Wagons rock. Particularly, sports wagons. But for some reason they don’t get their due here in North America where sport utilities both big and small enjoy all the glory. A huge contrast overseas where the likes of the 2016 BMW 328i xDrive Touring or VW Golf Wagon, to name just a couple, are an extremely common sight.
As SUVs and CUVs continue their pressure on families across our continent, coupled with the somewhat decline in the once popular sedan, the good old wagon may just make a strong comeback. Mercedes-Benz recently announced the arrival of the C-Class Wagon in Canada this summer (sorry US), and we’re sure other automakers will soon follow, either introducing new models or simply shipping over their long-standing wagons selling well in other markets like Europe and the Middle East. Somebody bring back the old school station wagon with the vintage woodgrain and we’re set.
BMW 328i Touring engine and power
Starting at $48,200 CAD / $42,650 US for the Touring (under $40,000 CAD for the sedan), the 2016 BMW 328i xDrive Touring is powered by a turbo 2.0L, inline-4 engine with an optional turbodiesel producing 184-hp and 280 lb.ft of torque. The 2.0L in my tester 328i provided ample power both on the highway and on the city streets. But a bigger powerplant (the new 340i’s 3.0L?) would be a welcome addition, particularly if hauling a carload of cargo and 4 adults. Our little family had a pretty light load (baby stroller, some jackets and small bags), so power was adequate across all eight gears.
The total price for this Touring rings in at $56,245 CAD (excluding taxes/fees), tacking on the optional $5,400 Premium Package Limited adding a long list of features including a Harman/Kardon sound system, heated steering wheel, rear view camera, and alarm system to name a few. Other add-ons include the $895 metallic paint, and the $1,900 M Performance Package adding sportier 19-inch double-spoke wheels, M sport brakes, adaptive M suspension, and variable sport steering — $2k for all this is definitely worthy.
New for 2016
Handling dynamics in this wagon are superb due in part to the now standard new dampers, revised steering, and reinforced suspension attachment points. The xDrive and 8-speed auto transmission are also standard on all 4-cylinder models. For the sedan fans, the 335i is now replaced by the 340i with a new 3.0L turbocharged engine putting down 320-hp.
New Plug-in Hybrid later this year
Available later this year headlining the 3 Series changes is the new 330e plug-in hybrid offering with an unconfirmed 250-hp and 310 lb.ft of torque.