E90 E92 328i Buyers Guide

Ultimate BMW E90 & E92 328i Guide

Jake Mayock

Meet Jake

Jake currently owns two N54 powered BMW’s – an E60 535i and E82 135i. Jake has 10 years of experience maintaining, repairing, and upgrading his BMW’s. The 135i features a single turbo Precision 6266 conversion capable of 700+whp; Jake completed the entire project on his own. With over 200 automotive articles published, Jake brings a balance of writing skill, hands-on BMW experience, and technical knowledge to the table.

E90 and E92 328i models remain among the last BMW 3-series to use natural aspiration. This makes the 328i a highly desirable car to some. However, there are many other traits that make the BMW E90 328i a great car to own and drive. The E90 & E92 328i come in with a weight around 3,350 lbs and offer 230 horsepower – good for a 0-60 time of 6.1 seconds. In this article, we’ll break down the full list of specs for the 2007-2013 BMW 328i. We also discuss some FAQ’s, engine problems & reliability, performance, tuning, and more.

BMW E90 328i

BMW E90 vs E92

We will circle back to this topic later in this article. For now it’s important to lay out some of the basics before we dive into the specs for the 2007 to 2013 328i. The BMW E90 and E92 are the same generation 3-series. E90 represents the sedan while E92 is the coupe. They both use the same BMW N52 engine, so the engine specs will remain the same.

However, the BMW E90 and E92 designation means the cars actually lie upon different chassis. Specs such as 328i weight, length, ground clearance, etc do vary depending on coupe vs sedan. As such, we’ll do our best to break down the exact specs for both the E90 and E92 328i. They are actually very similar despite their different chassis, though.

*We’ll use the term E9x multiple times in this article where certain info applies to both the BMW E90 and E92. For example, in the next heading since both 328i models use the same exact engine.

BMW E9X 328i Engine Specs

Engine specs for the BMW N52 engine in the BMW E90 & E92 328i are as follows:

EngineBMW N52B30
Displacement2996 cc (3.0L)
LubricationWet sump
Block MaterialMagnesium-Aluminum
Head MaterialAluminum
ValvetrainDOHC, 24 valves
Compression10.7 : 1
Bore x Stroke85mm x 88mm (3.35″ x 3.46″)

The N52 engine in the 328i is a naturally aspirated 3.0L inline-6. It uses a lightweight magnesium & aluminum block to help keep weight off the front axle. The head is also aluminum, and features DOHC for a total of 24 valves. BMW N52 328i engines use electronic throttle control, double-VANOS, and valvetronic. All of this technology helps deliver better performance and fuel economy.

328i Performance & Fuel Economy Specs

Some performance specs for the BMW E9x 328i with the N52 engine include:

Horsepower230 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque200 lb-ft @ 2750 rpm
0-60 MPH6.1 sec
1/4 Mile14.7 sec @ 96 mph
Top Speed130 mph
EPA City/HWY18/28 mpg

Performance specs for the BMW 328i are actually nearly identical between the coupe and sedan. Driver, conditions, road surface, and more play a much bigger role in any differences. Depending on where you find E90/E92 328i 0-60 and 1/4 mile times they are the same between the two cars.

The only exception is the E9x 328xi AWD version since that adds about 200-250 pounds of weight. Putting power down to all 4 wheels also leads to more frictional power losses. As such, the 328xi AWD will generally be slower than the RWD versions by about 0.5 seconds from 0-60 mph. The same can be said for fuel economy due to the weight and power losses; xi models will get fewer MPG.

BMW E90/E92 328i Size, Dimensions, Weight

Specs for size, weight, and dimensions of the E90 and E92 328i are:

ChassisE90 328iE92 328i
Body Style4 Door Sedan2 Door Coupe
Curb Weight3340 lbs3351 lbs
Wheelbase108.7 inches108.7 inches
Overall Length178.2 inches181.1 inches

Apart from the difference in doors these cars are actually very much identical. Weight for the E90 is a little lower since it sits nearly 3″ shorter in length than the E92 coupe. However, the exact weight of each E90/E92 328i varies a lot so neither car has a bit edge here. Even minor luxury options can make a big difference in 328i weight. Start adding in premium packages, a sunroof, etc and the weights can add up quickly.

