2012 BMW 328 iView Vehicle Profile
2012 BMW 328i Sport a Jekyll and Hyde ride
With four power settings, 328i is like three cars in one: an energy-efficient green car, a smooth-riding cruiser or a sporty dragon-slayer.
BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, or Bavarian Motor Works in English.
When I think of Bavaria, I think of snow-capped Alps and castles. Since driving to the Alps wasn’t an option, Milady Cherie and I sought out local castles across Ontario in our noble steed, BMW’s $43,600 328i Sport.
Casa Loma has been done. And Castle Frank’s austere décor and oversized model trains running through the basement were off-putting, but we discovered a few other options once we left Toronto.
With 240 hp and 255 lb.-ft. of torque available from the turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four, the 328i would get us from castle to castle quickly and efficiently.
The new eight-speed transmission is really slick and, even though BMW’s paddle shifters work very well, there’s no way the driver can match the smoothness or speed of the full auto, especially in sport or sport-plus modes.
With its four driver-selectable power modes, the 328i is a true Jekyll and Hyde vehicle. In “eco,” acceleration seems leisurely as the transmission quickly shifts into a high gear to save fuel, while “comfort” is a good compromise for power and handling. Initially, the suspension feels a bit soft and floaty, but there’s enough damping for fairly aggressive cornering.
Select “sport” and everything tightens up. You feel the suspension get more taut and controlled, the engine seems to gain a cylinder, the shifts get crisper and the transmission holds onto each gear a little bit longer.
In “sport plus,” it’s full yahoo time. You get lag-free, total turbo boost, the suspension settings are ideal for strafing the Nurburgring, and the transmission goes right to the rev limiter before shifting. BMW claims zero to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds and my seat-of-the-pants dyno would concur.
We set the intuitive, easy-to-use Nav system for downtown Hamilton, where, after a wonderful lunch in a small Italian bistro, we headed for Dundurn Castle, only to discover that it’s closed Mondays. A pox on them.
Dundurn isn’t really a castle (where is the moat?). It’s a 40-room, Regency-style villa built in 1835 for Sir Allan McNabb, a lawyer, railway magnate and premier of the United Canadas from 1854 to 1856.
We then headed over to Baden (west of Kitchener) and Castle Kilbride — again, not really a castle, but a Victorian mansion built by 19th-century linseed oil baron, James Livingstone. We had an interesting tour, discovering many fascinating facts about both the Livingstone family and the history of the area, courtesy of our guide, Kelly.
Many of the interior walls have stunning murals painted in a style from the Italian Renaissance called trompe-l’oeil, or “deceive the eye.” This technique gives the illusion that painted objects are three-dimensional. One wall displays several floor stands with vases full of flowers that look as if you could just reach out and pick them up.
Most of the furnishings were auctioned off when the house, er castle, was sold but generous benefactors returned many of the objects when Wilmot Township renovated the place back to its former glory.
Next stop: Stratford, where 34C proved too hot to explore on foot. So we drove by the city hall, which looks more like a castle than anything we’d seen so far.
Even with the air conditioning set to frigid and judicious use of the “sport” setting, the first tank of 91 octane returned 8.9 L/100 km.
While covering many un-named back roads northwest of Kitchener, looking for a rumoured “Stone Castle,” I really appreciated the BMW’s wonderful handling. Steering is light, quick and direct, and the multi-adjustable leather seats were a fine place to spend a day.
I wanted a photo of the car at Punkeydoodles Corners but, sadly, there was nothing identifying the oddly named spot. It’s likely that souvenir-hunting knaves keep liberating the signs.
Suddenly, a for-real stone castle appeared in the distance, although, as we got closer, it looked more like someone had built a medieval turret over a farm silo. It was actually pretty cool and I half expected Rapunzel to throw her golden locks over the parapet.
Our crusade completed, we took back roads to avoid driving across Toronto at rush hour on a blisteringly hot day. It was a good choice, as we arrived home refreshed and calm, rather than stressed and homicidal. Surprisingly, over 375 kilometers in Eco mode, the 328i returned an amazing 6.9 L/100 km.
Although our 328i was priced at a codpiece or two below $51,000, you really get three cars in one.
In green mode, you have a luxurious, four-seater fortress that’s incredibly fuel-efficient. In comfort mode, it’s a capable sport sedan. And when you dial in sport or sport-plus, it’s a true dragon-slayer that will raise the hair on the back of your neck while causing fair maidens to swoon with delight.
2012 BMW 328i Sport Sedan
PRICE: base, $43,600; as tested, $51,000
ENGINE: 2.0 L, turbo inline four
FUEL CONSUMPTION L/100 km: 6.9 in eco mode, 8.9 in sport mode
POWER/TOURQUE: 240 hp, 255 lb.-ft.
COMPETITION: Cadillac CTS, Lexus IS250, Mercedes C Class, Volvo S60, Audi A4
WHAT’S BEST: Power, handling, comfort, fuel economy.
WHAT’S WORST: Door handles must be pulled twice to open.
WHAT’S INTERESTING: 6.9 L/100 km in eco mode.
Used BMW 328 All Used Vehicles
Become a member
Register now to access all features including:
- Save and ask friends to review vehicles
- Exclusive rebates & offers from local dealers
- Premium content, reviews and tools
All for free!
Already a member?
Registration 2 of 2
Welcome to Wheels!
As a final step we've sent a confirmation to your email address as a security measure. Please click the link in the email to complete your registration.
Terms of services
DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, TORONTO STAR IS PROVIDING THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES ON AN "AS IS" AND â€œAS AVAILABLEâ€ BASIS AND MAKES NO WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, IN ANY CONNECTION WITH THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES, THEIR CONTENTS, OR ANY WEB SITE OR CONTENTS WITH WHICH IT IS LINKED. TORONTO STAR DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE FUNCTION OF THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES OR THEIR CONTENTS WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR FREE, THAT DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED, OR THAT THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES OR THE SERVERS THAT MAKE IT AVAILABLE ARE FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS.
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE, SHALL TORONTO STAR BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OF USE, LOSS OF DATA, LOSS OF INCOME OR PROFIT, LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY, OR FOR ANY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND OR CHARACTER (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY COMPENSATORY, INCIDENTAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES), EVEN IF TORONTO STAR HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES OR LOSSES, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OF THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES, THEIR CONTENTS, OR ANY WEBSITE OR CONTENTS WITH WHICH IT IS LINKED. IN NO EVENT SHALL TORONTO STARâ€™S TOTAL LIABILITY FOR ALL DAMAGES, LOSSES, AND CAUSES OF ACTION, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE), OR OTHERWISE, EXCEED THE AMOUNT PAID BY YOU FOR ACCESSING THIS SITE.X