February 24, 2017, 9:19 pm
Originally Posted by Kafkaesque328
What year 328i did CR originally review?
Their first F30 328i written review is in the August 2012 edition:
The BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class sport sedans make up one of the auto world's great rivalries. And the results of this latest face-off couldn't be closer. Redesigned for 2012, the BMW 328i (far right) beat out the updated Mercedes C250 by only one point in our road-test scores: 86 vs. 85. Both are improved over the previous models we tested, but they still score below the Infiniti G37 in this category.
The 328i is quicker, handles better, and is more fun to drive than the Mercedes. And we recorded an impressive 28 mpg overall, easily the best fuel economy in the class. But the C250 is quieter and provides a more refined powertrain and simpler controls. Prices are $43,195 for the 328i and $40,705 for the C250. Since we don't yet have reliability data on this redesigned BMW or the Mercedes' new engine, we can't recommend either car.
Performance vs. refinement
The turbocharged 2.0-liter engine gets a class-leading 28 mpg overall.
The 328i's 240-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine and seamless eight-speed automatic transmission deliver impressive acceleration, but the engine emits a diesel-like clatter, especially at idle and low speeds. And the electronic shifter isn't intuitive. A new stop/start system, similar to that used in hybrids, cuts off the engine when the car comes to a stop and automatically restarts it when the driver lifts his foot off the brake pedal. This saves about 1 mpg in city driving, but the car shuddered each time the engine restarted. The system can be easily disengaged.
The C250's 201-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine, which is new for 2012, is mated to a slick seven-speed automatic. It's not as powerful as the 328i's and managed only 24 mpg, but it's the smoothest and most refined four-cylinder we've ever tested. Both cars require premium fuel.
Each car provides taut, agile handling, with little body lean and high cornering limits. Steering is well weighted and responsive in both, but the BMW's is less communicative than in the previous model. Both were impressive on our track, but the BMW really shines.
Expect a composed, quiet ride in either car, with the C250's cabin especially hushed. Both cars have a commendably absorbent ride that is rock steady on the highway.
A dual-panel sunroof brightens up the cabin.
As you would expect at this price, the cars have high-quality, well-equipped cabins. Our 328i's seats are plush leather, while the C250 uses a respectable imitation. The seats in both are firmly padded and supportive, with multiple power adjustments.
While the Mercedes has a slight edge in front-seat comfort, its rear seat is tight for adults. Two can fit comfortably in the 328i's improved rear.
Controls are complicated in both cars, but notably worse in the 328i. It has handy hard keys for some radio and climate functions, but you still have to use a multifunction controller to call up menus for many audio controls, which can be distracting. The C250 also has hard keys for some functions, but you have to pick through onscreen menus for some audio and navigation features.
The trunks are moderately sized, and folding the optional split rear seatbacks makes more cargo space."
CR recorded a 0-60 time of 6.3 seconds with the 2012 328i. This is 0.6 seconds faster than their recently tested 2017 330i.