By on January 2, 2019

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.

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78 Comments on “Ace of Base: 2019 BMW 330i xDrive Sports Wagon...”


  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Sad to see these go, but then again, I didn’t buy one either. Honestly I would own a 3 series however, it was my default choice and the first car I looked at, but the dealerships here had no interest in finding me the manual or having my unicorn built (320 with sport package and manual). Still I almost leased it but decided to go a different direction after driving some “lesser” cars. Still love the 3 though. Waiting to see how the new one does.

    Also the last BMW I owned was also a holdover touring model (92…by then the coupes and sedans had moved to the e36 but the touring soldiered on on the E30 chassis). It is my favorite to date.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      The 3-series has always been a default choice for anyone looking for a sport sedan. It was the first thing I looked at during my last car purchase, and it was disappointing as hell. The 328 was certainly quick enough, but it flopped around in corners, and it was unbelievably cheap inside. The 320 wasn’t nearly quick enough. Sad. Meanwhile, a C-class Benz feels like money inside.

      I don’t think there’s any mystery why sales of this car have tanked.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I still think the killer app for BMW is the inline-6. All of the turbo V6s in this class kind of blend together*, with BMW being the only one offering an engine that I thought was really worth $50K. The new Mercedes inline will probably find its way to the C-class at some point though.

        * – I haven’t driven a turbo Audi V6. The supercharged V6 in the XE is fun, although it isn’t “luxurious” and the rest of the car feels quarter-baked.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Agreed, ajla – the 340 with the turbo straight six is a whole different animal. Its stuck with the same basic issues as lesser 3-series models (cheapie interior, somewhat numb steering), but that motor is just brilliant.

          Unfortunately, it was more than I wanted to spend.

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        BMW lost its way a couple generations ago in the Ultimate Driving Machine department.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    $45K for a base mid-level bimmer, um, no thanks

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Beat me to it. I own one of these, but at 45k, it’s no ace of base. It’s a pricey, late model, turbo 4 banger new car with uncompetitive tech. It’s only reason to be, as Matthew pointed out, is to get rid of parts that won’t work for the new 3.

      At 45k, no. 35k makes a value proposition worth considering.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      With stripper-level features.

      No nav? No heated seats?

      I do not appreciate nickle-and-dime tactics in this price bracket.

      (It’d just make me buy a loaded XC60 for like $2k more than this base price, honestly.)

  • avatar
    stingray65

    These are priced to maximize per unit profits from the 14 enthusiasts/suckers who absolutely must have a car based wagon. As noted in the article, the much fresher X3 with more usable space, similar real world performance, and a lower price/lease is available in the same showroom (and they likely have 10-20 X3s in various shades of black, silver, and white ready for immediate delivery versus 1 lonely wagon that they won’t deal on because its the only one around). If significant numbers of customers actually bought wagons (and manual transmissions), BMW (and others) would offer them in much greater numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      Well, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from Bark’s musings, it’s that dealers only stock what they figure their dumbass salesmen can sell with little trouble to uninformed customers to whom only a badge mattered.

      Further, he has suggested that if you were an enthusiast, the salesman and his manager figure this out in about ten seconds and want nothing to do with you. You might actually be demanding and take up valuable time that could otherwise be used for a smoke and a cup of coffee while swapping tall stories with their confreres. Who needs bother?

      Hence, while you suggest that the dopes who care about performance should buy a mouldy old crossover hatch-on-stilts and stop whining, a rather commie top-down point-of-view issued from the intellectual mountain tops of Central Planning, the real blame for lack of choice began at the dealer level. Any old excuse they could come up with to not stock things like a manual transmision, a wagon body style, etc. or even bestir themselves to order it with substantial deposit, eventually fulfilled a prophecy they themselves created on the altar of mediocrity and sales quotas.

      And now it has even allowed demagogues like you to issue pronouncements to the roiling, striving masses below who might have liked a bit of choice, to stop moaning and swallow white bread exclusively. So you, O Master, have spoken. We have heard you. Now b*gger orf.

