By on June 20, 2016

2016 BMW 328i xDrive Sports Wagon

Why? Surely you jest.

Why is an automobile manufacturer’s U.S. arm killing off its lone remaining wagon? You don’t need to ask, for the answer lies therein: it’s a wagon. So they’re done with it. Insert the proverbial duh.

A report on BimmerFile.com, sourced both anonymously and from prolific BMW forum user Scott26, says the current BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon will be the last iteration of the car imported by BMW USA.

BMW USA spokesperson Rebecca Kiehne responded to TTAC’s inquiry regarding the 3 Series Sport Wagon’s rumored demise earlier today: “Unfortunately, we are unable to comment on future models and/or changes. We can however confirm, per MY17 Model Update Press Release that the US will receive a BMW 328d xDrive SW and a 330i xDrive SW for the 2017 model year.”

In other words, BMW isn’t even promising a 2018 3 Series Sports Wagon, let alone a MY2019 or next-generation car. BimmerFile says production of the 3 Series wagon ends in June 2019.

Known internally as the F31 and labelled as the Touring in many markets, BMW USA offers the long-roof 3 Series exclusively with all-wheel-drive and in either 328i xDrive ($43,645, including destination) or $45,145 328d xDrive Sports Wagon form.

BMW doesn’t release a monthly bodystyle sales breakdown for the 3 Series, which is now marketed as a sedan, Sports Wagon, and Gran Turismo hatchback. Largely because of decreased demand for wagons and increased demand for highly profitable crossovers, competitors have faded away.

2014 BMW 328d Sports Wagon cargo area

The only Audi Avant sold in North America is the A4 Allroad. Mercedes-Benz’s new C-Class Wagon, while part of Mercedes-Benz Canada’s lineup, won’t venture south of border. Lexus gave up on the idea of a wagon after the IS’s first-generation SportCross failed to take off. Acura’s TSX SportWagon died with the TSX. Through the first five months of 2016, Volvo USA’s V60 is down 39 percent to 1,139 units. The higher-riding V60 Cross Country and XC70 combined for 2,442 sales during the same period; Volvo’s two crossovers produced nearly 20,000 sales.

Fewer than 3 percent of the 3 Series’ in stock in the United States, according to Cars.com, are of the wagon variety. Loosely and imperfectly translated, this would equal approximately 730 sales over the first five months of 2016, or 0.5 percent of the BMW Group’s total U.S. volume to date.

BMW USA currently sells more than 5,200 X1s and X3s per month plus another 4,700 X4s, X5s, and X6s.

[Images: BMW]

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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52 Comments on “The BMW 3 Series Wagon is Probably Dead: Here’s Why...”


  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Well, in my experience, the dealers were utterly unwilling to budge on the wagons’ pricing…since they were so “rare.”

    • 0 avatar
      srh

      Yes. I recently leased a 428i GC. The car I really wanted was the wagon they had on the floor. They wouldn’t budge on pricing because, as you said, “It’s really hard to find these”.

      Chicken and egg, I guess.

      • 0 avatar
        NickS

        Wow, same here. I am kind of desperate for wagon choice (taht’s the biggest I’ll go for, ’cause I have aversion to anything bigger, incl. CUVs.) The BMW dealer I went to was unreal. Acted like I should beg him to let me offer enough money for him to make it worth his time. I don’t get this, do they make nothing on these? Audi were at least much nicer to talk to.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Maybe you guys ought to try giving Volvo some business. They might actually want to sell a wagon.

        • 0 avatar
          56BelAire

          2017 Subaru Outback, 3.6, Limited, $39.500 MSRP. For the poor people.

          2016 Volvo V60 CPO, 10,000 miles, $30,000 or less

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            Which trim?

            To compare to the 3.6L you need the T5 engine at least (ideally the T6), and at least the mid-level trim.

            (Says the guy with an XC70 T6 mid-trim, and who’s spent some time in a 3.6L.

            But that said, the V60 is a hell of a thing at that price if it has any features at all, and if you don’t need pseudo-offroad ability, which most people don’t.)

    • 0 avatar
      Rick Astley

      My 1990 Honda civic wagon 4WD, 6 speed (with 1-low) was rare and hard to find. $3,000 cash had it in my driveway that day.

      Plus maintenance is cheap and easy. Did the full 200,000 service myself for $150 in parts.

      It has not exactly been the ladies choice while in the dating scene, but as always, experiences may vary.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      I’ve never tried, but … does BMW budge on *anything’s* pricing, ever?

