EPA Smashes 328i Fuel Economy Estimates

In a shocking turn of events, the 328i with 8 speed automatic had its highly touted EPA fuel economy numbers squashed. BMW had been using 36 mpg as their official EPA number, better than the now defunct 335d. But when the EPA recently tested a 328i with the ZF 8 speed they were awarded with a measly 33 mpg, the same number BMW is placing on Monronies for the much more powerful six-cylinder 335i.

The jury is still out on what the real world MPG of the four-cylinder 3 series is, we ‘ve had limited time during normal commuting with the 328i so we can ‘t provide you with our own figures but they were certainly better than the 335i. Will the EPA take the ax and shave off some mpg from the 335i? We are predicting that with this significant drop in mpg they will test every BMW model this year and what they will determine is anyone ‘s guess. BMW ‘s official comment states that they have no recourse for this model year with the EPA so the numbers will stick- lucky for them the 3 Series will get an early model year change sometime in June.

All manufacturers are responsible for testing and submitting fuel economy figures each year to the EPA (based on physical tests following the EPA test cycle on a dynamometer). Occasionally, the EPA will validate the figures that we provide. When this happens, there are sometimes small changes in the published EPA fuel economy figures (usually 1 mpg up or down). The EPA recently tested the 2012 328i Automatic and obtained a highway mileage result that was 3mpg lower (33mpg versus 36mpg) than the BMW test result. We are very surprised by this result and are currently working to determine how this is possible. The new rating seems abnormally low in relation to the other models in the BMW range and by the real-world fuel economy that we are seeing from this model. Unfortunately, there is no provision in the EPA rules for a re-test this year. Therefore regardless of the results of our investigation, the new rating will stand for this model year.

via: Autoblog

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  • les

    In my E90 328i with the cruise set at 70mph I regularly get 36 mpg. It’s very boring driving the speed limit to get 36 mpg, but it can be done. That said, the F30 328i should completely blow that out of the water. 

    • m8o

       Indeed, it seems it does.  On bimmerfest someone in the real world fuel economy thread had stated he’d done that, going faster, and gotten 40mpg average.

  • I don’t care about economy. Whether it’s 33 mpg or 10 mpg, the essential is to have a car which sounds nice and pulls good, of course it should be a BMW. I don’t know how logical it sounds when people buy an M5 and are concerned about its economy. That means people who can afford buying highly expensive cars should NOT be worried about gasoline. OR should I say that people care for the show-off and their pockets at the same time, something very hypocrite. 

    • goat

      Yes, except consider that an increasing number of people care about fuel economy for reasons of environmental and social responsibility or even political reasons, not just economic ones. It is overly simplistic to assume that someone who has money for an expensive / fast vehicle (and therefore likely also has money for its “care and feeding”) should not care about their resource use.

      Second, we are not talking about an M5 here… we are talking about BMW’s bread-and-butter powertrain in the bread-and-butter 3-series line. Fuel economy is very much a big deal in this portion of the market and BMW knows this.

      • Anonymous

        The other big concern I am sure is with cars that were purchased under the “36” mpg promise- recently HONDA has been dealing with a class action law suit and small claims court cases about the inability to achieve the window sticker numbers. By the EPA doing this BMW is now going to go down a similar road, I can almost guarantee it.

    • It’s for the principle on how people think that I mentioned the M5. People are sarcastic because they want to buy something fast but low on maintenance or want something built on good quality but cheap… how can that be?

      Back to the topic, I am 100% sure that the BMW F30 328i is the bread and butter car for BMW but the debate took a lot more concern and highlight than it deserves. The EPA rule already allows 1 mpg up or down. So considering the fact that EPA uses a different dynamometer than BMW’s, then 3 mpg down doesn’t ring bells. And even if it was the same dynamometer, running the test for a second or third time doesn’t match the first test due to mathematical margin errors. 

      So based on all that, I still find it silly to compare 33 mpg to 36 mpg. Totally non-sense.

  • goat

    Interesting. My N55 returned a best highway fuel economy of ~33mpg and a worst city fuel economy of 19mpg. Incidentally, not a big delta from the N52. 

    I find it hard to believe the new 2.0T can’t score higher than 33mpg though… Audi’s B8 2.0T can do 36mpg highway and it is fairly “old tech” by now so I expected BMW to return equal or even better to that. 

    • Anonymous

      Look at the N20 in the 528i- The EPA is trying to say that the F30 which is over 400lbs less, has better aero gets less fuel economy…. either they ran 87 in the F30 or BMW forgot/refused to “grease” someone’s palms and are now paying for it. 

      • Macca

        I totally agree with that. EPA is certainly producing some BS over there.

  • Frank Granados

    I’ll take the amazing 335d over this new 4 banger F30 any day of the week and twice on Sundays.