A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 BMW 3-Series

The 2012 BMW 3-Series has been wildly popular in the US since it was first introduced in 1975. This series of luxury sedans sets itself apart from other luxury models with its superior performance and driving dynamics. No matter which model you choose (from the 328i sedan to the 335d or the M3 coupe), you’ll know that you’re getting a high-quality vehicle that will more than stand up to your expectations.

Key Features

While a lot of manufacturers are moving away from manual transmissions, BMW has an offering for those who love the feel of being connected to the road and getting the full driving experience with a six-speed manual option for the 2012 3-Series.

With its lowest price point around $35,000 for a new model, the 3-Series is most definitely fully loaded, even in the base models, including a 230-HP V6 engine, dynamic stability and traction control, disc brakes on all four wheels, 16” alloy wheels, and a CD/MP3 player with HD radio.

Changes for 2012

There weren’t many changes from 2011 to 2012, but BMW did discontinue the four-door option for the M3 in favor of a new sedan.

What We Like

BMW practically invented the “sport sedan”, and the 2012 BMW 3-Series continues the tradition in style. Whether you’re looking for a coupe, a sedan, or a convertible, there’s a 3-Series model that’s perfect for your needs and wants.

What Concerns Us

Some drivers may balk at these rear-wheel drive cars when they attempt to drive them in snow, ice, or heavy rain, and the price tag is definitely too steep for a lot of car buyers.

Available Models

When choosing a 2012 BMW 3-Series, you’ll have several model options, including:

  • 328i sedan, xDrive sedan, coupe, convertible, or xDrive sports wagon
  • 335i sedan, xDrive sedan, coupe, xDrive coupe, or convertible
  • 335is coupe or convertible
  • 335d sedan
  • M3 coupe or convertible

With each progressive model, you’ll get more power and torque, while fuel economy stays relatively constant with some fluctuations. The base model 328i sedan has a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine with 240 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque, whereas up the line you’ll get a 4.0-liter V8 engine with 414 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque if you opt for the M3.

Major Recalls

There has been one recall to address an issue with head restraints failing to comply with federal motor vehicle safety standards.

Common Issues

Most 2012 BMW 3-Series owners are incredibly happy with their vehicles, and there aren’t a lot of complaints or issues with them. Some owners have complained about electrical issues with some models, though.

bmw 3 series interior


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