All photos by BMW
BMW has been pulling in big sales from their 3 series design for many years, and with the targeted changes to the 2011 BMW 328i Sedan it appears the sales will keep on coming. After test driving a 2011 BMW 328i Sedan SULEV for a week we can understand why this car is one of the hottest entry level luxury vehicles on the road
The BMW 3-series is like a family of rockstars that keep coming out with new hits. The 2011 BMW 328i Sedan SULEV we drove was crimson red with the sport package, which included 17-inch alloy star spoked wheels, halogen high and low beam headlights, corona headlight rings, chrome plated exhaust tips and halogen freeform front foglights. The muscular body of the 328i hasn't changed a whole lot in the past few years. I guess when something looks fresh and also exudes confidence, why go overboard on the changes?
The interior of the 2011 BMW 328i Sedan SULEV is well thought out with a classic look and feel. The sport seats were beige dakota leather and fitting for a more expensive sports sedan than the 328i. The 3-spoke, leather-wrapped, multi-function steering wheel was the center of attention while driving but the dark burl walnut trim also stood out in the cabin of this stylish sedan. Some of the notable features in the interior of our test model were a service interval indicator with miles to service read out, engine start/stop button, automatic climate control, on board computer with Check Control vehicle monitor system, AM/FM stereo CD/MPS player audio system with HD radio and auxiliary audio input for portable music players. The cabin of the 328 isn't that much different from the 335 we drove recently; both cars are well thought out with a great mixture of sports and luxury. Trunk space is sufficient but not huge - not something that will turn away potential buyers.
Expectations are always high when you step inside a BMW and the 2011 BMW 328i Sedan SULEV certainly did not disappoint. The manual 6-speed combined with a 3.0-liter 230 horsepower, DOHC inline 24-valve 6-cylinder engine produced both power and efficiency. BMW dropped a magnesium/aluminum engine block in the 2011 BMW 328i Sedan SULEV with valvetronic and double VANOS steplessly variable valve timing to bring the engine to peak performance. Handling was tremendous with dynamic stability control including brake fade compensation, start off assistant, brake drying and dynamic traction control. The sport suspension was stiff and at times this well balanced sedan handled the road better than some sports cars we've driven over the years. BMW certainly was thinking of those sports car type drivers as the 328i has front and rear anti-roll (stabilizer) bars as extra insurance while on the road.
The 2011 BMW 328i Sedan SULEV delivers a lot of style and performance at the entry level luxury price point of $36,575 for the model we tested. BMW knows what they're doing when it comes to building cars that their audience is looking for. The sculpted hood with the BMW emblem is the first thing we noticed on the 328i, but once we started driving this refined machine, the performance is what really grabbed us. At some point there will be a new platform for the 3-series but in the meantime, when you're at the top of the class tread carefully with any significant changes!
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