The news of a new BMW 3 Series wagon coming to the U.S. should surprise no one, especially after the automaker announced in May that it would be bringing its long-roof back for an encore. What should surprise BMW and wagon enthusiasts alike are its options and available features.
In a new announcement with more details, BMW has said its Sports Wagon variant of the 2013 3 Series will only come in 328i guise, at least right now. That means it’ll feature the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making its way through the rest of BMW’s lineup. That’s not a big deal because the 2012 3 Series Sports Wagon never came to the U.S. with either BMW’s 3.0-liter inline-6 found in the 335i or a diesel engine. What is, though, is lack of mention for a six-speed manual transmission that is available elsewhere in the 3 Series’ lineup.
The 2012 BMW 328i Sports Wagon comes available with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2013 version looks like it’s only going to come with BMW’s new eight-speed automatic transmission, which helps the 328i sedan achieve an EPA-estimated 33 mpg on the highway. That number should be similar for the wagon.
Where the 328i Sports Wagon noticeably differs with its sedan counterpart is hauling ability. The 328i sedan has 17 cubic feet of trunk space. But when the rear seat is folded in the wagon, it can hold 35.3 cubic feet of cargo. That’s a fairly substantial number, but it trails in comparison to the Audi A4 Avant’s 50.5 cubic feet.
The BMW 328i Sports Wagon will come with a standard 40:20:40 split-folding rear bench, a feature most wagons lack, to be able to facilitate a multitude of seating arrangements or allow for a ski pass through without inhibiting rear seat space. Other unique features include a split tailgate that will allow users to open either the rear window or the entire tailgate, the Sports Wagon’s first power liftgate, and an optionally available Comfort Access package that will open the rear hatch when a full-handed driver swipes his or her leg underneath the rear bumper.
Like the sedan, the 328i Sports Wagon will be available in Sport, Luxury, Modern, and M Sport trim lines with all-wheel drive also available. Each will come with unique interior and exterior accents, and the Sport and M Sport models will also have suspension tweaks and a speed limited increased from 130 mph to 155.
Stretched with a 1.5-inch wider front track, 1.9-inch rear wider track, 3.7-inch increased length, and 2.0-inch longer wheelbase, the 2013 BMW 328i Sports Wagon is marginally larger than the car it replaces, with most of that room going towards passenger space. Whereas BMW wagons in the past have been a little more upright than their sedan counterparts, this new BMW bucks that trend with a swept-forward look, lower and sportier.
Having driven the 2012 BMW 3 Series sedan in its various iterations, we’ve been impressed by its sportiness, flexibility, and refinement, and we expect this new wagon version to stick to that winning formula. BMW says the 328i Sports Wagon will be heading to the U.S. in spring 2013 with prices and more details released then. We’re looking forward to it.