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        In LA, at least up until 5 years ago, almost all non M, non-brand-new Bimmers, could be had for 94% of MSRP. Just for the asking, if the salesman/finance manager deemed you serious and not likely to be a pain in the rear. Unless Truecar and the internet in general has made that model unsustainable, it probably still can.

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    Less practical and more expensive than an X1. The people who want a sporting wagon can’t afford one or if tehy can they buy an E63 S, so it’s the right choice for BMWNA.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    BMW has really made the wagon a “premium” vehicle with very high prices and little discounting relative to the X1/X3. I assume this is because they know most people will want the CUV, but a small minority will strongly prefer a conventional wagon and be willing to pay a premium to get it – thus more profit per unit sold, but also fewer units sold.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Exactly. And then, they’ll drop the niche altogether.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        Which then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. See, we offer wagons, but nobody wants them…so we’ll quit offering them.

        • 0 avatar
          Thinkin...

          Ditto with US automakers and hatchbacks. They constantly claim that Americans won’t buy hatchbacks, and then they price the hatchback versions of their cars $2k – $5k more than the trunked versions.

          The kicker is that they pay many millions in R&D costs to trunk-ify the hatchbacks that already exist in other markets… And then effectively pay for those costs with the premium added to the hatchbacks.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Another casualty of the barbarian CUV horde. Considering how few 3 series wagons I see of any generation, I’m surprised it lasted as long as it did.

  • avatar
    Alfisti

    I will never understand wagons in this country. Why are they priced SO DAMNED HIGH. They are also often too damned small.

    The 3er, A4 and V60 are all that 10 to 15% too small. So go E-Class yeah? Have you seen the price tag?

    I just do not understand the marketing and sales pitch, the prices are eye watering with very few deals.

    I work opposite a Volvo dealer, a HUGE inventory of wagons, I PULL UP IN A 9-3 WAGON FER GOD’s SAKE, no deals at all, just nothing.

    I don’t get it.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      They want you to buy a CUV/SUV, not a wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      JReed

      My Golf Sportwagen was literally half the BASE price of the BMW wagon. It has auto headlights, auto wipers, adaptive cruise control, panoramic sunroof, heated seats, etc. It does not have AWD, but I live in the south and didn’t want it. I am not a fan of VWs overall reliability numbers, but BMW isn’t a Lexus in that respect either.

      • 0 avatar
        Alfisti

        And it’s too damned small.

        No one gets the size right.

        • 0 avatar
          JReed

          Used (3yrs/35k miles) E350s are around $35k. Let someone else take the 50% depreciation. I looked at them myself, but couldn’t justify the added expense considering none had Android Auto and few had adaptive cruise control compared to a brand new Sportwagen at $10-15k less. Those rear jump seats are cool, but I wish they could seat adults.

          • 0 avatar
            Alfisti

            With reasonable miles (say 30,000) they are closer to $50K here and you’re out of warranty.

          • 0 avatar
            facelvega

            I have an E91 and a new TSI Golf, both manual. The Golf is more fun to drive, with almost as nice an interior, and gets 50 percent better fuel economy. It’ not even that much smaller inside than the BMW, and of course your sportwagen is bigger. The silly goodness of the MQB platform at half the price makes the 3-series wagon less relevant than ever. I can’t justify replacing the BMW with another one when its time comes.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          Alfisti, I’m curious about which part of the Sportwagen you find too small compared to a 9-3. I think the 9-3 is gorgeous but haven’t so much as sat in one, and the interior measurements show the two to be nearly identical. But numbers certainly don’t show everything…

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Mine doesn’t have adaptive cruise, but I wish it did.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        I looked at the VW too. It’s just so uncomely while I find most wagons the opposite.

        Plus I’ve done VW and vowed never to do so again.

        It would have been a TDi. Bullet dodged.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      My brother is shopping for 3 wagon. The 3GT actually has more rear legroom (3″) and more trunk space. The only thing the wagon wins is ability to fit taller items that would fit in the footprint of the trunk. And looks. The wagon looks way better than the 3GT. He is looking used because the depreciation is huge on 1-2 year old BMWs, so he may as well let someone else eat it. The 3 wagon will definitely be the long term resale winner between the two.

      My beef with the 3 wagon is no stick and being $50k by the time I add what I consider the necessities.

