2011 BMW
328i
vs. 2012 Volkswagen
Passat TDI SEL Premium

2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium

9.8

starting from

$32,965

Reasons to buy the Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium

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Fantastic range on the highway
796 miles
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Fantastic range in the city
574 miles
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Fantastic highway fuel efficiency
43 mpg
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Good city fuel efficiency
31 mpg
2011 BMW 328i

9.2

Runner-up

BMW 328i

starting from

$37,475
"Delivers a lot of style and performance at the entry level luxury price point of $36,575 for the model we tested."
bullz-eye.com | talking about the 3 Series's value
"The manual 6-speed combined with a 3.0-liter 230 horsepower, DOHC inline 24-valve 6-cylinder engine produced both power and efficiency"
bullz-eye.com | talking about the 3 Series's transmission

Reasons to buy the BMW 328i

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Better drivetrain traction
all-wheel drive
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OK performance
15.7 lb/hp
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Longer basic warranty
50,000 mile
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Longer-lasting basic warranty
4 year
Luxury Features 8.6 vs 10.0
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Winner: Passat TDI SEL Premium
[details]
  • Enjoy additional natural light with the Passat TDI SEL Premium's standard sun roof
  • Conveniently adjust your seat with the Passat TDI SEL Premium's power seats; requires an optional upgrade on the 328i
Cost 10.0 vs 9.6
2011 BMW 328i Winner: 328i
[details]
  • Basic warranty lasts 14,000 more miles, 50,000 mile vs 36,000 mile
  • Basic warranty lasts 1 more year, 4 year vs 3 year
Crash Test Ratings - vs -
Missing information
[details]
Road Tests - vs -
Missing information
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Safety Features 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Child door locks come standard
Performance 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
Practicality 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • The Passat TDI SEL Premium's standard navigation system will ensure you never get lost again; optional upgrade required on the 328i
Entertainment System 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
Overall 9.2 vs 9.8

Luxury Features

BMW
328i
2011 BMW 328i
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Volkswagen
Passat TDI SEL Premium
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moon roof Not Available vs Standard Enjoy additional natural light with the Passat TDI SEL Premium's standard sun roof
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power seats Optional vs Standard Conveniently adjust your seat with the Passat TDI SEL Premium's power seats; requires an optional upgrade on the 328i
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keyless entry Standard vs Standard Both have keyless entry
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leather Standard vs Standard Both come standard with leather interiors

Cost

BMW
328i
2011 BMW 328i
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Volkswagen
Passat TDI SEL Premium
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MSRP $37,475 vs $32,965 Both are priced reasonably
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In-city gas mileage 17 mpg vs 31 mpg The Passat TDI SEL Premium has great city mileage, but the 328i is very inefficient
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basic warranty miles 50,000 mile vs 36,000 mile The 328i's %s warranty covers lots of miles, but the Passat TDI SEL Premium's doesn't cover many
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basic warranty years 4 year vs 3 year The 328i's basic warranty is long lasting, but the Passat TDI SEL Premium's is very short

Crash Test Ratings

BMW
328i
2011 BMW 328i
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Volkswagen
Passat TDI SEL Premium
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Rollover resistance Unknown vs Unknown
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Front driver crash test Unknown vs Unknown
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Driver side crash test Unknown vs Unknown

Road Tests

BMW
328i
2011 BMW 328i
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Volkswagen
Passat TDI SEL Premium
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0-60 mph 6.3 seconds vs Unknown
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Braking distance at 60mph 134 ft vs Unknown
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1/4 mile 16.0 s @ 91 mph vs Unknown
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Lateral acceleration 0.88 g vs Unknown
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Top speed Unknown vs Unknown

Safety Features

BMW
328i
2011 BMW 328i
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Volkswagen
Passat TDI SEL Premium
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antilock brakes Standard vs Standard Both come standard with ABS brakes
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Stability control system Yes vs Unknown
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Airbags 5 vs 5 OK number of airbags
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Rear brakes Disc vs Disc Both have the usual brakes for this class of vehicle
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child door locks Standard vs Standard Child door locks come standard
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Roadside assistance system BMW Assist vs None

Performance

BMW
328i
2011 BMW 328i
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Volkswagen
Passat TDI SEL Premium
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Horsepower 230 HP @ 6,500 RPM vs 140 HP @ 4,000 RPM The 328i is of average power, but the Passat TDI SEL Premium is underpowered
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Number of gears 6 vs 6 Average number of gears
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Transmission Manual transmission vs Semi-automatic transmission Both the Passat TDI SEL Premium's semi-automatic transmission and the 328i's Manual transmission are unusual transmissions for this class of vehicle
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paddle shifters Not Available vs Unknown
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Air compressor None vs Turbocharger The Passat TDI SEL Premium's Turbocharger lets it maximize power output, quite rare for this class of vehicle
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Power-to-weight ratio 15.7 lb/hp vs 24.3 lb/hp The 328i has OK performance while the Passat TDI SEL Premium gives sluggish performance
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Drivetrain type all-wheel drive vs front-wheel drive The 328i's drivetrain is well-equipped for driving off-road or in poor weather, but the Passat TDI SEL Premium is not
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Curb-to-curb turning radius 36.1 ft vs 36.4 ft Both cars corner comparably to other vehicles in their class

