Home Travel Stories Gas Logs 2005 BMW 325xi 152 SEFI MPG= 27.1 Hwy
2005 BMW 325xi 152 SEFI MPG= 27.1 Hwy PDF Print E-mail
Written by Double Dragon
Monday, 03 January 2011 11:36

2005 BMW 325xi Wagon 152 SEFI MPG= 27.1  Hwy


Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown


Metric= 2.5 L engine- 8.7 L/100km Hwy


Mileage when car was first released= 19 City/ 26 Hwy

The EPA came up with 19 MPG City, 26 MPG Hwy and 22 MPG overall (12 L/100, 9 L/100, 11 L/100). The new EPA system translates to 17 City, 24 Hwy and 20 MPG overall. One Owner Collector Car is the only place to record real life user MPG on the BMW so far.

The BMW 325xi wagon handles almost as well as the 325 sedans despite the extra weight of the rear roof and glass area and less sleek shape. The rear seats fold forwards to create extra storage space when needed creating a utilitarian vehicle. The ride is firm and like all German cars has high steering effort for a feeling of precision on the highway.

The 325 has firm power heated leather seats with several memory settings for the driver seat. The rear view mirror is auto dimming and the windshield wipers have rain sensors to control speed automatically. The outside rear view passenger mirror rotates downwards to show the curb when the car is placed in reverse. The car has climate control A/C, power windows, power steering and brakes and power door locks. Cruise control has the ability to adjust up and down by KPH increments. The headlights are automatic. The control panel has fuel mileage, distance to empty and outside temperature readouts.


The OOCC BMW 325xi is a two owner car, bought new from the Park Shore BMW car dealership in North Vancouver, BC. To read a brief history of this dealer, see the story in the DEALERSHIPS section of this website. The second and present owner bought the car at about 1.5 years old with 30,000 KM showing.

BMW people will easily decode the numbers that make up the name of this car. 325xi means this is a 3 series with 2.5 Liter engine. The 3 series has been around forever. The 2005 was the first year for the fifth generation of this popular model. The 'x' indicates all wheel drive and the 'i' means fuel injected engine.

Converted to cubic inches, the engine displaces 152; quite small. European cars tend to have small engines that are maximized in efficiency in order to cope with the higher price of gasoline there. This car was a direct import from Germany, and hence the speedometer reads only in KPH without a MPG conversion scale. The fuel consumption gauge and the digital computer fuel mileage calculator similarly use the L per 100 K system.

The six cylinder engine produces a mere 184 HP at 6,000 RPM and 175 Ft lbs of torque at 3,500 RPM but with sport mode/ overdrive transmission it accelerates decently and will cruise silently at high speeds and low engine revs. The OOCC BMW has an automatic transmission with a 'sport mode'. Push the selector to the left and it engages in a new track which allows you to manually choose the gear you wish to keep the car in much like the old 1960s Hurst "His and Hers" dual gate shifters. Below is a shot of the car revving at a quiet 3,250 RPM while maintaining 150 KPH (about 93 MPH). You may wonder about the fuel consumption gauge all the way into the high teens. That is because the shot was taken as the car was ascending a steep hill.


The OOCC BMW 325xi curb weight is 3,627 pounds (1,645 kg). The 'x' four wheel drive components add a whopping 177 pounds above the 3,450 pound automatic transmission equipped two wheel drive version. The all wheel drive uses three separate differentials: one to separate each wheel on each axle plus one to separate the front from the rear wheels.

The OOCC BMW produced 27.1 MPG on the highway at high cruise speeds usually between an indicated 140 and 180 KPH, with the majority of cruising somewhere in the 150s (about 90 MPH). The odometer tallies exactly with highway mile markers once converted to miles. However, the speedometer reads 2 to 3 MPH high when compared to a cell phone GPS speed tracking program that determines your speed via satellite.

