In an effort to offer more consumers a chance at the ultimate driving experience, BMW’s less expensive alternative to the 328i is set to hit roads state-side this spring. New to the U.S. market, the 320i utilizes the same 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine as the 328i, but shaves 60 horsepower and $4,300 off its brother’s power performance and price. This balancing act is not only easier on the bank account, it’s also easier on the planet.
With an estimated combined mileage of 28 mpg, the 320i scores a respectable 119 on the eRating scale. Features like automatic engine start-stop, electric power steering, and an on-demand air conditioning compressor help boost efficiency by reducing engine idling at stop lights and decreasing parasitic losses. If that extra 1.3 seconds required to reach 60 mph is too much to bear, an upgrade to the 328i only reduces your eRating to 115. Another jump up in power to BMW’s famed 3.0 liter inline six, found in the 335i, will only force you a single point further down the eRating scale.
BMW also fields a hybrid-electric version of the popular 3 Series. The ActiveHybrid 3 gives drivers even more power: a total of 335 horsepower from the combined forces of the 3.0 liter turbocharged six with the electric drive system. Even with its much higher performance (and price tag), the hybrid delivers a combined mileage of 28 mpg, equal to that of the 320i, but its eRating of 115 is similar to that of the non-hybrid 328i.
With BMW’s efficient 2.0 liter diesel coming to the U.S. and rumored to find a home in the 3 Series, things are looking up for consumers who want the ultimate driving machine without the ultimate environmental footprint.
|Make and Model||$MSRP||Specs||MPG|
(city / hwy / comb)
|BMW 320i||33,445||2.0 L 180 hp 4 cyl.,|
|24 / 36 / 28||119|
|BMW 328i||37,745||2.0 L 240 hp 4 cyl.,|
|23 / 33 / 26||115|
|BMW ActiveHybrid 3||50,545||3.0 L 300 hp 6 cyl + 55 hp electric motor (335 hp comb.)|
|25 / 33 / 28||115|
|BMW 335i||44,045||3.0 L 300 hp 6 cyl.,|
|23 / 33 / 26||114|