It’s important to mention the coupe does sit a little lower to the ground, which offers a better center of gravity. That will give the coupe a marginal advantage when it comes to E9x 328i handling. Anyways, these specs are so similar they shouldn’t influence a decision on coupe vs sedan in our opinion.

BMW E90 328i Reliability

In US models, the N52 engine was the least powerful engine in the E9x 3-series, and the only option in the 2007-2013 328i. Though, as we discussed with the specs the N52 still offers plenty of performance for most. When it comes to reliability the simplicity of the N52 actually works in its favor. Unlike the twin turbo N54 335i and high-revving S65 V8. While they’re both great engines in their own regard they’re more complicated and generally pricier to own.

Point is – it’s likely fair to consider the N52 328i among the most reliable gasoline 3-series engines for the E90 generation. The engine does suffer from its fair share of common problems such as the cooling system, oil leaks, and a few other issues. Check out the below article for more info on N52 reliability in the BMW 328i.

BMW N52 328i Reliability

Additionally, the 328i is a lower-end, simple BMW 3-series. It doesn’t have all of the luxury features and electronics you may find on a larger 5 or 7 series. That, again, works in favor of the E9x 328i. We also think the simplicity of the 328i makes it a joy to drive, but we’ll bring that up in the coming sections.

Is the E9x 328i Reliable?

We sort of alluded to this question in the previous section, but didn’t tackle it directly. Our answer is…yes and no. Compared to the same generation N54, N55, and S65 engines the N52 does offer better reliability. As such, looking from a relativity perspective then, yes, the E90 and E92 328i are reliable cars.

Although, don’t expect the BMW 328i to be a cheap car to own. It is still a performance inspired car that’s a bit more demanding on maintenance than your average car. BMW’s are also more expensive to fix than your average car when it comes to labor and parts. Age is another factor since the E90 and E92 chassis are 8-14 years old now.

Maintain the N52 engine and 328i well and they’ll likely return decent reliability. If they were newer we would say they’re a bit more reliable. However, BMW’s do have their share of common problems as they surpass 10 years old (that could be said for many cars to be fair).

E90 3-Series Performance & Tuning

Performance numbers were above in the specs, so we’ll avoid discussing that much. We really want to stick with aftermarket tuning and modding potential of the E90 328i in this section. Unfortunately, naturally aspirated engines usually aren’t cheap to pick up solid power gains. Without forced induction it’s challenging to gain a lot of horsepower and torque.

However, the E9x 328i does have some benefits. BMW actually sold the E90 330i in the US with the same N52 engine making 252 horsepower. The 328i is simply a de-tuned engine with a different intake manifold. There’s a good amount of power to be had with a tune and intake manifold from the 330i.

Add in some headers and other mods and the E90 & E92 328i are capable of getting into the 270-290hp ballpark. We wrote an in-depth article about some of the best performance mods for the N52 328i here.

BMW E90/E92 Handling

This is where we believe the 328i really shines. It’s lighter than the same E90 generation 335i and M3. The weight balance is also better with less weight over the front of the vehicle. No, it’s not going to out-handle the legendary E90/E92 M3. However, the 328i still has plenty of performance and handling to offer.

Throw on some aftermarket suspension and M3 control arms and you’ll have an incredible car. That’s not to say it’s bad in stock form either. The E90 328i is a truly fun and exciting drivers car even if it is lacking a bit of power by modern standards.

It’s also hydraulic steering on the E9x 3-series chassis. Before the days of the electric steering, which we’re not big fans of. The E90 and E92 328i offer great steering feel, response, and feedback. All in all, it handles plenty well to deliver an exciting experience behind the wheel.

Should You Buy an E9x 328i?

Of course, we can’t truly answer this question since it’s subjective. We will say that we believe the E90 generation 328i makes for a compelling option. It’s easy to find these cars in the sub $10,000 price range. The 328i also offers a good balance of performance, handling, fuel economy and reliability. Again, expect a bit of extra maintenance due to its performance nature and age.