      • 0 avatar
        facelvega

        The wagon is lighter, has a shorter wheelbase, and isn’t raised to have a higher, crossover-like center of gravity like the GT. It’s just a better car. Rather than a GT, since your brother is looking at slightly used, why not get one of the last of the old, E90-based X1? Much cheaper, handles at least as well, tons of room inside. Uglier than the true wagon, but at least as good looking as the GT. Jack Baruth liked them.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          He needs to have a practical car for his kids first and foremost. Marginally higher CG is an OK trade off when you get that much more space.

          X1 somehow manages to be less practical than the 3 wagon and uglier than the 3GT. 6 speed availability is the only reason I’d chose it over the other two. He drives in Pittsburgh Fort Pitt tunnel traffic, so no MT allowed.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      The Outback starts at just under $26k.

      (Per size, Volvo and Subaru both make a wagon the size you want – they’re just tall.

      Accept tall and embrace size.)

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Peter M. De Lorenzo (rightly) ripped BMW a new one (a couple of times) in this week’s “On The Table” at The Autoextremist:

    http://www.autoextremist.com/on-the-table1/

  • avatar
    Wunsch

    I’ve done my part to try to save wagons. I recently put down a deposit on a 3-series wagon.

  • avatar
    read_to_acheive

    As a proud owner of a F31, I must say that I’m sad to hear this. Unlike most of you, I actually got a pretty reasonable deal on my lease; I was deciding between this and a GTI and got a much better deal on this. Look around and shop around, you should be able to find a good deal on one. As you know, no one is buying them!

  • avatar
    WheelMcCoy

    I came here looking for “CR-Z is dead. Takes BMW 3 Series Wagon with it” story! :)

    Still, sad to see another wagon go.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Station wagons are now known to be merely taxonomic predecessors of CUVs, or proto-CUVs.

    As such and like other proto- forms of fully developed creatures or things they understandably appear strange and scrunchy in comparison to their fully evolved successors.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I was sad about the C-Class wagon not coming over, as it is ACHINGLY gorgeous. I feel PHYSICAL PAIN whenever I see one.

    Thankfully the new GLC (regular AND coupe) look about 90% as good, while having about 150% of the wagon’s utility, and shamefully about 200% of its suburbia cachet. Looking forward to leasing an off lease CPO one in the midst of the next recession. Mercedes has returned to being the standard of the world, A-Class Eurotrash notwithstanding.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Why stop at the wagon? The 5 and 3 series GT, the Z4 and the X4 are not exactly breaking sales records either.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    To me the BMW wagon is already dead. I’m a huge wagon enthusiast and I would never buy this. Why would I? The only two selling points BMW has going for it are RWD and manual transmissions, both features conveniently unavailable on this car. Otherwise, if I wanted a 4 cylinder automatic wagon that drives wheels other than the rears, I can save $10-20k and get a VW Sportwaggen. Instead of feeling like I overpaid for mass market features, I can save $ and get a car generally regarded as delivering an experience more upscale than it’s price would suggest.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Another selling point BMW has is I6 engines. Oh wait, they took that out of the wagon lineup too.

      I would love to be a fly on the wall in the product meeting. “Let’s continue to carry the torch for wagons; however, we need to first strip it of every core component that makes our brand unique. These wagons shouldn’t offer anything not available in more affordable models.”

  • avatar
    redav

    When I was shopping for a new car, the 3 wagon was on my list. When I went to the BMW dealer, the salesman had no interest in selling me a wagon, no matter how many times I asked about it.

  • avatar
    vagvoba

    No one is buying the BMW wagon because BMW is only selling the highest trim version of it, so it’s way more expensive than the sedan.
    In Europe the wagon is barely more expensive (5% more) than the sedan so people who buy a 3-series can simply choose between which body style they want and pay pretty much the same price. It comes down to personal preference, instead of money.
    For some insane reason BMW USA thinks that wagons are luxurious so they only sell the highest trim level in America which costs 30% more than the sedan version.
    As a result, no one in their right mind would consider the wagon, especially when they can get an X3 for $10K less.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      This fully loaded wagon guff must be a new thing for BMW. My 07 328i wagon came with the sport package and leather and that’s it. No iDrive (thankfully). No upgraded wheels, no AWD. It does have bluetooth, but just for phone calls – no audio streaming.

      Can’t you still order a wagon and get it exactly as you want? If dealers won’t deal on their inventory, seems like a great excuse to special order what you really want.

  • avatar
    phlipski

    I recently visited my local BMW dealer and asked to see a wagon. They showed me the 3, and then I asked if I could get it in brown – yes. Then I asked if they had a diesel – yes. Then I asked if it came in a manual (auto was on the floor) – and they said no. I left. Went and bought a used Jeep Cherokee XJ instead – manual, and 4.0L. I don’t compromise. True story.

