Up: Lots of modes, fun to drive, looks good in black
Down: Back seat comfort leaves something to be desired
Neutral: The 328i is definitely a solid base to the “Ultimate Driving Machine”
Plagued as the business man’s sedan, BMW‘s have always had a cocky air about them. I’m here to say that this 2013 BMW 328i justified the stereotype but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Sitting down in the leather seats, I took a minute to analyze the multiple screens and gauges present in the new Beemer. Trent Bartels, our BMW sales rep at Luxury Auto Mall, showed us around the many features and settings of the car. I cycled through the various control settings, driving modes, navigation screen, coffee brew, etc.
This model is the 328i and has the new 2.0 liter inline 4 pumping out 240 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque thanks to a twin scroll turbo. This was all rendered through an 8-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission with 3 settings: Eco Pro, Comfort, and Sport. The car sat on four 17″ rims wrapped in a set of run-flat tires.
Starting in Comfort Mode, a steady balance of economical and sporty power access, I pulled out of the lot and right onto the highway. With just a little gas I was able to feel the turbos make sense of the 3-6k rpm range. Still, once we hit speed on the highway, the road noise was mostly negligible and changing lanes was quick, simple and, well, comfortable.
Next, I pulled off the highway and switched the car into Eco Pro mode. BMW claims a fuel savings of up to 20% more in this mode and I believe this. Instantly, the pedal gained significant play and the steering loosened as well. It took great coaxing to get the car to pick up and run all in an effort to promote better fuel savings. In this setting, BMW claims an estimated 34+ mpg on the highway.
When I got to the last stretch of enticing, curvy road, I switched over to Sport Mode. Sport Mode made driving this car way more fun. Steering was sharp, weighted, and to the point. Despite feeling a little large for a car, I was easily able to angle the hood into the apex of the turns without feeling an ounce of shift at the wheels. Flat, smooth, and most importantly, fun, are the best ways to describe the Sport Mode.
My lasting impression was that this car was really nice to drive. There were a plethora of trims and colors available as well. I can definitely see why the stereotypical businessman would use this as their daily driver. They may have a rep for being cocky and arrogant but when it comes to cars, they seem to have it figured out.