2013 BMW 328i xDrive Sedan new car reviews

BMW's newest 3 series looks as good as it drives.
The car's basic shape remains the same, but subtle tweaks are everywhere.

Better than: Volvo S60
But not as good as: 2013 BMW M3
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 83.38

We recently spent a week in what could be BMW's most innovative 3 series in years. This 2013 BMW 328i xDrive Sedan might not have a catchy name, but it does have a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, an 8-speed automatic, and all-wheel-drive. We quickly found the BMW to be an awesome car for a road trip. In fact, we racked up nearly 1500 miles in only a few days.

But as any GRM reader will tell you, BMWs belong on track. So we took it to Monticello Motor Club and ran the challenging track in the rain. We were blown away by how capable this 3600-pound monster of a 3-series is, as well as by how much fun Monticello's track is.

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Other staff views

Tom Suddard Tom Suddard
Associate Editor

Wow, was I blown away by BMW's newest 3 series. So before I go any further, let me say this–this is not an E30 BMW and it never will be. This is more like a 5 series in size and weight, but that's okay in my opinion. The car's extra weight and complexity means it is more of a highway cruiser than a track car, and it isn't that bad of a track car.

The standout feature is the new turbocharged 4 cylinder engine, which is remarkable because it doesn't feel like a turbo 4. In fact, it has the same signature feel BMW's legendary 6s have. Basically, it provides the feel of a BMW with the mileage and modification potential of a Subaru WRX. I'm real excited to see what the aftermarket does with this platform.

Also remarkable is BMW's xDrive system, which hides a lot of the weight and makes this an easy car to drive at the limit. Wheelspin wasn't possible, and neither was oversteer thanks to BMW's stability control system.

The only downsides are the price (our test car stickered at over $50,00) and the lack of a manual transmission with the xDrive option. BMW's 8-speed automatic might achieve impressive mileage, but it is too slow for track work. That said, for a daily driver this is the perfect car.

Tim Suddard Tim Suddard
Publisher

Despite what some critics are saying, the new 2.0 liter turbo charged cars from BMW are a revelation. I have driven this drivetrain in the Z4, the F30 3-series, and even the 5-series. Ultimate power, smoothness and overall engine manners are easily up to BMW’s legendary six cylinder power plants. This, combined with fuel mileage approaching and even sometimes exceeding the 30 mpg mark, make this new drivetrain (and the new 3 series) a very, very compelling ride.

Add to that superior styling and improved back seat room over earlier models and the argument for these cars gets even better. Some have criticized the electronic steering, but I barely noticed it. Having owned E30, E36, E46, and E93 3-series BMWs, I feel qualified to say BMW has another winner. When I shop for a new car later this year, I will start with the new F30, and compare others against this able successor to the legend.

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Comments

View comments on the GRM forums
Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter PowerDork
6/5/13 3:29 p.m.

I had a loaner for a day or two and have to disagree. I was completely underwhelmed. I thought the 4 was pretty agricultural compared to the inline six, or even today's better four-cylinders. Also, the auto-shutoff feature was annoying, and the interior bits were disappointing for a 50k car. I'll just keep my E92, thank you.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

We recently spent a week in what could be BMW's most innovative 3 series in years. This 2013 BMW 328i xDrive Sedan might not have a catchy name, but it does have a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, an 8-speed automatic, and all-wheel-drive. We quickly found the BMW to be an awesome car for a road trip. In fact, we racked up nearly 1500 miles in only a few days.

But as any GRM reader will tell you, BMWs belong on track. So we took it to Monticello Motor Club and ran the challenging track in the rain. We were blown away by how capable this 3600-pound monster of a 3-series is, as well as by how much fun Monticello's track is.

Like what you read here? You can get a whole magazine full of these types of articles delivered to your home or shop 8 times a year. Subscribe now or visit the Grassroots Motorsports online store for back issues.
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