2012 BMW 328i Convertible
- 6 Cylinder
- 6 Cylinder Turbo
- 6 Cylinder Twin Turbo
Introduced on these shores two years after its European debut in 1975, the 3-Series has been one of BMW’s most popular models. Over the last couple of decades, BMW has seen fit to expand its 3-Series lineup to the max with an always-popular convertible. Our test version is no exception.
It was introduced to market in 2006 as a 2007 model and has been continually refined up to and including our 2011 test version. But a new 3–Series is scheduled for introduction this fall, making our tester almost a lame duck model. But BMW doesn’t take kindly to such assertions, so we figured we’d have another open-top outing.
The BMW 328i Convertible is a four–place two-door coupe with a three-piece hardtop convertible roof. Available in several configurations, it can be had with a choice of in-line six-cylinder engine, or an in-line six cylinder with a single twin-scroll turbocharger.
A high-performance M3 version is also available, but our tastes have been dialed back a bit thanks to the global financial crisis.
This is probably the last outing in North America for this naturally-aspirated 3.0-liter inline-six. Set to be replaced in the next-generation 3er (as the Germans say) with a boosted four-cylinder, it marks the end of an era for a powertrain that defined BMW for more than 20 years.
Our tester was optioned up with the enthusiast-oriented Sport package, which adds 18-inch alloys and rubber, more heavily-bolstered seats, a unique steering wheel and a taut suspension.
What’s it up against?
Natural matchups occur with the Infiniti G37 convertible as well as the Lexus IS 250 C, not to mention a pair of front-drive Swedes named Volvo C70 and Saab 9-3.
Germans love to rival each other, but the Audi A5 Cabriolet and Mercedes-Benz E350