2014 BMW 328i xDrive


2014 BMW 328i xDrive

Let's get right to the heart of the 328i xDrive: The Bavarian Motor Works' 3 Series sedan utilizes the German manufacturer's all-wheel-drive setup. This system assures drivers better traction with its rear-wheel bias and, when necessary, seamlessly shifts torque to meet changing conditions. Regarding the 328i's power, one reviewer notes: "The four-cylinder is by no means apologetic when it comes to power. Employing a single, twin-scroll turbocharger, the little 2.0-liter enthusiastically erupts with 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque--58 lb.-ft. more than the old six-cylinder it replaces. …"

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Details on what sits under the hood of the 2013 328i xDrive list BMW's 2.0-liter four-cylinder twin-turbo, paired with a six-speed manual to serve up 240 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. This block incorporates direct Injection and double-VANOS technologies. The good folks over at BMW tell us that the name Vanos is derived from the term Nockenwellensteuerung, which roughly translates to "variable camshaft control." Double-Vanos, then, describes a system that continuously adjusts the camshaft positions for both the intake and exhaust valves. This significantly increases torque at low engine speeds and power at higher engine speeds. This technology also controls the amount of exhaust gas that is re-circulated back to the intake manifold, enhancing fuel economy. To lower emissions, the system utilizes a special set of parameters in the engine's warming-up phase, helping the catalytic converter to quickly reach its ideal operating temperature. The entire process is controlled by the vehicle's Digital Motor Electronics. The German automaker offers an eight-speed Sport automatic transmission as an option. Engineered with an automatic start-stop function, it also helps reduce fuel consumption and emissions. But wait, there's more, kids! The performance menu also lists an Eco Pro mode. Offering drivers up to 20 percent in fuel savings, the device works with both automatic and manual transmissions to adjust the engine's output characteristics: automatic transmissions upshift sooner and remain in a higher gear for a longer period, while manuals indicate at what rpm the driver should shift gears.

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The NHTSA awarded this Bimmer with a perfect score in overall crash tests. The IIHS also gave the AWD sedan its highest possible rating for its performance during frontal-offset, side and roof strength tests. Standard safety equipment on the 328i line includes the manufacturer's stability control. Edmunds.com had this to say about the technology: "The stability control system integrates several features designed to improve braking performance, such as periodically wiping the brake rotors dry when the windshield wipers are in use and automatically snugging the pads to the rotors when the driver abruptly lifts off the throttle."

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BMW offers owners a significant number of packages for this vehicle. Personally, we love the M Sport Line, which adds several items from the automaker's stellar M Series, such as bigger wheels, heaps of chrome, sport seats, an aerodynamic kit and supple leather seats. The Dynamic Handling Package comes with variable sport steering, which continuously adjusts steering ratio and steering force according to different driving situations. From increased feeling on winding roads and at higher speeds to greater flexibility when parking, this setup is for those who truly love being behind the wheel. An adaptive M suspension is also part of this bundle.
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