2014 BMW 328d xDrive Sports Wagon – Review and Test Drive

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DSC_0143On the drive down, I used less than a quarter of a tank (the tank capacity is 15 gallons or 56.78 liters), and I achieved 41.3 mpg (5.7 l/100 km) with an average speed of 57 mph (92 km/h).  Given my propensity for fast driving (I often forget that the speed limit of 130 km/h in Austria which is also the Richtgeschwidigkeit or advisory speed limit in Germany does not apply in the U.S.), I was pleased to see the 328d come so close to the EPA figure.  Indeed, for the first part of my trip, I achieved 45 mpg (5.2 l/100 km) due to slower-moving traffic.

All in all, I spent the better part of a week driving the 328d and I truly found it the perfect combination of sporty driving, excellent handling, and ample power.  While the 328d is, at least on paper, significantly slower than our 2010 BMW 335d was (a car that benefitted from 425 pound-feet of torque, which was more than the previous generation M3 had), I never wanted for power in any situation.

The 2014 3er Touring drives very much like the sedan, DSC_0135with remarkable poise and great balance.  Indeed, during my week with the Touring, I frequently forgot it was a station wagon.  Steering was precise and accurate with good feedback.

The wagon felt solid and BMW says that torsional stiffness was increased substantially.  Inside the cabin, all was quiet – the pleasant diesel rumble was only audible at idle with the radio off.

The 328d’s Dynamic Driving Control allows selecting among Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, and Sport +, which adjusts settings for the adaptive shocks. The controls vary jounce and rebound characteristics independently and steplessly, as well as throttle response, and active anti-roll bars.  For the most part, I kept the car in sport mode except for some bumpy city streets where the comfort setting competently ironed out just about all of the potholes and rough pavement.

We’ll be spending more time with the 2014 328d sedan in the coming months. But now that the diesel wagon is out, I’m curious to see the first few months’ sales figures as I predict a large percentage of buyers will go for the oilburner.

THE DETAILS

2013 BMW 328d xDrive Sports Wagon
Base price/price-as-tested $42,950/$56,750
Drivetrain Front engine, all-wheel drive
Engine 2.0 liter inline 4
Horsepower/Torque 180/280
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Curb weight (lbs) 3,780
Wheelbase (inches) 110.6
Length x width x height (inches) 182 x 71.3 x 56.3
0-62 mph (seconds) 7.8
Fuel economy (mpg) city/highway 31/43

 

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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