2012 BMW 3-Series Wagon Performance

#6 out of 9 in 2012 Wagons

$12,340 - $13,017

2012 BMW 3-Series Wagon Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2012 BMW 3-Series Wagon was new.


Performance: 9.2

Reviewers say the 2012 BMW 3-Series Wagon has handling that sets the benchmark for the class. The engine is smooth and responsive.

  • "Possibly the best small and sporty utility vehicle, the 3-series wagon combines straightforward controls, a comfortable but firm ride, and excellent dynamics." -- Car and Driver
  • “Unmatched ride/handling balance, smooth and powerful engines. ...” -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

Both the BMW 328i and 328i xDrive wagons feature a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that test drivers say is smooth and adequate. It generates 230 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. Though a six-speed manual transmission is standard, an automatic is optional.

According to the EPA, the 3-Series Wagon with rear-wheel drive and the automatic transmission gets 18/27 mpg city/highway. With the manual, it gets 17/26 mpg. All-wheel drive models get 17/25 mpg with either transmission.

  • "The 328i's naturally aspirated inline-6 is otherworldly in its smoothness from idle to redline, and it has enough power to suit most tastes.” -- Edmunds
  • "With manual transmission, the rear-drive 328i has smooth power for around-town driving and highway passing. ... The 6-speed automatic changes gears smoothly, but downshifts can lag behind throttle inputs. ... With any engine, the manual transmission has silky-smooth shift action." -- Consumer Guide

Handling and Braking

Test drivers, on balance, agree that the BMW 3-Series Wagon is one of the best-handling wagons you can buy. They especially like the 328i xDrive model, which features a standard all-wheel drive system that enhances stability in adverse driving conditions.

  • "The 3-Series is the class benchmark for overall control and steering feel. Even with the base suspension, all models display excellent balance, sharp moves, and little body lean in turns; they're even sharper with the sport suspension. ... Braking is powerful and stable. We recommend AWD in snowy climates." -- Consumer Guide
  • "There's a precise feel to the steering and the well-sorted suspension provides exceptional confidence through even the most challenging corners. While some may find the ride a tad too taut -- particularly when fitted with the optional Sport Package -- we think the handling advantages more than offset any minor comfort tradeoff. BMW's excellent xDrive all-wheel-drive system also makes dealing with inclement weather considerably less stressful." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "I think Mike liked the fact that the wagon handles like a sport sedan. In fact, the wagon has just about all the same equipment, which means that the steering is pinpoint-precise, the suspension is supple and the brakes are simply outstanding. Of course, you get all the standard BMW goodies, like dynamic stability and traction control, to further enhance the all-weather capability of the four-wheel-drive system." -- The Detroit News

Find the Best Price

Enter your zip code to get local pricing.

Get Dealer Quotes

To get dealer quotes, enter your zip code.

Search Used Listings

To search used listings, enter your zip code.

Change Location

Enter your zip code to see listings near you.

Please enter a valid zipcode

Best Price Program

Interested in a New?

Use the U.S. News Best Price Program to find great deals and get upfront pricing on the.