BMW 3 Series Sports  vs Volkswagen Jetta TDI 

BMW 3 Series Sports 328i xDrive

  • $41k
  • 2.0L
  • 22 city 33 hwy
Features and equipment are good even in base models, though the new 320i does strip out much of the standard infotainment and technology.
by The Car Connection (Mar, 2014)
VS

Volkswagen Jetta TDI Sedan

  • $23k
  • 2.0L Diesel
  • 30 city 42 hwy
The TDI isn’t a jackrabbit sprinter, but ours did post an ecorespectable 0-to-60 time of eight seconds and a quarter-mile of 16.2 seconds at 85 mph.
by Car and Driver (Aug, 2013)

RideNerd Review Our evaluation of 328i xDrive vs Sedan

Affordability

Will it break the bank?

Annual cost

Fuel economy

Is it a gas sipper or guzzler?

Fuelly MPG and EPA highway mileage

Air quality

Help the world breathe easier with higher scores.

NMOG/mile, carbon monoxide/mile, nitrogen oxide/mile and EPA Smog Score

Climate friendly

Higher scores leave less of an impact on global warming.

combined CO2/mile and EPA greenhouse gas score

RideNerd Score

Affordability, Fuel economy, Air quality and Climate friendly

Winner
Volkswagen Jetta TDI Sedan 

RideNerd recommends the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Sedan  based on its affordability, fuel economy and climate friendly.

See full details

Benchmarks Real world tests of 3 Series Sports vs Jetta TDI

EPA Greenhouse Gas Score The EPA ranks cars based on their climate change impact; 10 is best.

EPA Smog Score The EPA ranks cars based on their air quality impact; 10 is best.

Annual Cost The yearly cost to drive 15,000 miles, including fuel and car payments.

Average MPG of Fuelly Users Owners report actual MPG based on their experience.

Annual Fuel Cost The cost of fuel to drive 15,000 miles each year.

Differences What are the advantages of each

Front view of BMW 3 Series Sports

Reasons to consider the
BMW 3 Series Sports 328i xDrive

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More efficient freshwater use 2.1 m³ vs 4.55 m³ 2.2x less per car made; 1 cubic metre of water is 1.5 year's worth of drinking water
Much less CO2 per car made 0.68 metric ton vs 0.89 metric ton Around 25% less CO2 emitted per car made; clean factories are good factories
Much less landfill usage 6.11 kg vs 209 kg 34.2x less waste sent to landfill during manufacture
Causes much less acid rain 0.02 g vs 0.05 g 2.4x less nitrogen oxide emitted per mile
Stops the engine instead of idling Yes vs No Decreases fuel use and emissions in stop-and-go traffic
Front view of Volkswagen Jetta TDI

Reasons to consider the
Volkswagen Jetta TDI Sedan

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Higher ranked by the EPA for greenhouse emissions 8 vs 6 Measures tailpipe emissions only. 6 and higher is good; 9 and 10 are great.
Runs on diesel Yes vs No Diesel engines typically last longer than gas engines and cost less in maintenance
Recirculates exhaust gas Yes vs No Recirculation improves the reduction of harmful emissions by the pollution control systems
Many more emission control devices 3 vs 1 Three times as many catalytic converters; typically results in cleaner emissions
Saves on fuel $1,700 vs $2,103 Around 20% cheaper based on 15,000 miles/year
Much less energy used per car made 1,790 kWh/vehicle vs 2,440 kWh/vehicle 25% less per car made; less dirty energy used in the manufacturing process benefits everyone
Cheaper annual cost $6,311 vs $10,393 Around 40% less expensive per year
Lower MSRP $23k vs $41k Around 45% cheaper sticker price
Better city driving range 435 miles vs 347 miles More than 25% further in the city
Better highway driving range 609 miles vs 521 miles More than 15% further range on the interstate
Smaller annual carbon footprint 297 g vs 370 g Around 20% better combined CO2/mile
Higher EPA highway mileage 42 MPG vs 33 MPG More than 25% better on the interstate

Annual Costs Which is the smarter choice for your wallet over 5 years?

$41,450 14.3¢/mile BMW 3 Series Sports
Volkswagen Jetta TDI $23,055 11.3¢/mile
Infrequent drivers     Up to 10,000 miles/year
Average drivers     Up to 20,000 miles/year
Heavy drivers     Up to 40,000 miles/year
The Volkswagen Jetta TDI is cheaper (per year) in all scenarios, because of its lower price and cheaper fuel costs per mile.
 
