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      12-16-2012, 01:15 PM   #1
OUGrad05
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Considering a 328i (E90) for a commuter car? Real world MPG? Other thoughts?

I'm seriously considering picking up a 2009 or 2010 328i in the spring as a commuter car. I can probably sell my current car for around 17k and that means I'd have to come out of pocket 3 to 5k to snag a good 328i.

I want something a bit quieter on the highway and that can run 80+ without my mpg going to total crap.

I would prefer a manual but those are so hard to find I may have to settle for an auto.

I know what the EPA ratings are but my experience is different brands rate their cars a bit differently on the EPA cycle.

For example, when I owned my Trans Am, I would get 28mpg pretty easily on road trips, yet the EPA rates this vehicle at 24 hwy. When I had my 2009 Civic Si it was rated for 29. I could get 30 at 70mph but at 75 or 80 (the speed I usually traveled in my TA) I would get 28 mpg and at 85 it only got about 26 or 27.

That's simply because you're working those 4 cylinders pretty hard at those speeds and there's no torque.

My mother in law has a Z3 and gets 28+ on road trips even though its rated at 24mpg.

Just looking for some real world experiences for longish drives (say 40 miles) but would also like to hear how the cars do around town. I could be driving 25k miles or more per year in whatever commuter I get.

I welcome any and all feedback.

Will eventually get an F30 but don't want something too expensive to just pile miles on. Depreciation will kill you in that situation.
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      12-16-2012, 01:39 PM   #2
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love commuting in my e90. although i probably drive it 20% of the time over the year(most of my commuting is on two wheels), it won't get more than 26mpg's for my drive. 80% highway, but in a 35 minute drive 15 will be in slow stop and go, the rest steady 50+mph highway.

heated seats kick ass(i usually drive most in winter), logic 7 is a must for me, and being able to run through the gears at one section makes me smile. could probably get better mileage if i tried, but i dont want to try.

it is a great all arounder. great on highway, great around town. nimble, quite compact, efficient(i came from a v8 grand cherokee, so i am basking in my mileage), and FUN.
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      12-16-2012, 01:42 PM   #3
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I have two 328is, an N52 e91 (2009) and an N51 e90 (2011), both automatics. In mixed driving they both return 22mpg driven normally and 23 if you drive like an old person. On the freeway, going 70mph, the wagon would hit high 29s and the sedan will do 30mpg. That is it. My 350hp N55 335 will do better than that. Considering the performance level, the 328i economy is pretty dismal.
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      12-16-2012, 02:29 PM   #4
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328i's are not that fuel efficient honestly. It is not terrible by any means but definitely going to run you a bit more than your current speed3. I am getting 19mpg combined, with about 70% highway driving.

I'm not sure what grade gas you put in your speed3 but the e90 does require premium for it to run efficiently.

Good luck on your decision You won't be disappointed if you make the switch!
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      12-16-2012, 02:44 PM   #5
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Make sure you get premium package if you drive long distances. My lower back starts to hurt with no lumbar support on long distance drives and my passengers always say the same.
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      12-16-2012, 02:52 PM   #6
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it all depends on how you drive, I have a 335 and i am getting around 34-35 mpg driving 90% on highway and 10 on city.... I dont push it hard, or drive fast just normal. I like it for the comfort. If you're going to constantly step on it with constant braking your mileage is going to suck. Its all on the driver.
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      12-16-2012, 03:02 PM   #7
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Cruising at 75mph I would return about 28-29mpg.

My mix of 70% highway and 30% local is about 21mpg.
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      12-16-2012, 03:03 PM   #8
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I had 22 mixed and 28 on hway on 335
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      12-16-2012, 09:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuiter23 View Post
328i's are not that fuel efficient honestly.
Exactly my experience. I only get 1 less MPG on my 335i with Cobb compared to my 328.
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      12-16-2012, 09:16 PM   #10
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combined 13.5 mpg! like a bauss!
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      12-16-2012, 09:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuiter23 View Post
328i's are not that fuel efficient honestly. It is not terrible by any means but definitely going to run you a bit more than your current speed3. I am getting 19mpg combined, with about 70% highway driving.
I'm getting 22.6mpg with 90% city driving in my E91 328, and theoretically the wagon should be the worst of them. Also, I have a lead foot. On the highway I tend to get about 28mpg but I tend to go the "prevailing speed" which in Georgia, at least on the main highways, is autobahn speeds. If you kept it at or under 80 you should be able to replicate it.

And, as far as comfort, its the best "small" (the 3 isnt really a small car anymore) car I have used for over the road trips. Its the main reason I got it. Its solid and quiet at 90, the sound system is great and the lumbar in the premium seats is excellent. At night the adaptive headlights will light the road like no other.
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      12-16-2012, 10:01 PM   #12
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I realize the 335i isn't far behind the 328i in MPG. But it's more expensive to purchase (by a wide margin) more expensive to maintain and driving 25k miles/yr that all adds up in a hurry.