City miles since departure= 13.8 km 
Highway miles 34.7 km 5.5 C 
Highway exit 49.1 km/ 5.0 degrees C 
Stop and go lineup 53.6km 
Chevron fill  54km 11 gal 
Chevron fill 366.9 km/ 9 gals

Gas used was 92 octane Chevron which has up to 10% ethanol content in USA. There was some Canadian Chevron gas still in the car. The Canadian gas was a 94 octane free of ethanol.

Depart city miles 8, hwy 30 69,603 
Stop and go 1 hr 69,656 
Chevron from E to F 15.56 gal 69,656 
Chevron half to F 8.17 gals 70,014 
8.17 GALS to drive 358 KM

Average speed DRIVER One = 140 KPH
Average speed DRIVER Two = 110 KPH 
Overall average speed = 125 KPH

Approx 222 miles/ 8.17= 27.1 MPG using Chevron 92 Octane with 10% ethanol.  
Load 375 lbs/ dry roads, no wind 65 degrees F  
Front 32 psi/ Rear 38 psi Michelin 205R50-16 tires on factory aluminum rims.

Below is the readout from the speedometer computer for a short Interstate run at lower speeds than the one summarized above. It shows that the BMW went 168.9 KM (105 miles) from the last fill up. The car was accelerated at 6,000 RPM shifts for two WOT bursts of speed. Otherwise the trip was made at a relaxed overdrive RPM cruise of 120 to 130 KPH (75 to 80 MPH) with short stretches of 160 KPH (100 MPH) driving mixed in.


The BMW computer shows an average of 8.1 L/ 100 KM for this trip which converts to 29.04 MPG. Below is the gas pump readout of 3.7 gallons to refill the tank with a few click-offs. Calculating the MPG from the pump gives 28.3 MPG which converts to 8.31 L/100 KM. If the tank wasn't filled so full, the MPG manual calculation and computer would probably have matched exactly.


The computer shows that the BMW used about 7.4 L per 100 KM when cruising between 90 and 110 KPH (55 to 68 MPH) on smooth highways with the windows rolled up. This translates to 31.7 MPG. Prolonged City stop and go driving drives up usage to about 16 L/ 100 KM on the computer which is only 14.7 MPG.


When a BMW hits 60,000 miles it is due for what many people call the 'Big One' in preventative maintenance. Failure prone water pumps are best switched out at this mileage rather than waiting for a catastrophic failure. Thermostat and brittle plastic overflow reservoirs should be replaced simultaneously. Along with return springs and odds and ends, the platinum spark plugs should be changed.

The OOCC BMW was taken on a road trip the day after the "Big One' service and curiosity prompted some mileage checks to see if the new spark plugs improved MPG. Departing at 96,535 KM, the onboard computer dropped from the usual 16 L/ 100 km to about 11 L/ 100 KM after a combination of city driving and some 60 MPH cruising. From 96,577 KM onwards the BMW cruised through light traffic on dry Interstates at 75 MPH with brief sections at 100 MPH. The car outside temperature thermometer read 23 degrees C which is 73 degrees F. The car was getting slightly better than usual mileage at 7.9 L/ 100 KM which is 29.7 MPG.

Two fills of Chevron octane 92 (up to 10% ethanol content) are recorded below.

Odometer Gallons Octane/ Fill?  MPG
96,754         8.2       92     Full    N.A. MPG
96,925         3.7       92     Full    28.6 MPG

171 KM converts to 106 miles. Using 3.7 gallons results in 28.6 MPG. The trip computer claimed 8.3 L/ 100 KM which is 28.3 MPG. The new spark plugs haven't made a noticeable difference.

Following the same route on another date, with variable speed (as low as 120 KPH and as high as 160 KPH) with an average around 130 KPH the car required 3.9 gallons from fill point to fill point. Although the driving wasn't made at a higher speed accelerating up and down repeatedly to adjust to changing speeds of other drivers caused the car to use more gas. Mapquest states the the route taken was 104 miles. The highway mileage on this run was 26.6 MPG. Although it was a sunny 80 degree day with dry warm roads the car hadn't been switched to summer tires yet. The fact that car was equipped with snow tires increases the roll resistance and lowers MPG.


Last Updated ( Thursday, 15 June 2017 21:23 )