanged for almost 40 years, but has been refined to near perfection.

The available luxury options can escalate the 328’s interior to the point where you start to think of the BMW as more of a pure luxury vehicle verses a sport sedan. With plenty of interior styling options, BMW offers something for every taste and budget.

Interior Cons

Adult rear seat passengers will want a little more room for longer road trips.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

As a former 3 Series owner -- and when I say former I mean 20 years ago -- the BMW 328 is still completely familiar and wonderful from first blush. The interior fits the driver like a glove, power is excellent and you don’t need much seat time to become familiar with the car’s excellent handling dynamics.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

The small rear seat will assuredly keep the 328i Sports Wagon from taking over the entire minivan industry.

The Bottom Line

BMW 328

There is a reason that BMW has held onto its “Ultimate Driving Machine” tag line for so long: it's true. When you add the fact that the 328 also offers excellent fuel economy and utility, especially in the Sport Wagon trims, the vehicle becomes a very compelling option. Those seeking a car that is “sensible” but still want to be able to take the long way home from work, hitting the road with the tight switchback and chicane with a little extra mustard, the BMW 328 just might be the sedan or wagon for you.