      • 0 avatar
        Tele Vision

        Points for ‘bestir’. I wholeheartedly agree, though: the steak has to be part of the sizzle, somewhere. Were I to have enough money and time to buy exactly what I wanted I’d be a daily nuisance to the drones I’ve avoided in most dealerships. As I don’t currently have the wherewithal to do so I buy used cars with more power and less ‘tech’ than the fresh, entry-level dreck – and I’m better for it.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    My aversion to German cars is bifurcated. They are at once grossly (50%) over-priced and under-reliable compared to their Asian counterparts. The value proposition just isn’t there. This car is worth about $30k with a Mazda or Kia badge, and those cars would likely achieve 15 years and 200,000 miles of service with their hoods welded shut.

    PASS.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Better move: buy one that’s a couple of years old, pop for a warranty, and bingo – AWD sport wagon for around $25,000.

    (Nice “Bandersnatch” reference, by the way, but the movie’s not worth your time.)

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    “Also, the only two no-charge paint options are Alpine White and Jet Black, as everything else costs $550.”

    Lowly GM does it, why should BMW have any shame about it?

  • avatar
    MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

    Why is this not called a 320ix ??

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Good question. There is a 320 model, and its’ engine has the same displacement as a 330, but the latter is tuned differently and has quite a bit more power. The 320’s a dog, frankly.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      With a few exceptions, it used to be that the BMW model number suffix indicated the displacement of the engine in deciliters.

      For a while now, but especially since BMW’s universal adoption of turbocharged engines, the BMW model number suffix was changed to align the power output with the displacement of a naturally-aspirated engine.

      In other words, the 320i makes power equivalent to a 2.0L NA engine. The 330i, equivalent to a 3.0L engine. And so on.

      320i = 2.0T with 180hp
      330i = 2.0T with 248hp
      340i = 3.0T with 320hp

  • avatar
    vagvoba

    BWM has completely screwed up the marketing of wagons in the US by selling only the high-spec’d versions.

    In Germany the 3 series sedan and wagon start at basically the same price. In the US the wagon is more than $10K more expensive. No surprise that there are more 3 series wagons sold (58%) in Germany than sedans.

    If the sedan and the wagon cost the same in the US, there would be significantly more people choosing the more practical wagon model over the sedan.

    Actually, right now in Germany the base 3 series sedan is 5000 euro more expensive than the base wagon because the sedan is a brand new model while the wagon hasn’t been updated yet.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Not that many, because culture.

      “BMW!” in the US is not BMW in Germany, just like MB doesn’t sell no-spec taxicab trims in the US *at all*.

      The BMW market in the US for non-SUVs is The Ultimate Driving Machine, after all.

      A low-spec wagon isn’t something that segment loves, here.

      (I say this as someone who does love that sort of thing, and actually wanted to test drive a 325d or 328d or whichever one the diesel wagon was, a few years back, but had to settle for an X1 because NOBODY HAD ONE to test.

      In fairness, I never would have bought it – it was too small for me needs once I reflected on them, which is why I have an XC70 now.)

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I’ve always thought it odd that if BMW was only going to sell ONE configuration of the f31 3-series wagon in the US, that it wasn’t the 335i then 340i wagon. On the BMW forums that is THE #1 reason people give for not buying the wagon. Probably some silly CAFE rationale for not doing it.

        Those of us who want new high-end wagons are NOT typically price sensitive, at all. If I had a choice when I bought my e91 3-series wagon in 2011, I would not have chosen the 335i. But if the 335i wagon had been the only choice, I would be driving a 335i today and would have spent the extra $5K with only a minimum of grumbling, just like I bought an M235i because I could get it sans sunroof.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      The wagon is about $1500 more expensive than the comparably equipped 330iX sedan. Yes, there is no 320i wagon, but there is no 340i wagon here either… Selling them without AWD in the US is pretty much a non-starter at this point – virtually all RWD wagons of the previous generation were special-order cars.

      THE big issue why BMW has no interest in selling wagons in the US, and ESPECIALLY not lower spec wagons, is that it is MUCH cheaper for them to build an X3 in the US and sell it here than to build a wagon in Germany and sell it here. I hate it, as the extremely happy owner of a 2011 328i wagon (who would buy a comparable new one if I could), but I get why it is so.

