First Drive: 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Sports Wagon

by Bernie McGroarty on August 21, 2013, 9:14 pm
”sportswagon”

I always thought wagons were boring. A mere grocery getter. These days, I can probably count on one hand how many wagons I see in a week. Well, BMW is bringing the wagon back, with a bit of a twist. It’s the 2014 328i xDrive Sports Wagon and it doesn’t look or act like the everyday station wagon we all grew up with.

”sportswagon”

”sportswagon”

The 328i xDrive Sports Wagon will be the only wagon from BMW to reach the US shores. The base price of the wagon will be ~$42,375 with destination and handling. Our test car was optioned as an M Sport model. This $3950 option adds sporty touches to the exterior as well as the interior of the car. A couple exterior touches include an aerodynamic body kit that includes a more aggressive front bumper and a set of 18” wheels. These upgrades really enhance the Sports part of the Sports Wagon. It really looks good, especially finished in Estoril Blue as our car was. The interior receives aluminum hexagonal patterned trim, a very nice M steering wheel, and sport seats. Like the sedan, the interior is quite comfortable and the sport seats offer good support, keeping you put in corners, and enough adjustability to please almost anyone. The cockpit is arranged well, with controls at the drivers finger tips, while radio and climate controls are also easily reached by the passenger. In the rear of the car, passenger leg room has grown a bit, making the taller folks more comfortable, and luggage volume has increased by 10%.

”sportswagon”

”sportswagon”

This being a wagon, BMW didn’t just stop at adding some extra space. They’ve added a bunch of thoughtful touches to make the space more versatile. There are under floor storage compartments, a load bar that can section off an area, cargo nets, hooks and even a 12v power outlet. You also have the ability to lift the glass portion of the hatch, just in case you need some extra room, or if you need to load on top of items already loaded. BMW really thought the space through. And let’s not forget about the roof. Since the 328i Sports Wagon sits much lower than an SUV, reaching bikes, kayaks and snowsports equipment stored on available roof racks is quite easy.

”sportswagon”

”sportswagon”

The Sports Wagon handles as well as it hauls too, offering plenty of grip from the xDrive all-wheel-drive system. Our test car had the Dynamic Handling Package installed. This is a $1000 option, and it includes the Adaptive M Suspension and Variable Sport Steering. The Adaptive M Suspension not only lowers the car by 10mm, but also utilizes electronically controlled dampers to instantaneously adjust for road conditons and give the best ride possible. The result is a comfortable, smooth and well-damped ride. Steering also has a good feel, thanks to the Variable Sport Steering. Steering feel is altered by the amount of wheel input and speed. Around town it had a light feel, great for parking and tight streets, and on the back roads with a bit of speed, it offered a more firm, sporty feel.

What’s under the hood to help haul all the stuff we can carry?

The 328i Sports Wagon is powered by BMW’s award winning twin-scroll turbocharged 2.0 liter 4 cylinder. With 240 horsepower and 255 torques on tap, starting at a low 1250 rpms, this wagon was definitely no slouch, pulling strong just like the sedan. It felt normally aspirated, thanks to the twin-scroll turbo’s lag-free power. Passing on both the highway and back roads is as easy as dropping your right foot. For a 4 cylinder, it sounds quite nice when pushed. The 8-speed auto box is very competent, always selecting the proper gear for the speed. When I opted for manual shift mode, for some more spirited driving, each touch of the paddles was followed by a quick and precise gear change. Depending on your driving style, or mood, you can always alter your driving experience with the Driver Experience Control just like in the sedan. With 3 modes - Sport, Comfort and Eco Pro - you have control over the suspension, steering, engine, and transmission responses at the touch of a button. So, if you are hauling a bunch of gear on a long adventure, perhaps use the Eco-pro mode to help save on gas. It works quite well. BMW says depending on individual driving style, you can reduce fuel consumption by 20%. The 328i Sports Wagon gets a combined 26 mpg, with 33 mpg highway and 22 mpg city.

”sportswagon”

BMW also offers a Diesel option for the Sports Wagon and 2 other levels of trim. First is the Luxury Line, which offers light multi-spoke wheels and chrome trim on the exterior, while the interior gets high-quality leather and wood trim. The other is the Sport Line, offering gloss black touches to the front grilles, black chrome exhaust tips, and double-spoke light alloy wheels. Featured on the inside are sport seats and a leather Sport steering wheel. These are just a few of the elements included in these lines.