If you’re undecided we wrote an E90 buyers guide here. We think the N52 powered E90 328i is a good choice for the moderate enthusiast looking for a fun all around car. Those looking for a bit more power will likely favor the 335i or another sportier, powerful car. If power isn’t a huge concern then we suspect most will enjoy the E90 328i as an awesome car that can do a bit of everything on the road.

BMW E90 & E92 FAQ’s

Some of this info was likely already covered in the specs and other details we discussed in this article. Nonetheless, we’ll dive into a few FAQ’s for the E90/E92 328i.

What Engine is in the E90 328i?

All US model E90 328i’s use the N52B30 engine (N52 for short).

How Much Does the E90 328i Weigh?

Both the coupe and sedan 328i models come in right around 3350 lbs. The sedan surprisingly has a slight advantage due to its shorter length. Anyways, the E9x 328i is a pretty light car by modern standards. Be cautious of extra features since they can add weight quickly.

What is the N52 328i Oil Capacity?

Oil capacity for the 2007-2013 328i with the N52 engine is 7 quarts (6.5 liters).

What is the E90 328i Top Speed?

The top speed of the 328i is electronically limited to 130mph. With the sport package top speed increases to 155mph for the E9x 328i. Without any governor the top speed is around 160-165mph, but it will take a lot of road to get there.

How Much Power Does the E9x 328i Have?

Power comes in at 230hp and 200 lb-ft of torque from the factory. A similar version of the N52 making 252hp is in the 330i (an intake manifold and tune can bring the output close to that of the 330i). Add in a few extra bolt-ons and the N52 328i can make about 270-290 horsepower.

Is the E90/E92 328i AWD?

Standard 328i models are RWD. However, there is an E90 328xi which is all wheel drive (AWD). The x in the badging indicates AWD.

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  1. Good to read the article! Thank you for sharing the great content,
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  2. The 6 Speed Manual is lighter and faster then the automatic. The sound of the engine is much nicer paired with the Manual.
    As original owner of the 2008 328i 6 Speed ( Canada) there are features that were deleted on the LCI. The US and Canadian markets also differed in the offerings ( Standard Xenon) in Canada vs halogen in US. Canada also offered a base model 323i that came with slick top and 6 speed manual with a lower power (2.5 liter )

    0-60 Mph RWD Manual 6.3 vs 6.9 Automatic 328i
    Xi 0-60 MPH Manual 6.9 vs Automatic 7.1 328xi
    335i Manual 0-60 5.4 vs 5.6 Automatic 335i

    Weight Distribution was best in the 328i rwd Manual 50.4/49.5 vs automatic 51.1/48.9
    335i Manual was 51.5/48.5 worse then the automatic version in the 328i…so best handling was in the 328i and the high power of the 335i does not allow for nice transition with higher speed generated between turns…so the 328i in RWD and 6 Speed offers the best potential of those looking for balance.

    1. Hi Mile,

      We agree the 328i offers a good balance if you’re not looking for big power and straight-line performance. However, I’m not quite sure where you got the 0-60 times. The automatic and manual 328i aren’t separated by a whole 0.6 seconds. Automatics should also have the slight advantage.

      The 335i does 0-60 in less than 5 seconds. Most testing shows about 4.6 to 4.9 seconds in stock form. The automatics are generally faster to 60 by a tenth or two tenths of a second.


  3. “All US model E90 328i’s use the N52B30 engine (N52 for short).“

    Nope. You are forgetting about the N51.

    1. Agreed! That’s what I bought from a family member, if I understand correctly, it has the better intake manifold. Can someone confirm that for me?

      1. @Phil, the N51 has the “better” 330i 3-stage intake manifold. However, the N51 has lower compression ratios and cylinder heads compared to the N52. The reason the N51 has the better manifold is to make up for those differences through tuning with the more complex manifold.

  4. Can a 2009 328 i x drive N52 automatic engine be used without issue to replace a 2011 328i N52 engine with standard transmission

  5. How about the German made BMW. My BMW has The Dissa Valves for more horse power. Most european models of BMW. 328i E92 3.0L N51 ship to California also has the Sport Package lower center of gravity. Want to sell because, I dont need a sport car anymore. But the car runs very nice as do most older BMW N.A.E.

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