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BMW 328i runs fine with four cylinders

CNET reviews the 2012 BMW 328i, testing out the new four-cylinder engine, general handling ability, and the copious cabin electronics.

2012 BMW 328i
Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Going from a six- to a four-cylinder engine is a fairly drastic change, and one that could ruin the reputation of even such a stalwart as BMW. But the automaker is in good company, as downsizing engines in favor of fuel economy is in fashion.

And the new 328i shows that those two cylinders may have been extraneous, as technologies such as a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct injection make up for the displacement loss. The real upside comes in the form of fuel economy averaging close to 30 mpg.

Less successful is the idle-stop feature, which is more intrusive on the driving experience than most American drivers will like.

If you have an iPhone, the 328i is a wonderland of cutting-edge features, letting you listen to Pandora or MOG, and check Facebook and Twitter feeds on the car's own LCD. The navigation system, digital audio features, and phone system all show best of breed features.

Check out CNET's review of the 2012 BMW 328i.