Ace of Base: 2019 BMW 330i XDrive Sports Wagon

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Despite what some other websites will tell you, it is indeed possible to waltz into a BMW dealership and drive away with a new 3-Series wagon for the 2019 model year … so long as you don’t mind it being the outgoing bodystyle.

Hey, last year’s fashions are sometimes the best deal, right?

All hands are currently focused on the new 2019 BMW 3 Series, and rightfully so. Imbued with all manner of styling, power, tech, and (allegedly) handling upgrades, the new 7th-gen 3 seeks to reclaim its mantle as the benchmark for small, sporty sedans.

Many noted that, for the 2019 restyle, the wagon and (for now) stick-shift transmission are MIA. As it happens, BMW is still making the 330i xDrive Sports Wagon for 2019, albeit one hewn from leftover 2018 parts swept up off the factory floor. For the Ace of Base shopper, this is a good thing. Final year models are often a mash of previously optional equipment as the manufacturer furiously tries to use up all the remaining parts left lying around that’ll only fit the old model. Witness how the Ford Taurus suddenly sprouted a column shifter and a spoiler in the year before its first death in the mid-2000s.

Not that the 3 Series, this 6th-gen or otherwise, should be compared to a Taurus. That’d be like comparing Froot Loops to the sawdust-like, generic Fruity-O’s. Blecch.

BMW 3 Series Wagon buyers in 2019 begin their Bandersnatch-style choose-your-own-adventure by selecting from either a Sport Line trim or Luxury trim for the same base price of $45,000. Selecting the latter ladles on the chrome treatment at both ends of the wagon.

As befits most BMWs, a stripper 3 Series wagon is devoid of a few options found equipped even in much cheaper cars. Notably, the infotainment is devoid of satellite radio and navigation. Time to deploy your smartphone. Also, the only two no-charge paint options are Alpine White and Jet Black, as everything else costs $550. This displeases me.

The base 3 Series wagon isn’t exactly a penalty box, however. Its front peepers illuminate the road ahead with LEDs, the 17-inch tires are runflats, and the power folding side mirrors are heated (thanks, final-year consolidation of parts). The front seats are powered ten different ways, the stereo has nine speakers, dual-zone climate control is on board, and a power tailgate adds a touch of civility when you’re juggling Christmas returns.

The latter shade is selected here in order to mask the unfortunate and unattractive hoodline crease of the 6th-gen 3er, a sin which BMW has remedied in the new car. However, a quartet of dashboard trims are available gratis; your author selected the brushed aluminium option to brighten up an otherwise funereal interior. All this applies to both the Chromey McChromeface Luxury trim and the blacked-out Sport Line.

Under the hood resides a 2.0-liter turbocharged (248 hp) inline-four, an engine BMW alleges will scoot this wagon to 60 mph from rest in just 5.7 seconds. Grunt is sent to all four wheels. Softpedalling the thing will apparently reward drivers with fuel economy in excess of 30 mpg.

For explanation as to why this model is vanishing from American showrooms, look no farther than its showroom-mate, the X3. AWD examples of that machine can be had for $2,000 less than the 3er wagon. Most shoppers will only see its higher ride height, ignoring the longroof’s superior fuel economy, lower centre of gravity, and 61.5 cubic feet of cargo space. The X1 and X2, well, they’re cheaper by nearly ten grand. Alas.

A true Ace of Base, then? Not when a heated steering wheel and CarPlay fail to appear for the sum of $45,000. Still, it is gratifying to know we wagon-heads still have one more model year in which to enjoy the longroof.

[Images: BMW Group]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selection.

The model above is shown in American dollars with American options and trim, absent of destination charges and available rebates. As always, your dealer may sell for less.

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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2 of 78 comments
  • Slap Slap on Jan 03, 2019

    "Witness how the Ford Taurus suddenly sprouted a column shifter and a spoiler in the year before its first death in the mid-2000s." I had a 1991 Taurus with a column shift. I had a 1999 Sable with a column shift. I have a 2004 Sable with a column shift.

  • LuvGermanCars LuvGermanCars on Jan 04, 2019

    Very sad to see the wagon body going away in the US. Also, sad to see the 328d being dropped once the new G20 arrives. Looks like I'll be picking up either a CPO 2018 328d wagon or a 2019 328d sedan new sometime this year.

  • Redapple2 Another bad idea from the EVIL gm Vampire.
  • Daniel J Alabama is a right to work state so I'd be interested in how this plays out. If a plant in Alabama unionized, there are many workers who's still oppose joining and can work.
  • ToolGuy This guest was pretty interesting.
  • NJRide So this is an average age of car to be junked now and of course this is a lower end (and now semi-orphaned) product. But street examples seem to still be worth 2500? So are cars getting junked only coming in because of a traumatic repair? If not it seems a lot of cars being junked that would still possibly worth more than scrap.Also Murilee I remember your Taurus article way back what is the king of the junkyard in 2024?
  • AMcA I applaud Toyota for getting away from the TRD performance name. TuRD. This is another great example of "if they'd just thought to preview the name with a 13 year old boy."