  • avatar

    Here in the US, the car maker must certify each driveline in each body with EPA and crash test it.

    So, you get a limited choice of engines. The manual goes away.

    Eventually, they realize that it isn’t worth spending the money to certify the brown manual diesel wagon to sell six of them.

    BMW, etc, have to figure out ONE model to sell to please the most customers…Likewise, the old Acura TSX wagon had one engine and a slush box. BMW is spending a lot of money here to offer as many manuals as they do despite limited take rate, but dreqs the line on multiple engines in the wagon. Certify the blown four with AWD and Auto/manual and call it a day.

    If they EPA certified the transaxles separate from the body, this wouldn’t happen. You could certify, say, your four powerplants with manuals on three of them, a total of seven certifications.

    You could crash test each of your three cars that use these engines.

    Adding it together means 21 possible combinations, a much more expensive proposition. Now you have to crash 21 cars, not 3, and run 21 emission certifications, not 7.

    Oh, AWD vs. RWD or FWD ? More tests….multiply again.

    If marketing is evil, they will limit your choice for big motor plus manual to some sort of sport package atop two other not necessary packages. (Acura TL with manual) or, they will force you up a model (Try to buy an optioned up Golf NOT GTi with a manual…can’t do it. Base or GTi only)

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit33

      Speedlaw, your comments about emissions certifications are incorrect. Certs are done via engine families and the OEM generally has to test the worst case vehicle from within that family, I.e highest ETW. Look on the EPA website and you can find the entire Certification database where the OEMs report their data broken up by engine families. I have no idea how crash testing is done.

  • avatar
    Asdf

    Judging by the headline, there probably won’t be a new 3 series wagon, not even in Europe, or else it would have read: “The BMW 3 Series Wagon is Probably Dead in the US: Here’s Why”.

    But is that really the case?

  • avatar
    Tstag

    This is interesting because it looks like the SUV is killing the tourer. Jaguar bosses recently suggested that they may decide not to build a Jaguar XE tourer because SUVs are increasingly taking sales in this space. True they are likely to build an XF tourer but no idea if they will go to the expense of homogolating it for the US market.

    I wonder just how much cars like the 3 series are suffering more broadly to the SUV?

  • avatar
    eliandi

    “Fewer than 3 percent of the 3 Series’ in stock in the United States, according to Cars.com, are of the wagon variety. Loosely and imperfectly translated, this would equal approximately 730 sales over the first five months of 2016, or 0.5 percent of the BMW Group’s total U.S. volume to date.”

    I do not know how accurate an estimate this really is. BMW also does not have any 2 series manuals on the lots either. I know, we tried to find one. Nada, so looking at ordering because we can wait. So the dealer lot estimate is not so accurate factoring special orders.

    Regarding the 3 series wagon, we had a 5 series wagon a few years ago. Loved it. Long, black and low…it was very cool. However it had a manual and RWD, both of which have not been an option for several years from BMW.

  • avatar
    Ian

    I own a 2015 328i M-sport wagon and it’s a brilliant vehicle. It’s all-wheel drive, loaded up with every available option, and even though it’s non-manual I still love it. It just works for me, and my family. I got a stellar deal on it as it was a previous service loaner with 7,000 miles on the clock when it came to me, so i’m not sure I am in the majority, but I love it. I was looking forward to owning another after this. However, maybe i’ll just buy out my lease and keep it with the way things are going…it may be the last for a while in the states.
    Of thirty or so different makes and models I’ve owned since 1998, this is by far my favorite vehicle. It does it all, looks great, and I have no complaints.
    I shopped Subie wagons, Volvos, VW’s, Audi, honestly, I looked at any and everything I could think of…and this was just IT for me.

  • avatar
    evolver

    I have a 2014 in Alpine White 14000 miles, I’d be willing to let it go for the right price.

    This car is awesome! But I really miss rowing my own gears :(

  • avatar
    ronin16

    I leased a 2014 F31 328ix 3 Series Wagon back in 2013. Loved it. Not one issue. My 3 years were up, and reading about the demise of the F31 in 2019, I decided to lease a 2017 F31 330ix Wagon. Just picked it up on 10/28/16. It is awesome.
    I will seriously consider buying in straight out in 2019 when my lease expires. I will post some pics soon. Maybe if BMW offered the 335ix or now the 340ix engine option on the F31, more enthusiasts may have purchased them. But, the USA was the only market, that the 340ix was NOT offered. Too bad. Paul

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