9. July 2012
Oftentimes, you hear people say, “I wish I could buy a wagon; sedans just don’t do it,” and then when there are wagons available, they promptly ignore them and go out and buy an SUV or sedan (realize that the Dodge Magnum* was a car that perhaps trumped the 300 in its stylishness, yet Chrysler yanked that car out of showrooms like it was leaving pools of oil on the tile.)
So for all of you who are legitimately interested in the potential of what promises to be a phenomenal wagon, based on what it is based on, you can look forward to sometime next spring and some sort of yet-to-be-revealed MSRP as BMW is bringing the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon to the U.S. (And in case you’re wondering, it has yet to be launched in Europe, though that Euro intro will precede the U.S. by a few months.)
Admit it: This looks so much better than an SUV. (Yes, even a BMW.)
Like seemingly everything nowadays, the 3 Series Sports Wagon is bigger than the one it replaces. It is 3.66 in. longer, and its wheelbase gains 1.96 in. It has a wider track front (+1.46 in.) and rear (1.85 in.).
Like the recently introduced 3 Series Sedan, the 3 Series Sports Wagon will be available in three trim and equipment variants, which BMW calls its “BMW Lines” offering. There are the Sports Line, Luxury Line, and Modern Line. Essentially what these mean is that there are discernible differences, like whether the slats in the kidney grille are high-gloss black or chrome; whether there’s lots of red trim bits or satin aluminum. But all of the 328i Sports Wagons have the same 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo four that produces 240 hp at 5,000 rpm and 255 lb-ft of torque at from 1,250 to 4,800 rpm. (This is not a twin-turbo; it has twin scrolls, which means that the exhaust streams from cylinders 1 and 4 and cylinders 2 and 3 take different spiral-shaped paths to the turbine wheel.) The car has a standard eight-speed automatic and an optional sports version of the transmission with paddle shifters.
For those who want more than the go-fast appearance that the Sports Line package offers (e.g., “The sporty and exclusive ambience of the interior is expressed by contrasting black and red accents. Red trim rings, red scales in the circular dials, red stitching on the sports steering wheel. . . .”), there is an available M Sport package for the Sports Wagon, which has an exterior aero package, a different suspension setup, and various interior accoutrements (door sill covers, driver’s footrest) that remind you this is an M.
One benefit of the increase in overall dimensions is that it translates into an increase in cargo capacity. There is a folding rear seat back (40:20:40 split). Put the headrests down, and the seatback folds almost flat, providing 35.3-cubic feet of space to put stuff.
“Good thing we got this wagon, this nautical gear takes up lots of space, and I need plenty for my stylish scarves.”
And that is the argument for why you probably need the 3 Series Sports Wagon, because you just never know when you have to take on a load.
*No, color notwithstanding, this is not a BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon. It is the 2008 Dodge Magnum SRT8.