  • avatar
    galloping_gael

    We just got a CPO 2015 328xi wagon – black as is pictured here. Original sticker was just about $52k. We were around half that, with a two-year, 100k warranty. Car had just under 36K off lease.
    Agree the new X3 is probably a better deal. Probably due to the fact that the X3 is assembled in SC, and the 328 is not. In CPO land, however, it is close to impossible to find an X3 at that price point. Add to that the fact that only 4% of the 3 series sold in the US are (were) wagons, and we decided it was time to move.
    Not sure why they’re calling this a 330xi – that looks to be the same engine as in ours (248hp turbo 4).
    It’s a solid car. My wife loves it – it’s her DD. 32MPG highway, snappy in sport mode. My drives in it have me thinking about a 4-series sedan or 3 GT. Not sure about the reliability, though BMW is better than it used to be…

    • 0 avatar
      galloping_gael

      …and the back window opens, for full, wagon-y goodness.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Any used luxury sedan is a ridiculous deal these days – a three-year-old 328 with the proper equipment (nav, leather, etc) is going for about $20,000 now. A CPO model will be a $1-2,000 grand more. CUVs are a different story.

      We can b*tch all we want about how CUVs are taking over the world, but if you’re a sport sedan lover, that spells far better deals. I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to buy one.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @FreedMike +1

        I’m at the point of: “If you love a segment that is dying – put your money where your mouth is. Unfortunately I love a couple of segments that are dying but I’m going to choose one and go for it. I don’t want to be saying: ‘I wish I had owned one more _________ before they went away.”

        • 0 avatar
          gearhead77

          @Principaldan, I had this feeling as I watched a Chevy SS go by in dark green the other day. I love my Golf, but I have had a Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger as rentals and I like those cars. I just can’t justify anything that large when its only me usually driving it.

          But our EVERYTHING cross-over/ SUV world makes me desire something with a trunk for some reason, the practicality of the hatch thrown to the wind. Something with a shape to it.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        I suppose it depends on your definition of sport sedan. Novocain control-addled lead sled with a gruff heat pump of an engine connected to an automatic transmission? Step right up!

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          @Todd – then buy a G70 manual…

          Can’t do anything about the proliferation of turbos other than get a Lexus IS but that would be a 3 series as built by Buick.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            Buick Regal GS or Lexus GS350 or GS F. I think that’s it. You could put the CT6 with the non-boosted V6 on that list as well. Actually they put that 3.6 V6 in a few cars.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            The Lexus IS drives better than anything without an M that BMW has built in two decades. OTOH, there is no IS350 manual, which is what it would take to get me into one. I’m not sure what “as built by Buick” means in this context. Lexus products are far from Chinese. Buick is a nightmare interpretation of the Geo brand. Geos were Japanese cars sold by Chevy dealers. Buicks are Belgian, Chinese, and Korean cars sold by GMC dealers. That’s not an idea I want a piece of.

          • 0 avatar
            conundrum

            Lexus IS? It’s almost at its 20th birthday, and is suitable only for being driven by the smaller types of human.

            I say this having struggled to get in and out of one and I’m only 5-9, both before and after the refresh sort of ( about 2010) not counting the obligatory beak addition. since.

            It’s tiny inside, and entry and egress is not its best point. There have been three complete changes of BMW 3 Series while the IS wandered about being neither fish nor fowl, and the 4th is due right now. Sales figures suggest that not even slick-talking Lexus salesmen could ever get many of these lot poison-mobiles leased or flogged. Everything seems great until you actually confront one, try it on, and then say, Nah.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @Todd:
            “The Lexus IS drives better than anything without an M that BMW has built in two decades.”

            I don’t suppose you see the irony about first ranting about “isolated” sport sedans and then endorsing a Lexus…

            The IS is a fine car, as long as you avoid the 250, which is a complete dog. But the 350 is still a long way from a sharp, involving ride.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I dunno, Todd, let’s check out the performance numbers from my control-addled, gruff-engined, automatic lead sled Audi A3:

          Zero to 60 mph: 5.5 sec
          Zero to 100 mph: 14.9 sec
          Zero to 120 mph: 23.7 sec
          Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 6.7 sec
          Top gear, 30-50 mph: 3.3 sec
          Top gear, 50-70 mph: 4.1 sec
          Standing ¼-mile: 14.2 sec @ 98 mph
          Top speed (governor limited): 126 mph
          Braking, 70-0 mph: 178 ft
          Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.87 g

          And, now, for s*ts and giggles, let’s check out the stats from a performance icon – 1985 Ferrari Testarossa:

          Zero to 60 mph: 5.0 sec
          Zero to 100 mph: 12.0 sec
          Zero to 130 mph: 22.0 sec
          Top gear, 30-50 mph: 7.6 sec
          Top gear, 50-70 mph: 7.8 sec
          Standing ¼-mile: 13.3 sec @ 107 mph
          Top speed: 176 mph
          Braking, 70-0 mph: 210 ft
          Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.87 g

          Maybe you can tell me the name of the performance boat I’m missing here, Todd?

