Published on December 26th, 2018 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
A Used 2012 BMW 328i Could be the Sedan Right for your Budget
The BMW 3 Series is an iconic model when it comes to small premium sedans. From the glory days of the E30 till now, the 3 series has only been getting better with every new generation and this is why we are looking at a used 2012 model here as its asking price today after 6 years on the road makes it hard to resist.
Exterior wise, the F30 is a bigger car than the outgoing model. It is not only wider, but comes with a wheelbase that is 50mm longer than the E90 as well. Despite the growth in size, the F30 is 40kg lighter, and in fact, looks less bulky than its predecessor. Adding character to the 328i Sport which we drove is 18-inch double five-spoke alloy wheels.
Interior wise, the F30 came with an updated dashboard. In the 328i, the red line running across the dashboard gives the car a sporty touch.
The centre console was also been redesigned to look more stylish and more driver oriented. Also at the time a standard feature in the 328i was a full colour Head Up Display. However, the information cluster layout, seats, and door panel design were the same as the outgoing model. Thanks to the longer wheelbase, there was slightly more legroom in the F30’s rear seats. Comfort level, attention to detail, NVH level, and ergonomics were top notch as usual. Luggage space was at 480 litres. In terms of features, the main highlight is BMW’s ConnectedDrive technology, which pretty much gives the driver all the information she or he needed, from entertainment to the vehicle information was class best at the time.
Under the hood sits a road tax friendly 2.0 litre twin scroll turbocharged engine that produces 245hp, mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission. With all 345Nm of torque served on a silver platter from 1,250 rpm itself, the way this car accelerates brings pure joy. Along the new BMW engine, there are four different driving modes to choose from – Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport and Sport+. Stiffness level, steering response and throttle response varies according to the driving mode. The Eco Pro mode is basically a tree-hugger mode, where fuel efficiency is the utmost priority for the car. The setback about this mode is that it holds the car’s performance back to a certain extent. Although the car performs well under this mode, we didn’t realise how much fun we were lacking until we switched to Sports mode.
Despite being bigger, the F30’s level of responsiveness and agility outshines the E90. It is so nimble that it actually feels like smaller car. Compared with the E46’s ride it will feel a bit too soft and the E90 which was a bit too stiff, the F30’s ride and handling is all well maintained should be spot-on
If the engine and gearbox has not be abused by earlier owners, the 328i should still deliver all the cornering power of the 3-series of yesteryears. There is nearly perfect 50-50 weight distribution from front to back and a nicely engineered suspension system that not only was fun on the highways but also comfy on curvy roads. In a nutshell, rivals like the Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class might be better in terms of luxury and class, but the F30 gets the cake when it comes to sportiness and performance.
Now comes the issue of finding a decent un-abused unit for sale…..many in the used car market…..and many with ‘rough’ owners who are selling now after its warranty has ended and the surprise of running costs have hit them. This is mostly due to previous owners who never looked after their Bimmer and instead just drove them hard and allowed their strong warranty to keep their cars running well.
Take your time to find the right one and you will not regret your purchase.
Specifications BMW 328i Sports Line
Engine: 2.0L TwinPower Turbo
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Max power: 245hp at 5,000 to 6,500rpm
Max torque: 345Nm at 1,250 – 4,800rpm
Top Speed: 250km/h
0-100km/h: 8.1 secs
Price: New RM309,800…Used From RM88,000