1990 BMW 318i Touring

1990 BMW 318i Touring

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As we round out Wagon Week, let’s take a trip to Deutschland to look at one of the cleanest, most compact longroofs around. The E30 Touring is just now importable to the US but is still quite a rarity on these shores. In Europe you can find them in all varieties and in all sorts of condition, but today’s little 318i is quite a gem. Having covered less than 50k miles in its quarter century, it looks stunning inside and out, especially with the always-excellent Shadowline trim option. The grey cloth looks clean as new and I much prefer it in these cars to the ubiquitous leather we get in Bimmers here; it’s a nice reminder that, while very cool, this is also a utilitarian, base-model little wagon. These days we Americans are starting to have access to some great E30 Tourings including the beefy 325ix, but it’s hard to beat this red 318i for good-looking simplicity and value.

Click for details: 1990 BMW 318i Touring on Mobile.de

Wagon Week: 1964 Volkswagen Type 3 Variant

Wagon Week: 1964 Volkswagen Type 3 Variant

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We’ve seen a fair number of Type 3 Volkswagens recently here at GCFSB, notably a rather tasty Type 3 Notchback show up in our Feature Listings earlier this week. However, since we are wrapping up another successful Wagon Week, let’s take a look at the long roof version of the Type 3, the Variant. Known to those stateside as the Squareback, the Variant was a two-door estate model with the familiar “pancake” rear-mounted air-cooled flat four engine. Today we’ll travel across the pond and take a look at a Variant for sale in Lisbon, Portugal.

Click for details: 1964 Volkswagen Type 3 Variant on Mobile.de

Wagon Week: 2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI

Wagon Week: 2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI

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When I think roadtrip vehicle, my mind immediately goes to the frugal and capable Jetta TDI. When driven carefully, they can far exceed their standard MPG ratings while swallowing tons of gear. All this with class-leading comfort and style in the interior. My main gripe is the unattractive front end, but in my dreams I just throw a TDI Cup front end on it, creating a seriously good-looking wagon. This 2009 Sportwagen has a lot of positives – low mileage, 6-speed manual, panoramic roof and premium sound are all boxes I’d want ticked. The glaring downside is the rebuilt title, which we know is always a big liability. A full inspection could suss out if the driver’s-side collision really was minor and if everything is good to go. Rebuilt titles mean low resale values – maybe not ideal if you sell it in the future, but if everything checks out it creates an insane deal on an ultimate roadtrip machine.

Click for details: 2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI on eBay

Wagon Week: 2015 BMW 328d xDrive

Wagon Week: 2015 BMW 328d xDrive

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I’m not a huge fan of buying new cars – my brain just doesn’t see the logic in accepting instant depreciation as the price for being the very first person to own a car. I clearly lean towards well-used classics anyway, but at the very least a certified pre-owned car seems like the way to go if you want something modern. I have to make an exception here because somewhere along the line of bloating and modernization, BMW decided to make a car that seemed as likely as an albino unicorn not long ago – a turbodiesel, all-wheel drive, M-packaged station wagon. I’m getting used to the newer BMW styling and almost liking it, especially here on a white longroof spiffed up with black M accents and two-tone 20-spoke wheels reminiscent of the E39 M5’s all-time-great rims. Too bad that it doesn’t have a manual, but these 8-speed autos are supposed to be excellent. Overall, it’s pretty epic as far as new cars go, but then again so is its price.

Click for details: 2015 BMW 328d xDrive on eBay

Wagon Week: 2012 BMW 328i xDrive Touring

Wagon Week: 2012 BMW 328i xDrive Touring

I’ll be the first to admit that I was very late to the E91 touring party. When it debuted, I was still far more interested in the Audi S4 and Subaru Legacy Turbo. In fact, up until I began to take a healthier interest in the world of BMWs, I didn’t associate the brand with AWD long roofs at all even though they have a storied history within the segment. When I thought of BMW wagons I thought of a ’91 525i that belonged to some friends of my parents. At the time that car seemed like nothing special but oh if I could turn back the clock and get my hands on it now I’d be a happy man. Dark green with a brown leather interior, M Parallel wheels, let me tell you, that thing was gorgeous. The idea that BMW made a nice wagon began to percolate and it wasn’t long before I found myself adding the E91 to my regular internet searches.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 BMW 328i xDrive Estate On AutoTrader