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            The problem is you’re a passenger. If it was all about numbers, BMWs would never have made a reputation in the first place. How many years ago did BMW manage anything as fast as a 1970 Duster 340? The funny papers are more colorful than the Mona Lisa. Fast & Furious VI had a bigger box office than Citizen Kane. That’s what matters, right?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Define what makes a driving experience “non passenger,” please.

            (Trust me, I’m plenty involved in DRIVING.)

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            Not everyone worships at the altar of “Manual NA”.

            It’s okay not to.

            You can even be an Actual Driver with a turbocharger and an automatic transmission, honest!

            (We live in a legitimate golden age of performance and reliability, people.)

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            I’m with Todd. In terms of raw numbers, my wife’s 2012 Camry can probably keep up with my old Audi, all while getting notably better MPG, roomier, safer, etc. But driving one then the other is night and day in terms of steering feel, ergonomics, engine sound and response, etc. No one is disputing the progress in terms of the numbers, but many of us are lamenting the regression of the driving experience as the car companies chase after those numbers.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            So…”regression” is a car that costs $35,000 new (or $20,000 or so used), can carry four passengers and a decent trunk, has AWD and all the latest safety and tech features, gets 30 mpg on the highway, and can reel off performance stats that aren’t too far off from an iconic Ferrari that would sell for around two hundred grand in today’s money?

            If that’s so, I’d like to see what progress looks like!

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Mike I’d gladly take a 5mpg hit to go back to hydraulic power steering, engines that don’t burn 1qt/1000 miles off the show room floor, and a naturally aspirated I6 that gives up 1 sec 0-60 but sounds and feels glorious.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Heck, gtem, I was getting 34 mpg in my Jetta, and the average in the A3 looks to be around 24, so I took a 10-mpg hit to get something that performs. Worth it. :)

            I get the love for a big NA engine. The VQ in the Infiniti Q50 is a honey, and it was the runner up – I’d wholeheartedly recommend it. Power for days, no waiting. But the Q is a cruiser, and I wanted something with a bit of an edge. Plus, the way I drive, I’d be looking at mid-to-high-teens mpg in a car that takes premium only. I’d have probably popped for it if not for those issues. The 3.5 in the Lexus IS is also a great engine, but used ones are pricey, and the car itself left me cold.

            But then again, back to Todd’s point, both of those cars are two more “automated” sport sedans. If anything, both are way more “isolated” than the one I bought.

            Either way, though, there’s no getting around it – all the tech that “isolates” the driver also produces cars that would put anything that was a supposed “driver’s car” back in the day on the trailer. Hell, if you could transport your wife’s Camry back to 1990, you could stick a Benz badge on it, sell it for $60,000, and have one of the best cars in the world.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @GTM

            I’ll grant you my ’11 328i wagons I6 sounds glorious – once I spent $2500 on the BMW OEM Performance intake and exhaust – prior it didn’t sound like much at all, because you could barely hear it. But the 4 cyl turbo absolutely blows it away in every other way. Heck, to deal in similar tech levels, the 4cyl turbo in the Saab 9-3SC the BMW replaced was a better motor than the I6 in every way but sound too. Faster, just as smooth revving, and more economical in a car of identical size and weight. The BMW is certainly the better car overall than the Saab, but I am a big believer in the benefits of a turbo 4.

            I have ZERO complaints about the electric steering in post 2015 BMWs, when they revised it considerably. The steering in my e91 is pointlessly heavy. I much preferred the steering in my M235i. Just as sharp, lots lighter at low speed, similar at high speed. The electric steering in my GTI is even better.

            I would spec the Sport Package on a newer 3-series, they did soften the base suspension to broaden the appeal. I found the Sport Suspension on the e91 unnecessarily harsh, so I did not order it on my car.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @khrodes:

            Agreed on the current turbo 4s in BMWs – they’re done right. I just wish the rest of the car was as well done.

