EdenPrime Reader
10/28/12 11:21 p.m.

I've been growing more interested in these. They're a fairly small sedan, and their base model i've seen on Cars.com for around 15k. Base model has 230hp and weighs in around 3500lbs for a PTWR of 15.2. Anyone know how they perform, handle, respond to mods?

Irish1 New Reader
10/29/12 6:07 a.m.

Suspension, wheel & tire mods help, but there's no old-fashioned way to bump power. TCKline, Ground Control, etc make great Coilovers, and bumping the wheel up an inch and another 20+ mm helps a lot. They're a tiny bit understeery, but if you match front and rear tire size you can balance that out. Look for a Sports Package one if you don't buy the non Sport Pkg one you're showing. It'll have one inch bigger wheels, MUCH better Sports Seats, a little stiffer springs, nicer steering wheel. Premium package gives you electric seats and electric, Bluetooth, garage door opener: it's a nice option group. They're good sedans, and the 328i doesn't have the worrisome Fuel Pump the Turbos do. It'll last a long time and it's very safe to crash so you could send a kid off to College in it and feel good about it.

In reply to EdenPrime:

Matthew Huizing
Matthew Huizing Reader
10/29/12 6:44 a.m.

The 328i model started in 2007. In 2006 there was a 330i with 255hp and a 325i with 215hp. A sport package equipped 330i is what I would look for.

Bababooey New Reader
10/29/12 8:13 a.m.

I almost bought one of these new back in 08. Irish said all that needs to be said about packages. Keep in mind these are high lease rate cars so most of them will be a base or have only a few options to go with the lease deal. They come very well optioned stock though. Like he said, try to find the sport package if you can. It was I believe a $2500 option that has most likely fully depreciated out so it's "free" now that they're used.

They're the most reliable out of any newer BMW as long as you don't get the 335. I believe the only thing the techs told me to keep an eye on was the cooling system. BMW seems to think radiators and hoses are a maintenance item at ~75k. Bushings also tend to wear out. Aside from that it's probably the most bulletproof kraut cruiser you can buy.

Drive/ride is typical BMW, almost perfect, but you can tell they started to soften them up. Power wasn't neck breaking but more than enough for DDing. I wasn't too impressed with the shifter. It felt clunky. Don't be ashamed of an auto. Maybe the aftermarket has a fix for this? I'm not sure I'd mod a car like this unless it was a major improvement over stock. Maybe open the exhaust/intake up to hear the I6, better pads, slightly stiffer springs, etc.

My unicorn car is a 3 series wagon with the M sport package and stick. I honestly didn't realize they were that cheap and may need to start looking.

SlickDizzy UltraDork
10/29/12 8:45 a.m.

I started looking at these E9x cars when I was looking for an E46. They scare me a bit, to be honest, because the quantity of electrical systems is, like, a magnitude above the E46. I also find the interior design to be a bit odd.

That budget can get you a 128i if you shop carefully.

smokindav Reader
6/11/17 2:40 p.m.

Looking at these as a possible next car in the future, once I tire of the GTI.

What is the deal with brake upgrades? Does a 330i or 328i need upgraded calipers/rotors for track duty?

bludroptop UltraDork
6/11/17 3:31 p.m.

I had a long talk with a trusted BMW indy shop owner about the E9X cars.

I bought the nicest E46 I could find.

The newer BMWs don't seem to 'go the distance'. Dad said 'don't spend more to fix the car than it is worth'. That seems to come a lot sooner once you go beyond the E46/E39 generation.

bmw88rider SuperDork
6/11/17 9:48 p.m.

Wasn't a big fan of mine. I was happy to sell it off. Everything needs "Synced" if you change it. Battery....needs synced. Any module....needs synced. and so on. So be prepared to have the software if you are DYI or spend an additional hour of labor at your local shop for everything.

I put more parts into that car from 20K miles to 80K miles than the rest of my fleet combined for that same time period. I would put that and it's replacement as a solid pass.

lnlds Reader
6/12/17 8:54 a.m.

More power?

If you're hunting for more power the main differences between the 330i (255 hp) and the 328i was the 3-stage intake manifold. That can be retrofitted and then add on a tune to take advantage of it. Depending on your goals and budget, the 328i SULEV came with the manifold stock but slightly lower compression and can be tuned to take advantage of it as well. The 328i has a slightly more aggressive final drive (3.23) vs the 3.15 of the 330i.

Trim seems to wear poorly (steering wheel cover, rear hvac vent, door handles) in my searches.

Tac1 New Reader
3/24/18 3:40 p.m.

How well suited are these for autocross and track duties with just basic mods? 0.5 wider and lighter wheels, sticky tires, pads and a sway bar.

red_stapler Dork
3/24/18 5:33 p.m.
smokindav said:

What is the deal with brake upgrades? Does a 330i or 328i need upgraded calipers/rotors for track duty?

Firsthand experience with my Mk6 and a friend’s 330i suggests they have about the same amount of power.  The *rear* rotors on the E90 dwarf the fronts on the GTI, the e90 fronts are just as big.  A set of pads and good fluid should be all that it needs.

chknhwk Dork
3/28/20 2:38 p.m.

What's the latest on power upgrades on these? I just picked up an '11 328i xDrive and I'd love a little more oomph. I've been looking at intake, cat back and tune but even though I'm piecing out my own exhaust it seems like it's going to be a little cost prohibitive...

chknhwk Dork
4/1/20 6:02 a.m.

Anybody? I know there was a 2011 328i project car a few years ago but it seems like it was short-lived?


Aspen HalfDork
4/1/20 9:42 a.m.

The 3 disa valve intake from the 330  and tune is supposed to get 25+ hp.  You should look for used parts to make it worthwhile.

G_Body_Man UltraDork
4/1/20 4:17 p.m.

DISA manifold and a tune is the way to go. Something like a 35 WHP gain with zero impact on NVH or drivability.

chknhwk Dork
4/1/20 6:44 p.m.

I've been reading about the intake upgrade but that requires some extra parts that get pricy. I'll definitely have to be on the lookout for used parts then. 

I've been eyeing Turner Motorsports' intake and tune combo as well. 

lnlds Reader
4/1/20 9:21 p.m.
chknhwk Dork
4/2/20 8:40 p.m.

In reply to lnlds :

It's an N52 - I'm doing the exhaust more for sound than anything because of the limited returns and need for a little growl...

I'll start focusing on the intake manifold - seems like the biggest bang for the buck. 

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