Wagon Week: 2008 BMW 328xi Touring

Wagon Week: 2008 BMW 328xi Touring

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While we certainly all love the idea of the pavement-stomping, Bahn-burner muscle wagons, sometimes that just isn’t practical. Yes, I dream of RS6 Avants, smile at the many E63 Wagons in my area and fanboyishly took tons of iPhone pictures when I saw an M5 Touring (with foreign plates), but those crazy longroofs are as expensive and rare as they are awesome. For the family-man enthusiast, a spruced-up standard model can be a more achievable dream. Today’s E91 fits that bill perfectly, accentuating the sharp, long lines of this generation of 3-series wagons with an M3 front bumper and very low coilovers. The OEM+ look is continued with 19″ Style 95 wheels off a 7-series, while the car also comes with blacked-out 5-series rims as well as the originals. The clean look is continued inside with a gorgeous brown leather interior. It may not be the craziest performer, but it’s a beautiful and useful wagon that will make trips to school, the grocery store, and sports practices a little more special.

Click for details: 2008 BMW 328xi Touring on eBay

Wagon Week: 1996 Volkswagen Passat TDi Variant

Wagon Week: 1996 Volkswagen Passat TDi Variant

There are plenty of popular Volkswagens that demand premiums, sometimes inexplicably. These special models have a draw and demand money that makes people laugh. Sure, in the car world, it’s become accepted that vehicles like the 21 window Samba are now $100,000 plus fully restored; however, tell that to my father-in-law, who grew up driving them, and you’ll get nothing but boisterous laughs. Other Volkswagens exhibit charm or were class leaders; the GTi, the Vanagon Westy, the Corrado – stylish in their own ways, with charm to match. Then there’s the Passat. Despite the serious popularity of the B5 and B5.5 chassis, I still feel like I need to explain to people that they’re really quite nice cars. Do you know why? Mostly it’s because of the reputation of the B3 and B4 Passats. Poor build quality coupled with an unerring tendency of early 90s Volkswagens to rust heavily meant they’re an odd choice for the Volkswagen fan. And when I consider the B4 Passat, all I can think is that it’s arguably the most vanilla Volkswagen ever produced. I praised Volkswagen when they launched the B3; smooth, aerodynamic with a distinctive wedge shape, it looked very different than any other sedan on sale at the time. Most of that distinction came down to the grill-less front end, but regardless it was cool. It was so cool, in fact, that no one got it. Of course, it didn’t help that it was pretty expensive and not particularly reliable in the best trend of early 90s VWs. So it probably came as no surprise when the revised B4 Passat in 1995 when more mainstream. New wheels, mostly new body panels and some minor interior changes signaled its introduction, but that’s not what people sought. No, the big news was under the hood; Volkswagen moved the 1Z 1.9 TDi into the Passat – and behind the headlines of the Vans, Corrados and GTis, it’s probably the most sought 1990s Volkswagen – especially in 5-speed Variant form.…

Wagon Week: 2005 Mercedes-Benz E500 Estate

Wagon Week: 2005 Mercedes-Benz E500 Estate

When I first came across this listing I thought I had found an E55 AMG Estate at an incredible bargain, but after reading through the details (and a heads up from out trusty editor in chief) I found that this car is in fact an E500 wearing big brother’s name tag. I’ve seen E500 AMG Sports before but not ones doing a full on E55 impression. At first I was annoyed and was going to skip writing it up but then after thinking about the rarity of the Dark Green over Tan color way, the great sound of the AMG exhaust hooked up to any V8 and the low mileage, I decided this car deserves a helping hand in its search for a new home. The seller notes that it had  “very interesting prior ownership” and while that may sound ominous to some, I’m actually quite curious to know what it means. Maybe this was a Mercedes Benz exec’s weekend warrior, maybe the previous owner was a celebrity or maybe the car belonged to Guy Fieri. Hard telling not knowing I suppose, though I highly doubt it was the last option, I don’t think Dark Green is his color.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Mercedes-Benz E500 Estate on eBay