The 328i gets better than what I'm driving now and will be significantly quieter inside than my Speed3.
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      12-16-2012, 10:36 PM   #13
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Man you guys get some bad MPG. I get 24.7 in almost all suburban driving. When I'm on the highway (not daily commute) I see 33ish with the cruise set at 70. I do always use DS and let it redline but quickly shift up to 6th to cruise in.
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      12-16-2012, 11:27 PM   #14
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My '08 535i (23.7 mpg) and '10 528i (23.0 mpg) BOTH get better mileage than my '09 328i (21.3). BUT the 328i is strictly city with really highway mileage...I'm sure that's the difference.
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      12-16-2012, 11:48 PM   #15
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In my 328xdrive I've occasionally seen 28mpg highway. When I'm cruising on the highway though I do usually have it set somewhere between 80-85. Obviously the slower you drive the more efficient it gets. If I were to leave my cruise set at 70 then I'd be seeing 30+ all day long. My Gf sees 40+ in her Mini if that something you'd consider. All the same tech as the BMWs, just different style, and FWD.
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      12-17-2012, 12:12 AM   #16
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This might be helpful

http://www.fuelly.com/car/bmw/328i

fuelly is awesome
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      12-17-2012, 12:13 AM   #17
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The n52 is thirsty in stop'n'go. If you get more than 18mpg in that case, its great.

Its not bad on the interstate or back roads, you can easily score 24-25mpg mixed in this case (I've averaged up to 33mpg on interstate travel).
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      12-17-2012, 12:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan stewart View Post
I'm getting 22.6mpg with 90% city driving in my E91 328, and theoretically the wagon should be the worst of them. Also, I have a lead foot. On the highway I tend to get about 28mpg but I tend to go the "prevailing speed" which in Georgia, at least on the main highways, is autobahn speeds. If you kept it at or under 80 you should be able to replicate it.

And, as far as comfort, its the best "small" (the 3 isnt really a small car anymore) car I have used for over the road trips. Its the main reason I got it. Its solid and quiet at 90, the sound system is great and the lumbar in the premium seats is excellent. At night the adaptive headlights will light the road like no other.
Yea, the 328i is pretty bad in the city

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meeni View Post
The n52 is thirsty in stop'n'go. If you get more than 18mpg in that case, its great.

Its not bad on the interstate or back roads, you can easily score 24-25mpg mixed in this case (I've averaged up to 33mpg on interstate travel).
Yea, the difference between city and highway mileage is night and day. Definitely thirsty in stop'n'go situations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OUGrad05 View Post
I realize the 335i isn't far behind the 328i in MPG. But it's more expensive to purchase (by a wide margin) more expensive to maintain and driving 25k miles/yr that all adds up in a hurry.

The 328i gets better than what I'm driving now and will be significantly quieter inside than my Speed3.
The 335i has more power and torque than the 328i. Therefore, it needs less throttle for it to reach the desired performance and speed that a 328i driver would need.

Depending on where you live, if you live in hilly areas, you are better off with the 335i since you wont need to put a lot of pressure on the throttle going uphill resulting in higher fuel efficiency. Although overall, I would say that the 335i and 328i are similar in terms of mileage.

If comfort is what you are looking for, a premium package is a must. Stay away from the Sport package cause the ride is quite stiff and you will be able to feel practically all the bumps on the road. 328i will save you trouble from the turbo issues that the 335i presents but maintaining a BMW will always be more than a Mazda.

Keep us updated on your decision
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      12-17-2012, 03:29 AM   #19
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My 328i experience is pretty similar - in clear highway driving I can hit 30-31mpg if I'm trying, and it gets the rated 28 pretty reliably if I'm not. One thing I notice is that the car's super happy to go 80 or so, I'd say highway economy peaks at around 75mph. Total hearsay, but at any rate it's definitely not wildly different from speed to speed which is nice - you don't have to feel bad in terms of fuel economy setting cruise to 75 or 80.

My normal driving, though, is all in heavy traffic city suburbs of LA - lots of lights, lots of cars. It does MUCH, MUCH worse in that kind of situation. I definitely don't usually get the 18 rated city. After all is said and done, my gas receipts usually work out to between 15-20mpg. Not great, but then I don't have a commute or regular long trips to bring up the average from the lame city performance.

Having test driven a speed3, I'm happy with my choice. The 328's got enough power for me, and what's more handles wonderfully in the corners. I never feel unsafe or worried that I won't have grip in a turn, or that I won't have the power to make a quick lane change or pass in heavy highway traffic. It's not as much of a stallion as the speed3, though. I was actually surprised at how efficiently the speed3 knocks you back in your seat. The 328 won't do that quite as aggressively. But it's a lovely car to drive, and super smooth on the highway without leaving you feeling like you're driving a sloshy boat like some other luxury highway cruisers.
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      12-17-2012, 03:38 AM   #20
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honestly if mpg is your concern not sure your looking at the right car
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      12-17-2012, 04:03 AM   #21
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I mean, it's really not that bad. I've driven less fun cars with worse economy.
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      12-17-2012, 04:19 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtrs87x
it all depends on how you drive, I have a 335 and i am getting around 34-35 mpg driving 90% on highway and 10 on city.... I dont push it hard, or drive fast just normal. I like it for the comfort. If you're going to constantly step on it with constant braking your mileage is going to suck. Its all on the driver.
This. I get 14 in the city, yet a good 30 on the highway with my 335i

I disagree about staying away from sport package. I believe the sport suspension is the most perfect balance of comfort with handling.
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