Compared to the all-new F30 3-Series, the rest of the compact BMW’s main rivals have been around in their current form for a few years.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class also goes four-cylinder for 2012, but its 201-horsepower, 1.8-liter engine in the C250 isn’t quite a substitute for a six-cylinder engine the way that the 328i’s 240-hp engine is.
The C-Class also gets a refresh for 2012, but it’s not a complete redesign.
The Lexus IS has one of the oldest designs among compact sport sedans; it’s not at all competitive in IS 250 guise, but the IS 350 can be quite enjoyable to drive.
That said, it doesn’t pair a composed ride and crisp handling nearly as well as the 3-Series.
The Audi A4 has a strong, economical base powertrain in its current 2.0T form, and its handling is tuned to target the 3-Series, but it doesn’t offer nearly the tech options you can find in the BMW.
Infiniti’s G37 drives like a sports coupe and has excellent steering and handling, but it’s the harshest offering in this class and lacks the refinement luxury shoppers are likely looking for.
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|2012 BMW 3-SeriesBrowse Used Listings||2012 Audi A4Browse Used Listings||2012 Lexus IS 350Browse Used Listings||2012 Mercedes-Benz C ClassBrowse Used Listings|
|17 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy||21 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy||18 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy||15 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy|
|Turbocharged Gas I4||Turbocharged Gas I4||Gas V6||Turbocharged Gas I4|
|Compact Cars||Compact Cars||Sub-Compact||Compact|
|4-Door Sedan 328i RWD SULEV||4-Door Sedan CVT FrontTrak 2.0T Premium||350 4-Door Sedan RWD||4-Door Sedan C 250 Sport RWD|
|Rear Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive|
|Sedan||Sedan||Sedan||4 Door Sedan|
|Automatic w/Manual Shift||Continuously Variable Ratio||Automatic w/manual shift||Automatic|