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Old 11-17-2011, 08:32 AM
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AutoWeek 2012 F30 328i Driving Review

AutoWeek Reviews the 2012 BMW 3 Series Sedan F30

AutoWeek took the all new 2012 BMW 328i for a spin in Spain as part of BMW's first media event for the new 3 series sedan. AutoWeek starts out with a run down on the facts and figures for the new three series, the engine options, size increases over the E90, etc. They then get down to driving, which is the part we're really interested in -

To say that it drives like a 3-series is too easy, and yet, for those familiar with the car's classic dynamics, the sixth-gen 3-series will feel instantly recognizable.

We only had the chance to try out a 328i Sport model, equipped with the optional adaptive M suspension, eight-speed automatic transmission and optional variable steering. It's a compelling package, to be sure, the engine displaying a delightful flexibility, surging up steep mountain passes, inhaling and exhaling around bend after bend and opening up with a blare down long straights, the torque feeding the wheels well past 100 mph. The eight-speed is easy to work, with the optional paddle shifters quickly rowing up and down all those gears, each popping off in surprisingly quick fashion. It was equally a joy to work the 328i out around the Formula One track at Catalunya outside Barcelona, Spain, where the tight corners and elevation changes did a good job of mimicking the mountain passes surrounding the area--although a steady downpour turned the test into more of a slippery handling exercise than anything approaching a top-speed test. The car comports itself brilliantly; the rear-driver is as manageable on and off the throttle as ever. Dive deep into the corner, flick the wheel and feed the gas, and feel the rear end rotate around. Rinse and repeat.
Do I want it? "Who doesn't want a 3-series?" might be a more apt question for enthusiasts. It still sets the standard for sheer driving chops in its segment, and the new turbo four is a nice piece of work, more powerful and efficient than, if not nearly as smooth and refined as, a straight-six. BMW offers as robust a list of standard features as ever and more optional techy goodies than the 3-series has ever known. We're seriously hesitant when it comes to the car's styling, however. When placed next to an Audi or a Mercedes-Benz--even a Volvo--of the same class, the 3-series looks the least elegant, the least put-together of the bunch (especially inside).

Of course, for most 3-series buyers, it's the driving that matters most, and in that regard, the sixth-generation car is as put-together as anything that tries to vie with it.
Read the full review and let us know what you think of AutoWeeks take on the 3 series -
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:51 AM
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I love the look of the new 3 series perhaps even more so than the E46.

It will be a hot seller.
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