BMW released a list of changes it is making on its cars for the new model year. The key changes are the introduction of smaller engine options for fuel economy minded shoppers. Automatic transmissions are becoming free and the expensive double clutch transmission options are getting a price drop.

 

1 Series

BMW's smallest car will get iPod and USB connectivity for all models in 2012. Hands free Bluetooth and floor mats are now standard equipment as well.

Power seats and lumbar support have been added to the 135i coupe and convertible models.

The automatic transmission in the 128i is now a no cost option over the standard manual, and the price has been reduced on the double clutch gearbox for the 135i models.

The Sport and Value packages are now gone from the lineup. The options from these lists have either been rolled into the Premium Package or are now standard equipment.

The new 1 Series is now available in BMW showrooms throughout the country.

 

3 Series

BMW 3 Series buyers will no longer have to pay extra for an automatic transmission, while the price has been lowered on the 335is's double clutch transmission.

The old Sport Package is now called the M Sport package.

All wheel drive models will now come with 17-inch wheels with all season tires.

 

5 Series

The 5 Series sedan will be available with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine for the first time. The gas-sipping engine will feature direct injection, twin scroll turbochargers and variable valve timing. The new car will be badged as the 528i.

Both the 528i and the 535i will come with start/stop technology standard. According to BMW, the motors will be able to turn off when the car is standing still, and seamlessly restart when the car needs to accelerate again- saving fuel when it isn't needed.

 

6 Series

The 6 Series Coupe is all-new for 2012 and will feature a 4.4-liter twin turbo engine or a high performance version of BMW's 3.0-liter straight six. The smaller engine will be the first six-cylinder in a 6 Series since 1989.

 

Z4

The Z4 Roadster will now be available with a new direct injection, twin turbocharged four-cylinder engine. BMW is calling the new MPG focused roadster the Z4 sDrive28i.

Like other models in the BMW lineup, the automatic transmission in the Z4 is now a no cost option, while the double clutch transmission becomes slightly less expensive.

 

X3

BMW's compact SUV will remain largely unchanged unless you live in a cold climate

The Cold Weather package now includes a heated steering wheel, while the heated rear seats and headlight washers are now only available as a further upgrade from the package.

X3 trucks with the Sports activity package now get an anthracite headliner.

 

X5

All of the new X5 models will get a host of standard features in 2012. The steering column, and tailgate will now be powered on all trucks, while floor mats, roof rails, heated front seats and park distance sensors are all standard.

The trucks will all get BMW assist as a standard feature. The system will come with an upgraded stereo system that has Bluetooth iPod and USB capability.

 

X6

The rear seats can be changed for the new year so BMW's sport activity vehicle is now able to seat five. The five-passenger configuration is available as an optional upgrade in the new car.

Heated front seats are now standard on all X6 vehicles, as are auto-dimming mirrors, privacy glass and the BMW assist package.

author photo

J. Mark Sternberg is an automotive journalist, car enthusiast and writer with a degree from the University of Arizona. Mark is a devoted Formula 1 fan and also enjoys boating, flying and attending the occasional track day.

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