Thread: Car and Driver compares the 2012 BMW 328i, Audi A4 2.0t, Inifiniti G25, Mercedes C250, and Volvo S60 T6 - Another F30 328 win
04-12-2012, 01:48 AM #1
Car and Driver compares the 2012 BMW 328i, Audi A4 2.0t, Inifiniti G25, Mercedes C250, and Volvo S60 T6 - Another F30 328 win
The new BMW F30 328i continues to rack up wins in comparison tests. Just last month it beat German 4 cylinder sport sedan challengers and now Car and Driver added the Infiniti G25 and Volvo S60 to the mix. The Volvo is the most powerful and quickest car in the test by virtue of its turbo inline-6 with 300 horsepower seeming a bit out of place against the four cylinder competition (excluding the naturally aspirated V6 of the G25). The Volvo stacks up well pricing wise but clearly the motor is more akin to competing against the 335i and not the 328i.
Despite the power disparity on paper of 300 for the Volvo versus 240 for the 328i the 328i only loses the 1/4 mile sprint by 2/10's although the Volvo has four miles per hour on it through the traps with a 102. The Volvo would match up better versus the six cylinder offerings from BMW, Audi, and Mercedes. The 328i still out accelerates all other competitors however which certainly is impressive.
Car and Driver makes an interesting point of BMW seeming to focus more on fuel economy and comfort rather than sportiness as they once did, "But maybe that tire choice is emblematic of a new approach at BMW, one that values fuel economy and rear-seat space and comfort more than it once did." Seems the mainstream is picking up on it finally but the fact is the BMW 328 still wins this comparison.
Car and Driver believes the E90 was a more interesting car to drive although we do not know if we agree with that. The N20 sits further back, the car isn't any heavier, and has a far fatter curve. It is likely nostalgia and criticism towards BMW's shift from sportiness to watering the brand down a bit to sell as many cars as they possibly can rather than anything wrong with the 328i. The 3 still is the best in its class, even if the gap is not as large as it once was. Only natural for others to get better as they attempt to imitate the best.
04-12-2012, 12:27 PM #2Timeout
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04-12-2012, 04:03 PM #3
04-12-2012, 06:39 PM #4
BMW's tire choice has been hurting its performance in magazine tests ever since they switched to runflats. That's why my Audi and Infinity driving friends love to bring up skidpad numbers that show their cars running circles around the runflat-equipped BMWs. As I'm sure everyone on this site already knows, any modern BMW needs a tire change to proper performance rubber and an alignment (I like -1 camber all around with a tiny amount of toe out in the front and toe in at the rear) to unleash its full handling potential.
It looks like these new gen runflats are even worse, but I think the 328i has especially economy-oriented tires (I hope the 335i comes with better tires, I have been hearing that that might be the case but I haven't driven the F30 335i yet).
04-12-2012, 06:40 PM #5
04-12-2012, 07:02 PM #6
I'm not sure what you're asking, if we're talking non-M models then yes, runflats are your only option when you go buy a car from the dealer. That's why in my mind, when I calculate the cost of any new BMW (non-M) I also factor in the cost of a new set of tires. I've been incredibly pleased with the Pilot Super Sports I have on my 135i, for under a grand they completely transform the car and I would go as far as to say serious tires should be a priority one upgrade for anyone serious about driving their BMW.
04-12-2012, 07:25 PM #7
04-12-2012, 10:48 PM #8
Oh man! That C250 sure is slow. The 328i is very nice indeed, and its gonna have a pretty big following with that 4 cyl.
04-13-2012, 05:30 AM #9
04-13-2012, 10:31 PM #10
Strangely, Mercedes has kept the C300 alongside the C250 and C350 so I guess that's why the C250 is so slow, to make room for the 300 in the lineup. My friend recently got a C350 coupe and I was really impressed with it, it's not exactly competition for the F30 but they've really improved it from the W204 C class sedan.
04-16-2012, 01:06 AM #11
04-18-2012, 02:01 AM #12
04-18-2012, 02:15 PM #13
I was wrong, the C300 is only available with all wheel drive and the 250 and 350 are only RWD. Mercedes isn't really slacking, they're doing exactly what they need to in order to appeal to their customers. I have a few relatives with the W204 C class who now get C250s as loaners from the dealership and I've only heard positive things about it. A friend of mine even said the C250 coupe felt faster and significantly better than her C300 sedan, to the point that she would consider it an upgrade.
I'd rather see Benz go back to make cars that are more comfortable and luxurious than their BMW counterparts instead of having both companies try to sell the same car, as someone who owned and loved an E90 3 series I was very impressed by the new C coupe's ride and the improvements they made to the interior.
04-18-2012, 04:13 PM #14
04-19-2012, 03:21 PM #15
Of course, but that was my point. The VAST majority of people don't care how fast a car actually is, they just need it to feel powerful enough and when this cr which feels plenty powerful also happens to get better gas mileage than the V6 they usually drive around, it starts to look like a win-win situation for the average buyer.