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Vehicle Review – 2013 BMW 3 Series

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2013 BMW 328i

2013 BMW 328i

Driving the 2013 328xi is easy. This is one of those cars where it doesn’t take a lot of finesse to get into the car, make some mirror and seat adjustments and off you go. The driver seat is comfortable with enough adjustments to find a comfortable setting and a memory button to remember where everything is. Like in previous models, the side mirror adjustments are also saved to the memory button. I continue to ask for this - it would be nice to have a rearview mirror setting that can be saved as well; especially when there are multiple drivers of one vehicle (my wife and I). The key fob can remain in your pocket, depress the brake pedal, push the engine start button and the engine is up and running smoothly and quietly. The automatic gear shift requires a touch to go into drive and the transmission shifts gears smoothly and concisely. The electronic steering system is just right with not too much effort required to make the car go in the direction you need it. When it comes to braking, this car offers a comfortable stop. This model is equipped with a function that turns the engine off when at a full stop to conserve fuel – efficient dynamics. Very cool feature but also ery for the first few times. Picture this, you come to a stop and the engine turns off and so does the ventilation system. If the radio is off it is a very quiet few seconds or minutes. The only issue I have is the day I drove this vehicle it was cold out so the heating was turned off when the efficient dynamics system kicked in – so it got a bit chilly in the car. The good news is you can over ride the system with a push of a button whenever you like or on very cold or hot days. When I first experienced the engine turning off with my wife in the car, it was dead silent, and we looked at each other and laughed as we could hear ourselves breathing.

The true test of this sedan for me is will it be a good vehicle to pick up and drop off the kids in. The car seat anchors in the back are easily accessible and do not take a lot of effort to clip the car seats into. There is still a decent amount of room between the rear car seats and the front seats. The kids jump into their seats and my 5 year old daughter and 2 year old son are comfortably in. The window and door handles are easily reached by them so using the child locks and window lock switches is required – just for their safety and my peace of mind. My wife, Joanna, gets into her passenger seat and immediately comments that she loves the red. Off we go! My daughter remarks “It’s like a sports car!” This vehicle passes my test for being able to easily get the kids in comfortably with still enough room so they are not kicking the front seats. Even if we didn’t have kids this would be a great car for the two of us since it has enough room for 3 adults in the back.

This vehicle does offer some great features that are unique and different to its competitors such as the Mercedes C or Audi A4. The iDrive system allows the driver easy interaction with the audio, navigation and phone systems but also gives you access to an electronic owners manual. In my opinion, this is an amazing feature since you can look up what you need from the comfort of your seat rather than thumbing through an old fashioned owners manual. Also, this interactive owners manual offers some basic videos so you can see how certain features of the car work.

The vehicle I tested had a basic audio system which had decent highs, mids and lows.  At peak volume, the system didn't show any distortion but it also wasn't heart thumping bass.  During this review, I listened to Juelz Santana 's God Will'n album which I have to say was good for bopping my head to.

When it comes to maintaining this vehicle it does come with a 4 year service package from BMW but I always like to know what it would cost to maintain without this package. Oil changes (including filters) are performed once a year and brake and other fluid services every 2 years (if required) based on average driving habits and conditions. BMW does offer very straightforward maintenance pricing so you should check with your local dealership to understand what your cost of ownership would be if you kept the vehicle beyond the 4 year covered maintenance. Typical owner maintenance by you will include checking tire pressure which is monitored via the TPMS system, topping up washer fluid and washing the vehicle. The hood is easy to open and does not require any fumbling to find the hood latch which is a nice feature. Fuelling the vehicle is fairly painless since it just requires you to push the gas tank door with your hand to open. You will not encounter any issues washing this vehicle since it will fit into any car wash or if you’re doing it by hand there are no awkward angles to reach.

The downsides I found with this vehicle are it does take premium fuel which has to be factored into your overall operating costs. When cold, the engine did sound a bit noisy until it reached operating temperature. Lastly, the road noise was noticeable and a bit loud at times.

Overall, I would buy this vehicle because it fits nicely into our family and it’s easy to switch between my wife and I. It also doesn’t hurt that the vehicle has an aggressive look and will turn heads including your own each time you walk away from it.

*Average Oil Change $110 (includes synthetic oil and filter) performed once a year or every 24000km/15000mi

*The gas tank is 15.8 gallons or 60L which will require premium fuel.  Check out this fuel consumption guide link provided by Natural Resources Canada.

Audio System

**

Technology

***

Drivability

***

Fuel Economy

****

Overall

***

Written by Ronald Rameshnauth

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