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James Flammang
Contributing Editor - August 25, 2016

2017 BMW 328d OVERVIEW

Considering its performance/handling potential, BMW's compact 3 Series has been relatively fuel-efficient with a gasoline engine. Therefore, it’s a sure bet that the designated miser of the 3 Series lineup delivers thrifty fuel economy. Thanks to its turbodiesel engine, the 328d shines as one of the most fuel-efficient luxury cars you can own.

Because of the emission-testing scandal surrounding Volkswagen that erupted during 2015, diesel engines have declined in popularity. BMW halted sales of diesel engines for a time, so their emissions could be fully investigated. In mid-summer of 2016, that investigation drew to a close, and the turbodiesel 328d is fully available for the 2017 model year.

What's New for 2017

Changes are minimal for the 2017 model year. Matte chrome exterior trim is now standard. Venetian Beige upholstery is now available only with black carpeting. Options include Venetian Beige/black SensaTec leatherette, as well as Venetian Beige/black Dakota leather with Dark Oyster highlighting. The available navigation system is updated to BMW’s iDrive 5.0. Wireless charting and a wi-fi hotspot with enhanced USB and Bluetooth now are optional.

Choosing Your BMW 328d

What distinguishes the 328d from its siblings lies under the hood: a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine that produces 180 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the turbodiesel sedan has been estimated at 32 mpg in city driving and 42 mpg on the highway (36 mpg combined). BMW’s 328d is relatively quick-accelerating for a vehicle that’s so fuel-efficient.

The 328d comes in both sedan and sports wagon form, the latter offering cargo space that’s just shy of a compact crossover. All-wheel drive is standard on wagons and optional for the sedan. The xDrive system reduces fuel-efficiency by about 2 mpg, which is why the wagon is estimated at 34 mpg in combined driving. A stop/start function is standard, able to shut off the engine at stoplights to save fuel.

Standard features include power front seats with driver’s memory, 17-inch alloy wheels, auto-dimming mirrors, automatic climate control, HD radio, Bluetooth phone and audio, SensaTec leatherette upholstery, and Anthracite wood interior trim. Leather upholstery is a $1,450 option. The 328d wagon adds a panoramic sunroof.

The 328d sedan is base-priced at $40,945 (including destination charge), while the xDrive version goes for $2,000 more. The 328d wagon stickers for $45,145.

The $2,450 Premium package rounds out the 328d with lumbar-support adjustment up front, keyless access, satellite radio, LED headlights, a hands-free power liftgate or trunk lid, and a sunroof for sedans. The Cold Weather package adds heated seats all around, plus a heated steering wheel. A navigation system comes with the Technology package, which also includes an instrument cluster with extended contents, integrated smartphone apps, real-time traffic information, and a head-up display. The Lighting package provides full LED exterior lighting and automatic high beams. The Luxury package is a no-charge option.

Individual options include an automated parking system, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system, wireless charging, Apple CarPlay compatibility, and rear sunshades. A number of features found in the option packages, such as a sunroof and heated seats, are available on a standalone basis.

The M Sport package for the 328d gets 18-inch star-spoke wheels, a firmer suspension, an aerodynamic body kit, and unique M Sport interior trim. An adaptive suspension costs extra.

Turning to safety, the $950 Driver Assistance package equips the 328d with a rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors. For $1,700, a Driver Assistance Plus version includes substantially more: a surround-view camera system, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, speed limit data, city collision mitigation system, and pedestrian warning. Adaptive cruise control also is available.

CarsDirect Tip

Not all option packages are worth the extra cost. To get a rearview camera, you have to take the Driver Assistance package. On the other hand, the Premium and Driver Assistance Plus packages bring equipment levels closer to what you might expect—or hope for—in this price class.

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