2014 BMW 328d xDrive Wagon Long-Term Arrival
The Wagon That Makes Us Ask, “Why Not?”
"A grocery getter?" My dad wasn't impressed. "No," I said, "Well, technically, yes." But he still wasn't getting it. I repeated, slower, "Diesel… wagon… sports package." The silence that followed illustrated that the notion of a diesel-powered wagon that's also desirable remains alien to some.
Not to me. Or other, jealous people in the office. This new 328d long-termer is a very attractive car around these parts. Why? In numbers, the turbo 2.0-liter I-4 makes 280 lb-ft of torque and returns 43 mpg freeway, while the range estimator reads north of 520 miles on a full tank. In use, it means a strong mid-range, lots of cargo space, and funny looks from truckers when you fill your luxury wagon up at the gas station. It's a handsome car, too, thanks to the Glacier Silver Metallic ($550) paint and M Sport package ($3850), with its revised bumpers, side skirts, and 18-in wheels.
Initial impressions are quite good. This is a strong, comfortable, and relaxing car to drive. Around town, the 8-speed automatic keeps the engine working seamlessly in a window where it seems you can surf the torque forever. It's already been up to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca; not for laps (still under the break-in period), but we were able to sneak on to the track for a photo at the bottom of the Corkscrew. Because why not?
That question explains the 328d well. It has launch control (why not?), and not because it's particularly fast. Versus our 2012 328i long-termer, it's 492 lbs heavier and slower to 60 mph (7.1 sec) and the quarter mile (15.5 sec @ 87.6 mph). But identical skidpad performances (0.89 g avg) illustrate the strength of the 328d's no-cost Bridgestone Potenza summer tires, as does its improved, 106 ft 60-0 mph stopping distance – credit also goes to the M Sport brake package that adds front four- piston calipers with 14.6-in rotors and rear dual piston calipers with 13.6-in rotors ($650).
On options, you could choose two paths for 328d: One's preparation for cold weather and snow, the other for performance. We opted for both routes (again, why not?), so the steering wheel and all four seats are heated and, on top of the aforementioned summer tires and big brakes, the dampers are adjustable, too. With $15,325 worth of options, this may be the most overkill 328d in existence. We'll explore the merit of those options and the 328d's ability to cover asphalt in the coming months. Groceries, too.
|Service life||1 mo/2551 mi|
|Average fuel economy||38.3 mpg|
|CO2 emissions||0.58 lb/mi|
|EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ||31/43/35 mpg|
|Energy consumption||88 kW-hr/100mi|