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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Attila

19 years of experience
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Attila
19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
He is very good—offered all the significant details we needed from the inspection. Helped us figure out what needed to be fixed.

Shawn

12 years of experience
285 reviews
Shawn
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

18 years of experience
320 reviews
Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
Robert
20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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