As the old adage goes, if something is too good to be true it probably is. When BMW announced the new F30 328i with the 2.0 liter turbo four cylinder it announced a new powerplant with 240 horsepower and a competition beating 24 city and 36 highway fuel economy rating when paired with the 8 speed auto. This made the new 3 series a sports sedan with the fuel economy of a compact. However, the folks at Bimmerfest are reporting that the EPA has/will adjust the 328i auto ratings to a more believable 23 city and 33 highway. Numbers that are still very good but not nearly as magical. While EPA's official fueleconomy.com is still reporting the old figures, BMW's own website says that the 328i auto will only achieve 23/33 mpg.
So the million dollar question becomes, how did this fuel economy fiasco occur? While the EPA ratings appear government official, the reality is that the agency only independently verifies only about 15% of all of the ratings that it publishes. Testing every single model on sale would certainly run up the tax payer bill. The manufacturers submit the ratings according to their own testing (using the EPA protocol) and then the agency audits some of the ratings to keep everyone honest. It appears the 328i automatic got audited and there was a discrepancy.