Our math for 15,000 miles / year, over 5 years
BMW 3 Series Sports Volkswagen Jetta TDI
Price $8,290 ($41,450) $4,611 ($23,055)
Fuel $2,144 (2,898 gallons) $1,699 (2,179 gallons)
City 22 MPG 30 MPG
Highway 33 MPG 42 MPG
Customize our assumptions
% of city miles
$ per gallon of gas
c/kWh
$ per gallon of diesel
$ per gallon of ethanol
$ per gallon of natural gas

Reviews Word on the street

3 Series Sports  vs Jetta TDI 

8.3
7.2
On the practicality front, 3 Series Sport Wagon and Gran Turismo models maintain a sizable advantage over their sedan-only rivals like the Lexus IS and Infiniti G when it comes to hauling cargo.
3 Series Sports 328i xDrive

Specifications Full list of technical specs

general

3 Series Sports  vs
Jetta TDI 
Brand BMW Volkswagen
Body style
Wagon
Sedan
Model year 2014 2013
City range 347 miles 435 miles
Highway range 521 miles 609 miles
MSRP $41k $23k
Annual cost $10,393 $6,311

Manufacturing Emissions

Water per car made 2.1 m³ 4.55 m³
CO2 per car made 0.68 metric ton 0.89 metric ton
Energy per car made 2,440 kWh/vehicle 1,790 kWh/vehicle
Waste per car made 6.11 kg 209 kg

power & handling

Max torque 255 ft-lb @ 1,250 RPM 236 ft-lb @ 1,750 RPM
Max HP 240 HP @ 5,000 RPM 140 HP @ 4,000 RPM
Power-to-weight ratio 15.75 lb/hp 22.58 lb/hp
Curb-to-curb turning radius 37.1 feet 36.4 feet

suspension, wheels & brakes

Rear suspension Multi link Beam
Front brakes 12.28 in Ventilated Disc 11.3 in Ventilated Disc
Rear brakes 11.81 in Ventilated Disc 10.71 in Disc
Front wheel width 225 205
Front wheel diameter 17 inch 16 inch
Front wheel aspect ratio 50 55

safety features

Active head restraints Yes No
Airbags
Driver
Knee
Side
Passenger
Head curtain
Antilock brakes Standard Standard
Child door locks Standard Standard
Electronic stability control Standard Standard
Traction control Standard Standard
Rear camera N/A N/A
Rear sensor N/A N/A
Park assist system N/A N/A
Communication system None None

physical dimensions

Width 71.5 in 70 in
Front track width 59.1 in 60.4 in
Height 55.8 in 57.2 in
Ground clearance 5.7 in 5.5 in
Length 178.6 in 182.2 in
Wheelbase 108.7 in 104.4 in
Curb weight 3,780 lb 3,161 lb
GVWR 4,751 4,256
Has a rear spoiler Yes No
Seats 5 5
Front seat room 52 ft³ 49 ft³
Rear seat room 42 ft³ 44 ft³

emissions

3 Series Sports  vs
Jetta TDI 
EPA smog score 6 6
EPA GHG score 6 8
Carbon monoxide/mile 1.2 g 0.49 g
Combined CO2/mile 370 g 297 g
NMOG/mile 0.01 g 0.01 g
Nitrogen oxide/mile 0.02 g 0.05 g
Vapor canisters 1 0
Bleed canisters 0 0
Catalytic converters 1 3
Stops the engine instead of idling Yes No
Disables engine cylinders under low loads No No
Recirculates exhaust gas No Yes
Lifetime CO2 emissions 56 tons 45 tons

engine & drivetrain

Engine size 2.0L 2.0L
Air compressor None None
Fuel
Gas
Diesel
Cylinders I4 I4
Paddle shifters N/A N/A
Gearing type Traditional Traditional
Transmission 8-speed Automatic 4x4 6-speed Manual 2WD

stereo & entertainment

Brand Generic Generic
Speakers 9 6
Has a speed sensitive volume Yes Yes
Has a subwoofer No No
Auxiliary input Yes Yes
AM/FM radio Standard Standard
CD player Standard Standard
CD changer N/A N/A
Satellite radio Optional Standard
Entertainment system N/A N/A

features

Cruise control Standard Standard
Front A/C N/A Standard
Front passenger A/C N/A N/A
Keyless entry Standard Standard
Keyless ignition N/A N/A
Sun roof N/A N/A
Navigation system Optional, $2,150 N/A
Roof rails N/A N/A
Power locks Standard Standard
Power mirrors Standard Standard
Power outlets Standard Standard
Power steering Standard Standard
Power windows Standard Standard
BMW 3 Series Sports 328i xDrive
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Volkswagen Jetta TDI Sedan
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