The 328i Sports Wagon definitely adds new meaning to the term "grocery getter," and you can still pick up a lot of them with it. I think the wagon is back as a great alternative to an SUV. It will haul your gear and actually let you have fun while doing it.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/bmw-photos...twagon-review/
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25 responses to First Drive: 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Sports Wagon

Wagons_Rock commented:
August 21, 2013, 9:32 pm

Bernie,

I'm a wagon nut. Great description ... but what's new here?
Bernie@Bimmerfest commented:
August 21, 2013, 9:56 pm

Nothing new really, just got to actually spend some time in it and finally write about it. Maybe drive the wagon idea home to someone. Amazing wagon, just wish it were in my price range.
crop commented:
August 22, 2013, 1:05 am

nice write-up :> i took delivery of my alpine white 328i xdrive touring (m sport) today, i put maybe 10 miles on the car (sad i know, left the dealership into gridlock then took it out later) and i must say i'm very impressed.

i came from a 128i (w/ sport).

living in the city there aren't a ton of twisties you can take (safely) but there's one by my place i hit like five times, and the spots where my 1er would hit a bump and get knocked around (crappy run flats) i just powered through and it was amazing how much the suspension/tires at it all up. vss is also nice.

passenger in the car mentioned it felt like it was riding on rails. new car has staggered summer perf tires (bridgestone). used sport and sport+, annoying it doesn't set it back on start. it felt about as fast as the 1er, but quicker off the line. the 1er felt more rigid, but less stable (?).

super surreal hearing turbo/blow-off coming from a bmw. i must say though that accelerating still sounds pretty sweet especially with turbo whine. idle sounds like a diesel. two random people asked if it was a diesel.

it's de-badged and sexy. saw one guy literally hanging his head out of his friend's suv to get a look (this is a wagon heavy area, i suspect that has something to do with it). lot of other people seemed to check it out.

i suspect i will want to tint it slightly, the anthracite headliner didn't do as much to darken it up in the daylight as some had mentioned. also probably getting a low profile snowboard rack setup.

interior is nice. space is nice. hk audio is nice, i like the l7 surround.

it also seemed like auto start/stop remembers your choice now and doesn't re-engage at start? not 100% will check tomorrow.

a+ overall.
acme commented:
August 22, 2013, 1:32 am

Fun!

Great to hear some good news after reading about all the 3 series failures, weirdnesses and limping home modes over the last few weeks.

I too have a white wagon on order; it should be coming in about a month as it has just left the paint shop. Only mine actually is a diesel. Maybe I'll have people asking me if it's a gasoline car.

You mentioned it was de-badged. I'd like to do that on my car. Did you have the dealer do it? Were there any marks left in the paint?

Thanks,


acme
crop commented:
August 22, 2013, 2:11 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by acme View Post
You mentioned it was de-badged. I'd like to do that on my car. Did you have the dealer do it? Were there any marks left in the paint?
at dealer yeah. no mistakes fortunately, nothing to worry about there unless someone tries to remove goo with razor blade also no charge as expected. it looks real clean and more symmetrical to me now.

the xdrive logo/placement bothers me, i'd rather they just slap 328xi on and call it a done deal.
crop commented:
August 22, 2013, 2:20 am

nice pics btw, now i know what the hell that netting is for... my friend suggest it was for caging your significant other in the back after they've gotten out of line and/or asked to drive. not being incapacitated by your luggage while driving.. makes sense.

i imagine it fits in the little holes underneath the square flip-down covers, that i assumed were coat hangers?
Bernie@Bimmerfest commented:
August 22, 2013, 8:54 am

Congrats on the new ride!! M Sport too...NICE! Pics?
Tom K. commented:
August 22, 2013, 11:09 am

The F31 certainly has some useful improvements over the E91. Now if BMW ultimately offers it in the US with proper RWD and a manual transmission (saving about 250 lbs. of weight), I may be persuaded to trade in my '07 328i wagon. But I still don't understand why this car is available in Europe with over 50 drivetrain combinations, and we only get 2!

Tom
nealh commented:
August 22, 2013, 3:29 pm

I have a question how important does the DHP seem to be?

Did you drive a 3GT, wonder if DHP is more important on that?
ktula commented:
August 22, 2013, 5:29 pm

I believe the Adaptive M suspension only lowers non xDrive models.
floydarogers commented:
August 22, 2013, 7:41 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom K. View Post
The F31 certainly has some useful improvements over the E91. Now if BMW ultimately offers it in the US with proper RWD and a manual transmission (saving about 250 lbs. of weight), I may be persuaded to trade in my '07 328i wagon. But I still don't understand why this car is available in Europe with over 50 drivetrain combinations, and we only get 2!

Tom
Because they've sold fewer than 3,000 3-series wagons per year since 2000, and it's not financially rewarding for them do do so. As a matter of fact, that's why they cost so much in the US - the certification cost has to be spread over very few cars - just like the M3.
ynguldyn commented:
August 22, 2013, 9:33 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by floydarogers View Post
Because they've sold fewer than 3,000 3-series wagons per year since 2000, and it's not financially rewarding for them do do so. As a matter of fact, that's why they cost so much in the US - the certification cost has to be spread over very few cars - just like the M3.
The price differential between sedans and wagons here is exactly the same as in Europe.
threeOh commented:
August 23, 2013, 4:17 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by nealh View Post
I have a question how important does the DHP seem to be?

