2012 BMW 3 Series Starts at $34,900

2012 BMW 3 Series
The all-new sixth-generation 2012 BMW 3 Series sedan gets a starting price of $34,900, excluding an $895 destination fee. The 2012 sedan goes on sale in February. The 2012 3 Series wagons, coupes and convertibles are currently on sale, but they are still the previous generation. New versions of those body styles have not been revealed yet. 

The new sedan pricing represents a small $300 price increase over the existing model. The new model also features more room, efficient powertrains and more standard features.

The 328i sedan will come standard with a new 240-horsepower inline-four-cylinder engine with an auto start-stop system and regenerative braking and can come with either a six-speed manual transmission or a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The 328i actually comes standard with the automatic transmission. The model also comes with new features like a 6.5-inch free-standing display, iDrive, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity as standard equipment.

The 2012 335i comes equipped with a 300-hp, twin-turbocharged inline-six and starts at $42,400, which is $350 more than last year’s model.

A hybrid variant, called the ActiveHybrid 3, will go on sale next fall, but it hasn’t been priced yet. 

The 2012 BMW 3 Series will make its official North American debut at the 2012 Detroit auto show. We’ll have more information then.

Editor’s Note: We listed the all-new BMW 3 Series sedan as a 2013 model year in our earlier posts, but we have since confirmed that it will be a 2012 model year vehicle.


Chris K

Man, it sounds like a great upgrade if not for the four cylinder engine. Perhaps it's a good one, but I really prefer a six or eight cylinder, and if I'm going to spend more than $30K on a car the engine is a make or break feature.


Chris, considering that most other near luxury sedans have 4 cylinders (the a4 comes to mind), BMW's 4, which is more powerful than any of them, makes sense. Unless you complain about the lack of character, power has only increased since last year.


It's hard to believe that BMW would drop the smooth six cylinder in favor of a cheaper, raspy four banger, yet charge the consumer more. Turbocharged engines require more maintenance too, expensive maintenance when you're talking BMW.


"Turbocharged engines require more maintenance too"

-Such as?


Forced induction puts an increased strain on the entire engine and most mechanics agree you have to keep a closer watch on everything under the hood. If you can do it yourself that's great, but the added parts and complexity add up to more costs if you let the dealer do all the maintenance. Some mechanics recommend more frequent replacement of spark plugs on a turbo engine, and most agree that it's a good idea to do more frequent oil changes - as frequently as every 2,000 miles due to the increased oil temperatures caused by the turbo. If BMW has a computer calculating when to do the oil change, I would guess the maintenance light will come on earlier on the turbo car than on the naturally aspirated BMW. But I believe they use synthetic oil right from the factory and have a huge oil capacity that might stretch the interval some. Bottom line is the turbo adds more parts and complexity under the hood and more things to go wrong, IMHO.


One more thing...
I think I read about some consumer complaints about the BMW twin turbocharged N54 engine, with some of the problems traced to the turbo chargers.


I dunno, Carma. I have to kindly disagree with some of your points there. Most of your statements aren't totally "maintenance" related.

I would say most, if not all, manufacturers definitely consider the additional power gains from forced induction. With that they build the internals to handle the extra power reliably. I can say, for example, the VW 1.8T has a very strong bottom end and can handle an impressive amount of additional power, as my boss is currently building a high HP GTI and has done his research.

I will have to disagree on the service intervals for oil changes as well. I can only disagree because my shop recommends synthetic oil changes (turbo or not) every 5,000 miles and we haven't seen any related problems.

BMW's do calculate service intervals based on time and driving behavior. If you're hard on the gas, either way it's going to recommend it sooner. Does the turbo model recommend even sooner? Couldn't answer with confidence.

Turbochargers do create a lot more heat and require a fair amount of oil cooling. The Mazdaspeed3, for example, continues to pump oil through the turbo even with the engine shut off. Other companies do that as well, but that is what I can come up with quickly for you.

I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just disagreeing based on my own experience at my shop. I really think that a lot of turbocharged vehicles are just as reliable as naturally aspirated and don't create a huge increase in maintenance cost, if any at all. I feel it's really up to the manufacturer to take the right steps to make them reliable in the long term.


Sounds like you're a professional, so I'll go with your assessment. It's just my opinion that there's no free lunch for the added horsepower, and BMW doesn't have a spotless track record on turbo technology. I agree that a lot depends on how a turbo car is driven. Thanks for adding some good comments.


Honestly, it is the 21st century. I believe automakers have sorted out most problems with turbo engines being unreliable. Theoretically, you are correct, but in reality, there isn't going to be much difference.

It's like saying a V-6 engine will be less reliable than a four cylinder engine because it has fewer parts. While theoretically correct, it doesn't translate to much in reality.


Nice Accord...


NOOOO Illinois Lemon Law, I MUST know more about this adjustable seat that BMW has introduced to the automotive world!

Chris K

The N54 (turbo I6) has indeed had reliability problems that have persisted throughout the E90/92/93's life. That track record, and the character of turbo 4-cylinder engines at "normal" RPMs is why I'd prefer to stick with the I6, even if they couldn't massage the power up in the new car. I just don't like how the turbo engines I've owned drive at idle to 3000RPM.


Forget the issues with Turbos.
Our Saab 9.3 turbo...had oil changes every 4000 miles. NO engine issues in its 192,000 mile life. So it is possible to have a very reliable turbo.

The BMW 335 turbo issues had to do with the twin scroll system....a Japanese made system. It has been replaced...as well, the engine now has only one turbo. Engine has been quite reliable over the past 3 years.


whether a car has a 4 or 6 is really immaterial. How does it perform. The new BMW turbo 4 is more powerful than the old faithful 6...and gets significantly better mileage.BMW rates the engine 26 and 34. My experience...you will get better than this.

Turbo 4's....welcome to the 21st Century.

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