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

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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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Benji

21 years of experience
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Benji
21 years of experience
Ford Thunderbird - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Phoenix, Arizona
This is the second time this week that Benji has inspected a car for me before purchase. His reports are clear and thorough, saving me a lot of money from buying a lemon. He is dependable and honest. Even after the inspections, I kept contacting him with question after question. He answers them all and even sends me additional information. I totally recommend him!
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Attila

18 years of experience
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Attila
18 years of experience
Subaru WRX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Elmwood Park, New Jersey
It was once of the best experience I've had buying a car. I felt more confident then nervous and I would 100% recommend this
Volkswagen CC - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Little Ferry, New Jersey
Attila was absolutely amazing! Very knowledgeable and went over and beyond to give me clarity regarding a vehicle I am planning to purchase. He was very competent and did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for a VW CC. Excellent people-skills!

Breck

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Breck
19 years of experience
Chevrolet Express 2500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Houston, Texas
I scheduled a pre-purchase inspection and was really happy with the quality of the inspection. Breck was actually running ahead of schedule which was fine and was also well communicated. The inspection was thorough including interior, exterior and undercarriage reviews both written, verbal and documented with photos. Also, Breck identified some potential issues that could cause a real headache with the vehicle.
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Breck was timely and efficient. Very knowledgeable. After the inspection was complete, he took the time to ride along with me to pinpoint a noise I heard. Would definitely recommend and use him again.

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Carlos
27 years of experience
BMW 330Ci - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Brea, California
Carlos was very thorough with his inspection on this vehicle I’m considering purchasing. He took detailed information with pictures of any defects and an estimate to have things maintenanced. Highly recommended and I may have him maintenance the car if I should decide to buy it.
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