Practicality

BMW
328i
2011 BMW 328i
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Volkswagen
Passat TDI SEL Premium
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Passengers 5 vs 5 Average number of seats
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Highway driving range 403 miles vs 796 miles The Passat TDI SEL Premium gets fantastic distance, but the 328i is very limited
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Cargo space 12.0 ft3 vs 15.9 ft3 Both have OK cargo room
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front seats 51.2 ft3 vs 53.5 ft3 The Passat TDI SEL Premium has average-sized front seats, while the 328i is very cramped
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folding rear seats Optional vs Standard A standard folding rear seat on the Passat TDI SEL Premium is a great way to free up space for road trips; requires optional upgrade on the 328i
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power outlets Not Available vs Standard The Passat TDI SEL Premium's standard power outlets will keep your gadgets charged; not available on the 328i
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roof rails Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers roof rails
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navigation system Optional vs Standard The Passat TDI SEL Premium's standard navigation system will ensure you never get lost again; optional upgrade required on the 328i
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Cupholders 4 vs Unknown
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front air conditioning Standard vs Standard A/C for hot summer days comes standard

Entertainment System

BMW
328i
2011 BMW 328i
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Volkswagen
Passat TDI SEL Premium
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Number of speakers 10 vs Unknown
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Has speed sensitive volume No vs Unknown
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CD player Standard vs Standard CD player comes standard
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premium radio Optional vs Not Available Like your tunes? In the 328i, you can upgrade to satellite radio
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Has auxiliary audio input Yes vs Unknown
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Has subwoofer No vs Unknown
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entertainment system Not Available vs Standard If you want to keep the kids occupied with an entertainment system, it comes standard in the Passat TDI SEL Premium; no amount of money can buy it on the 328i

Other Vehicles to Consider

2011 BMW 328i 2011 Honda Accord EX-L 328i vs Accord EX-L
2011 BMW 328i 2011 Toyota Camry XLE 328i vs Camry XLE
2011 BMW 328i 2012 Acura TL 328i vs TL
2011 BMW 335i 2011 Infiniti G37 Sport 335i vs G37 Sport
2011 BMW 328i 2011 Lexus IS 250 328i vs IS 250
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium 2012 Volvo S60 T6 R-Design Passat TDI SEL Premium vs S60 T6 R-Design
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium 2012 Audi A3 Premium Passat TDI SEL Premium vs A3 Premium
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium 2011 Volkswagen Golf Passat TDI SEL Premium vs Golf
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium 2011 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Passat TDI SEL Premium vs C63 AMG
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4Motion Passat TDI SEL Premium vs Tiguan SE 4Motion

Comments Which car would you recommend, and why?

Showing 3 comments

Avatar for Mike Stein Mike Stein (6:06 AM, March 30, 2014)
Some folks drive 90 miles each way to work and maybe 100 miles on the weekend....The Passat is better for many of these folks. Diesel engines can easily get you 400k or more miles. I once had a beautiful Mercedes diesel, until a drunk driver totaled it.....the only maintenance it needed was glow plugs every 75k miles and oil changes. I do believe this was the reason Mercedes stop producing those great Diesel cars of the 1980's.....they could not make much money on the maintenance!
 
Avatar for Mike Stein Mike Stein (5:51 AM, March 30, 2014)
I think one's choice should be based on the type of driving one does and the budget. BMW may offer more performance but still isn't a top performer, just a better one than a diesel car.....But should anyone be surprised that a diesel isn't a fast racing car? Diesel is about lots of driving inexpensively, cheap maintenance, which is why the 18 Wheeler & service trucks are diesel. It should noted that BMW is around 33% more expensive. BMW are nice sporty cars but they do not GIVE anything for free. That extra 33% pays for the 1 more year of warranty over Passat's plan and the 4 years of "free" maintenance." Many manufacturers give 4 years of warranty without the extra charge and BMW ultimately benefits from their "paid maintenance program" because it helps hold the car's value. When you by a 4 or 5 year Bimmer, you know you are buying a car that has been checked and maintained, which is good. For lots of business driving, I would buy the Passat. For my personal sports car, I would buy something faster and sportier like a Porsche 911, BMW M5, or Mercedes AMG series car.....If you want performance why mess around?
 
Deezl335 (4:13 PM, July 28, 2012)
What a joke of a comparison. As a current 335d owner, is NEVER consider such a PEDESTRIAN Passat as an alternative. NOTHING on the road even comes close to the power/performance/economy mix that this amazing 335d delivers. Period. Facts and experience to back them up.