“Never have we approached the first drive of a new 3 series with more trepidation.” The sixth generation of BMW’s hallowed sports sedan has grown slightly larger, and the baseline 328i swaps out the venerable six-cylinder engine for a more efficient four. But in today’s world, comfort and fuel economy can’t be slighted, and BMW has “done what it must do to stay on top.” Only the mildly dull feel of the new electric steering disheartens us. The new 3 series is “as nimble and agile” as ever.
Car and Driver
At least it’s the right sports sedan for “the More Generation.” To us, “the cornering response isn’t quite as crisp” in the 2012, but that’s forgivable. BMW has packed “a rich menu of gimmicks and gadgets” into the roomier, plusher new cabin, and fuel economy has been goosed to 36 mpg highway without sacrificing vitality. The new twin-scroll engine delivers “what might be a world record for vigor per gallon.”
Buyers do get a choice. Purists can opt for the old in-line six cylinder by stepping up to the new 335i, which shares the wider, more aerodynamic look of its brother, including the “furrowed eyebrow” headlamps. Maybe we’ve entered a future in which “hyperefficiency,” style, and dynamic ability can “live in perfect harmony.”