2012 BMW 3 Series Rated at 33 mpg Highway

2012 BMW 3 Series

The redesigned 2012 BMW 328i, with its 240-hp, twin-turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four cylinder and an eight-speed automatic transmission, gets a fuel-economy rating of 23/33 mpg city/highway, according to the EPA.

While that figure is respectable, it's lower that what was expected compared to the original EPA rating of 23/36 mpg, according to Autoblog.com.

The EPA revised the figures recently, knocking off 3 mpg from the 328i's highway figures. The city mileage number remains unchanged.

In a press release to Autoblog, BMW said it was "surprised" by the revisions. While the EPA is known for making small revisions, the 3 mpg downgrade is steep, and BMW says the figure is "abnormally low" in relation to its other vehicles like the recently discontinued 335d, which gets a 23/36 mpg rating with its inline-six diesel motor.

BMW can't have its 3 Series retested this year, so the EPA figure is sticking around. The 2012 BMW 3 Series went on sale in February with a starting price of $34,900, excluding an $895 destination fee.

The new figure already appears on the carmaker's consumer website. Strangely, while the EPA made the revision, it looks like the agency's own website (fueleconomy.gov) hasn't been updated yet.

BMW forced to lower 2012 3 Series automatic fuel economy to 33 mpg (Autoblog.com)


Chris K

It'll be interesting to see what the real-world numbers are like. My 2011 328xi usually gets about 22 city and 30 highway.

You might expect the turbo 4 would get better mileage, but my old Legacy GT (2.5L turbo H4) got worse mileage than my 328, even with less weight to tow around.

I bet the manual will get a lot better mileage with the turbo 4.


This is at least the 3rd time KickingTires has referred to a BMW with a V-6 engine. It's fairly disconcerting that professional automotive journalists don't know the difference between a six and a V-6...

Max Reid

Good to hear that BMW is dropping V6 engine. Its just following vehicles like Malibu, Equinox, Fusion, Escape which are dropping V6 in favor of V4.

Anonymous Coward

I smell a class action lawsuit from the people who received cars with the 23/36 window sticker.

Fix it again

No one is going to get out the door for only $35K for this overweight and overpriced compact. Edmunds tested one of the new 4 cylinder 3-series with a sticker of $51K - that's not even the more expensive six cylinder. They also noted how rough and raspy the unrefined four cylinder is at lower speeds, such as stop and go city driving. Anyone who buys this "improved" 3 series is giving up a smooth six cylinder from last year's 328 for almost no gain in mileage. But at least the sticker went up by thousands of dollars for this less than ultimate compact.

Chris K

Three points:

First, it's an inline 6, not V6.

Second, I don't think it's good BMW is dropping the NA I6. It's an excellent engine. It's smooth, powerful, and reliable, and has become a defining characteristic of the 3-series much like the Porsche H6 or Corvette V8.

Third, they aren't dropping the I6, they're dropping the NA version. The turbo I6 stays. Which isn't great news considering it has had a poor reliability record.


So the reality is that this new turbo 4 isnt much more efficient than the old NA 6. With the 8 speed tranny on this version of the car the old engine could've come very close to these figures. The 36mpg claim seemed too good to be true from the start and real world testing hasn't shown anything close to the initially released EPA combined figures. In a MT test the car averaged 18mpg.

Chris K

Driving the 6-speed auto I don't think the extra gears will help much. The car manages to find a gear around 2000 RPM no matter what speed you're doing.

Time will tell, I suppose.


I purchased a new 2012 BMW 328I, and If I had the chance to do it again I would have never purchased the new one. Is to loud, when I turn it on in the morning it sounds like the muffler has a hole. It it to loud. I don't like the ideal of the motor turning off every time I stopped. Even thought I can turn it off, I hate it, I hate it and most likely I'm waiting for the class A lawsuite for the misinformation on the miles per gal, next year most likely I will trade the car. I purchased the car on 03/13/12, and if I could take it back I would. Disappointed BMW customer.

Randy Myers

I purchased a 2012 328i and absolutely love it. The engine has tons of power and the car has a MUCH better ride than previous models.

I recently had a 2011 loaned to me and I could not wait to get it back to the dealership. It was awlful compared to the 2012 (it was a 335i by the way). Rode very rough, hated the instrument layout versus the 2012, seats were uncomfortable compared to my new 2012.

BTW- In my "overall" driving, city highway, small trips, around town, back and forth to work, etc., after 3500 miles I am getting 32.0 MPG. So yea, the fuel economy is much better. I checked and the 335i that I was loaned was at under 20 MPG over all driving.

I believe that the EPA made a huge mistake lowering the fuel economy because I can tell you in no uncertain terms, the car gets over 36 MPG on the highway.

Oh, I usually drive in the normal "Comfort" mode, but on long trips will change to ECO Pro. I also change back to Comfort mode whenever traffic gets a bit heavier (I think I have a better feel and more power if needed).

In my opinion the re-designed 3 series is the best improvement that BMW has made in one of their model lines.

It appears to me that most people here are making comments without actually even driving the new model, let alone owning one. Well I own one and it is by far my favorite car that I have owned.

Previous cars.... 2002 Lexus SC430, 2004 Mazda RX-8, 2007 Mercedes CLK350 Convertible, 2010 Mercedes E-350 Sedan, 2010 Volvo C-70... my wife drives a 2010 Mercedes E-550 Coupe (AMG trim)... also worked for a few months at BMW dealership waiting for contract to clear, so very familure with all models...

The car is NOT load... it rides much smoother than previous models, the voice activation is amazing, the HUD is beyond amazing... the controls are very logically laid out, the drive is extrememly nice. In Sports mode the car can hold it's own against most other sports sedans out there, while handeling is much better.


any time you turbo charge a small 2liter 4 like this , you shorten the life of the motor. a 4 cyl. should never try to do a 6cyl . job . the four is powerful at low rpms and "turboed " at high rpms , that means its a stressed engine . a non turbo 6 with the same power . is safer and more reliable . just look at that 335i turbo , yes its quick , and fast but lacks in the longevity dept. bmw should have kept the 6 , gave it more low end torque , with a slightly taller gear ratio , this would have solved the mileage issue .

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