            (If you want to see how a 2.0T can be done wrong in a luxury car, drive an ATS – there’s plenty of power, and it’s well behaved, but it sounds cheap.)

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “Hell, if you could transport your wife’s Camry back to 1990, you could stick a Benz badge on it, sell it for $60,000, and have one of the best cars in the world.”

            No one who sat in that car and caused the lower dash to creak by accidentally bumping it with their knee would mistake it for anything MB in 1990. Heck they wouldn’t recognize it as Toyota. But yeah, aside from that and the weak paint and rear bumpers that flex in the wind at speed, I get your point.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            @khrodes1

            Granted I’ve not tried a BMW before/after EPS, but my general experience across the board with all of my rentals and such is that no one has gotten an EPS system to be as full of feedback as a well done hydraulic system (my 1990 Civic’s steering remains my personal favorite). I like the setup in my A4 but it’s been a bit troublesome mechanically (surprise surprise lol)

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      “BMW is better than it used to be…”

      Varies tremendously by model. The X5 is a dog after 60k miles. My 3 wagon was good until 90k and then problems.

      BMWs have typically had janky cooling systems and window regulators. Problems are getting more widespread – blower motors, AC leaks, valve covers for example.

      They are worse than they used to be and it’s not close.

      • 0 avatar
        galloping_gael

        “…janky cooling systems and window regulators.”
        Both problems in my E36.
        I hear you, jk.
        My not-super-deep research prior to purchase seemed to indicate that the brand as a whole is showing improved reliability. We’ll see, but I would never get into one of these without a warranty…

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          CR actually put the 3-series on the recommended list, which probably speaks well for its’ reliability.

          The turn-offs for me were a) ponderous handling, b) super-plasticky interior. One nitpick in particular – on the CPO models I drove, the interior door handles squeaked badly when you pulled on them. That was a “you gotta be kidding” moment.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Short term reliability that will get it through the warranty period? Perhaps. Beyond that? I wouldn’t trust any modern German as far as I can throw it. Doing some shadowing of mobile diagnostics in Staten Island over the holidays really drove the point home.

            Seeing the quality of the wiring harness that Mercedes routes through its folding mirrors on the ML was particularly laughable (spoiler: they break in half at the bend). BMW VANOS issues, coil issues, leaking oil filter housings throwing the serpentine belt (leading to other fun and expensive issues).

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I wouldn’t expect 200,000 miles from a current 3-series as a daily driver, but for someone who buys it with 30,000 miles or so and plans to keep it until 100,000 miles, it’d probably be fine.

    • 0 avatar
      mittencuh

      For 2017 the 328i and 335i got new motors with the LCI, hence the change to 330i and 340i.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Well, you can get the Volvo V60 in base T5 Momentum FWD guise—and it’ll already be a nicer car than the base 3 Series wagon, transverse-engine or not—for $38,900. Opt for the T6 Momentum AWD, and you’re at $43,400. A bargain.

    If that doesn’t work for you, the base Audi A4 allroad, at $45,700, is just a far more impressive car than the 3 Series wagon, as long as you don’t mind the mild lift.

    Why would you go for the Bimmer, again?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Agreed, or if you just need more cargo capability without having a wagon per se, you could check out an A5 Sportback. Now that’s a tasty-looking car.

    • 0 avatar
      jh26036

      I am not saying the BMW is a good deal but an Estoril Blue M-sport wagon is much more striking than the Volvo or the allroad in my opinion.

      Not to mention, if history continues to repeat itself, the BMW wagon will hold its resale like crazy. Have you seen the prices to a E91 wagon lately?

      You can count on the allroad and Volvo being worthless in 5 years.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Nice RWD stickshift e91s are worth a small fortune – I have one. AWD automatics, not so much, though they do retain their value significantly better than sedans. Rarity factor for all of them, and the fact that there is nothing else like them anymore for the RWD stickshift cars. It’s the car an awful lot of enthusiasts really wanted back in the day, but they were expensive, and you generally had to order them, which most people seem unwilling to do for some bizarre reason. I sucked it up and ordered mine new after spending *3-4* years looking for a suitable used BMW wagon. Doing Euro Delivery got the price down to where I only had mild heart palpitations signing the contract instead of a full-on stroke. It was still the most expensive car I had ever bought by almost factor of two. And worth every single penny. :-)

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      And a Volvo will get you more content at the base, and they’re … really nice.

