230 horsepower and 3362 lbs doesn’t sound very impressive on paper. But that’s the last reason anyone buys a BMW 328i. I admit that in my numbers-obsessed adolescence, I was skeptical of the promise of a silky-smooth I6 and the intangible promise of perfect poise and balance. Why not just go straight for the 335i? And then I drove one.
It turned out that yes, the 328i really did deliver on the much vaunted promise of being one of the finest sports sedans in the world. Since then, I have longed for a naturally aspirated, manual transmission BMW. The 328i has always held a certain appeal, though I wouldn’t turn down the E90 330i, with its juiced-up 3.0L I6.
The introduction of the turbo-four BMWs has added a certain urgency to that desire, and this article by Road & Track isn’t helping matters. The guys at R&T have come to the same conclusion that many of us have over at TTAC. For all its supposed pace and efficiency, the turbo-4 can’t compare to the purity and sophistication of the I6 powertrain and the hydraulic steering system. I’m off to find one on Craigslist, hopefully not in that eggplant color.