Did you drive a 3GT, wonder if DHP is more important on that?
In Florida Adaptive won't be noticed other than playing on ramps. I have my DOT Wagon in Switzerland at the moment and Sport is never off. I bought the Sport Wagon for a saner ride but in Comfort mode, which I assume is close to no Adaptive, the car certainly does not feel planted in curves and undulating roads.

Its probably the most boring car I've driven in 40+ years. For the USA, I'd go with as few options as possible and just use its utility. Mine will go back to Switzerland after a year or so, so I equipped it for alpine driving (Adaptive) and Swiss regs (Xenons). At some point I'll post my thoughts on the car. So far it has 1,000 miles on it and I'm not enamoured with it. It lacks soul in a nutshell. More rattles than our stiffly sprung beater E39 with 100,000 miles on it.
floydarogers commented:
August 23, 2013, 12:08 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by ynguldyn View Post
The price differential between sedans and wagons here is exactly the same as in Europe.
Hmmm, you're right.
stoked335d commented:
September 8, 2013, 10:07 pm

Bring the 335d wagon version and I'll trade in my sedan for it tomorrow.
stoked335d commented:
September 8, 2013, 11:26 pm

Ohh forgot about the steering. I'll wait for version 2.0 when they fix the steering feel/feedback.
m8o commented:
September 9, 2013, 12:40 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by stoked335d View Post
Bring the 335d wagon version and I'll trade in my sedan for it tomorrow.
+1 ; Now that would be something.
Pat_X5 commented:
September 9, 2013, 9:10 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by stoked335d View Post
Bring the 335d wagon version and I'll trade in my sedan for it tomorrow.
Oh yeah !

Diesel wagon or GT - IT'S MINE !
shadowless commented:
September 13, 2013, 3:22 am

i am really tempted to get the diesel wagon....
more than having a manual option here in the states, i wish that the car could be had w/o a moonroof. afaik, the wagons here come standard w/ a moonroof....correct me if i am wrong....

thanks for the review and pics!
BobbySalads commented:
September 2, 2014, 12:12 pm

I have my 2015 328I being built right now. Super excited, can not wait! Been lusting for a BMW Wagon since I can remember, very happy to be finally getting one. I do hope they did something about the engine clatter, though I live in NYC, so the construction and sounds taxi horns will drown out anything coming from my babe.
cyclon0523 commented:
September 10, 2014, 7:28 pm

A warning to everybody who is considering this purchase. The xenon lights are an OPTION, so do not make the same mistake I made, get the option. These are nearly impossible to retrofit.

Otherwise it's a great car (with some extra coding). I have the diesel version and I love it, everything but the headlights
ktula commented:
September 11, 2014, 1:23 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclon0523 View Post
A warning to everybody who is considering this purchase. The xenon lights are an OPTION, so do not make the same mistake I made, get the option. These are nearly impossible to retrofit.

Otherwise it's a great car (with some extra coding). I have the diesel version and I love it, everything but the headlights
How could you not know that the xenon lights is part of the lighting package? It seemed pretty obvious when i was ordering it.
cyclon0523 commented:
September 11, 2014, 1:35 am

a lot went wrong with my order, but that's a function of the dealership...

For example, the guy [salesman] had no idea that in order to get Estoril Blue you had to have an m-sport package. That's right, he called me a couple of days after the order was placed and begged me not to cancel the order, so I got the m-sport at a fairly hefty discount. He also didn't know that grey leather was available with m-sport... and there are a few other things he didn't know. What am I talking about, the guy didn't even have a computer at his desk.

So yeah, it is ultimately on me, but I wanted to make sure that this doesn't happen to others. What made me think of it were the halogens in the original post for this thread
cruise_bone commented:
September 17, 2014, 3:32 pm

My gf hates the ride of my 2010 e92 m sport, especially how low the fronts seats sit kind of low. It can be tough getting in and out.
Does the wagon offer any relief here? I am seriously considering the 328d xDrive as my net vehicle.
Thanks!
ktula commented:
September 17, 2014, 7:25 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by cruise_bone View Post
My gf hates the ride of my 2010 e92 m sport, especially how low the fronts seats sit kind of low. It can be tough getting in and out.
Does the wagon offer any relief here? I am seriously considering the 328d xDrive as my net vehicle.
Thanks!
Step 1: Get yourself to the nearest BMW dealership with F31 in stock (if it does not have any F31 in stock, a 328i with X-drive will suffice).

Step 2: Ask sales advisor you would like to get inside the vehicle.

Step 3: Get inside the said vehicle.

Step 4. Make your own determination.