      (I was just in a top-spec XC60 T5 loaner, and … I think it would sticker at around $46k. The interior and feature set was *impressive*, especially for the price.

      Coincidentally it has the same basic engine specs as the 330xi here, or an Allroad.

      The Allroad is, while I love them, stupidly overpriced.)

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Yeah, at $45k, you’re well into Stinger GT land, a better car by most measures save snob brand appeal.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        At 45k your in lightly used SS sedan territory, a car that used the E36/E39 engineers to design its handling attributes. And you get a real engine unlike the Stinger.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          But GM engineers to design everything else. Hard pass.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          The SS is a great car, but it’s also a royal pain in the a** anywhere it snows…unless, of course, you want to drop another couple grand on winter tires and a second set of wheels. If I’m dropping 50 large, screw that noise.

          And am I the only one who’s suspicious as hell of “lightly used” V-8 muscle cars? For all you know, the former owner “lightly used” it to re-enact the opening scene from “Baby Driver” 131 times.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “unless, of course, you want to drop another couple grand on winter tires and a second set of wheels. If I’m dropping 50 large, screw that noise.”

            I never could wrap my head around this mentality. You have $50k to drop on a new car but are too stingy to spend another $2k to keep it on the road safely in the winter? Smack a wheel into the curb and you’re out $2k and then some for a car like the SS.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Well, yeah, it’s cost, but when you boil it down, it’s really about capability. People who buy expensive cars expect those cars to do more with fewer compromises. As the price goes up, the list of people willing to put up with stuff like “I have to hassle with putting snows on my car” goes down. Doesn’t really matter if they can drop two grand on snows – they don’t want to. Plus, if you make enough to buy an expensive car, your time becomes more valuable.

            There’s a reason why dealers in my neck of the woods simply won’t stock luxury cars without AWD.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Test drove a Stinger. I was NOT impressed. And I felt like I needed an acid bath to get the icky feeling of the KIA dealership off me afterwards.

        You can call me a snob if you want, won’t bother me in the slightest.

        The only reason I don’t have a newer BMW wagon is I am stubborn enough to want what I want. And there isn’t enough reason for me to trade in the one I have that is exactly the way I want it. I like the newer cars a little better in that they are bigger and have some useful new features, but not enough to take AWD and a slushbox.

        • 0 avatar
          MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

          I assume you drove a 4 cyl Stinger, because I drove both RWD and AWD GT models with the twin turbo V6 and it would be kinda difficult to NOT be impressed with those. Especially if your salesman told you about Launch Mode.
          As for icky dealerships, they are each indep. owned so YMWV just like one Wendys might be kept up better than another. My nearest Kia dealer is a former Jaguar dealership, and pretty darn nice.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Because you just like the BMW better of course. The Volvo is smaller, and I absolutely HATE the Volvo Sensus control interface, it’s just terrible.

      I can’t get over Audis just being VWs with delusions of grandeur, nor would I ever buy the faux jacked up offroad silliness of the AllRoad. I also need AWD like a need an ex-wife, which combined with the lack of a manual transmission being available keeps me from replacing the BMW wagon I already have and love.

      $5-6K either way at this price level is meaningless. You buy the car you like the best.

  • avatar
    jcarpsb

    In the 1990’s and early 2000’s I drove 5 Series Wagons, then they stopped making them and I thought I’d get a 3 series wagon, found one with rear wheel drive and a 6 speed but the huge price premium over a 3 series sedan equally equipped was too hard to live with so I moved on to other manufactures. Eventually came back to BMW and got an X1 because of the huge end of year incentives, I hated that cheaply made POS. Then last year I found an 8 month old 2017 330ix Sportwagon with 6000 miles on it that was a South Carolina Executive car, never titled, heavily optioned and absolutely perfect condition. With the factory incentives I bought it for $19,000 below the MSRP, it is about the same size as the first 5 series I owned, has more HP and a better torque curve than the V8 in that car, has the adaptive suspension and is really fun to drive. I’ve put my bike in the back and headed off on distant cycling adventures enjoying every moment of the driving as well as the cycling.

    I still wouldn’t buy one new (this was my first used car purchase) even though I love it, as it isn’t worth the premium, and that probably says as much as anything about why BMW sold so few compared to sedans.

  • avatar
    slap

    “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.

  • avatar

    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.


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