Wagon Week: 2000 Volkswagen Passat 2.8 GLX 4Motion Variant

Wagon Week: 2000 Volkswagen Passat 2.8 GLX 4Motion Variant

While “Wagon Week” is one of our favorite features, I’ve tried to look at cars this go around that are slightly different than the normal candidates we examine. As such, while typically I look at the infamous W8 version of the Passat and it’s headline grabbing, innovative engine or the lighter weight 1.8T 5-speed, my preferred configuration, this time we’re looking at what was a popular platform – the GLX 4Motion. Equipped with a silky smooth 30V V6, as it was with the B2 generation underneath the B5 Passat was effectively an Audi A4 and shared the same all-wheel drive technology with updated 4-link suspension. That gave the Passat a refined and capable drivetrain and composed suspension setup that made it feel more upscale than the B3 and B4 generation had been. For enthusiasts, unfortunately if you wanted the all-wheel drive option coupled to a manual, you’d need to select an Audi over the more budget-friendly Passat or wait until the introduction of the 1.8T 4Motion later in the B5.5 model run. But many selected the package none-the-less, a capable and competent upscale cruiser that punched north of its price point and was a value luxury car:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Volkswagen Passat 2.8 GLX 4Motion Variant on eBay

Wagon Week: 2001 Audi RS4 with 3,300 Miles

Wagon Week: 2001 Audi RS4 with 3,300 Miles

If yesterday’s pristine S4 DTM Edition with low miles got you excited, then this is probably the type of car that you’d really like to see. Normally when we’ve done Wagon Weeks, I’ve written up some of the more notable fast Audi wagons; the RS2 and the S6 Plus, for example. But today I wanted to visit a few we don’t spend so much time on – hence the S6 Avant duo from earlier. What we have here, though, is even that much more special; what is probably the best condition, most original and lowest mile Audi RS4 outside of Audi’s possession. The RS4 was an instant hit, with quattro GmbH combining forces with Cosworth to tune the engine of the B5 up to a then-staggering 375 horsepower. With beefed up bodywork covering massive wheels and tires and run through a 6-speed manual transmission, the RS4 was good to its Sport Quattro and RS2 heritage, running to 60 m.p.h. in a smashing 4.9 seconds and easily bouncing off its self-imposed 155 m.p.h. limiter. As with the RS2 and the Sport Quattro, the limited run RS4 has been the subject of many replicas, but finding a mint condition original example reminds us of how perfect the formula was:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi RS4 on Classic Driver

Wagon Week: Forbidden Fruit – C6 and C7 Audi S6 Avants

Wagon Week: Forbidden Fruit – C6 and C7 Audi S6 Avants

For a few short years, Audi indulged us. In 1995 only, we received the first S6 Avant on U.S. shores; though the C4 Avant would soldier on until 1998, the 220-odd horsepower turbocharged 5 cylinder hooked to a manual transmission would be gone for a few generations and not seen again in the large wagon. Though the next generation C5 platform would grow in size, Audi would answer with a new S6 Avant for these shores. Now with a seemingly impressive 340 horsepower in an all-aluminum V8, it unfortunately only came to the U.S. in automatic form. It was still a very fast car, but one that catered to a slightly different crowd than the original. It was also, for all intents and purposes, a bit of a sales flop; enthusiasts I think correctly found it difficult to pay the premium when you could get the spiritual successor to the “Ur-S6” in the 6-speed manual, twin turbocharged Allroad 2.7T. As a result, when the new C6 platform launched, although there were new forms of the S6 Avant available, they stopped coming here. Indeed, as soon as we hit 2010, Audi stopped bringing the large Avant all together; you can thank the popularity of the Q7 for that. So today we’ll look at two of the forbidden fruit; the last two generations of S6 Avant that didn’t come to the U.S.:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Audi S6 Avant on eBay

2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model 4Matic Estate

2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model 4Matic Estate

Coming from a family with a history of Mercedes-Benz ownership spanning decades, it pains me to admit that few vehicles in the 2015 lineup impress me. Apart from the Geländewagen and AMG GT, the one car which stands out in the lineup is the car we see here: the E63 AMG S-Model Estate. Mercedes is on its third generation of bonkers AMG-tuned wagons, with this latest all-wheel drive beast cranking out 577 horsepower from the twin-turbo V8. That makes this five-door good for a sprint to 60 mph in under four seconds. A bit ridiculous for a family hauler, no? However, if you’re in a real hurry for that quart of milk…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model 4Matic Estate on eBay

Wagon Week: 2010 Audi A4 2.0T quattro Avant

Wagon Week: 2010 Audi A4 2.0T quattro Avant

When Audi launched the A4 Avant with the B5 series, it was a bit of a trump card for the small wagon enthusiast. True, the Volkswagen Passat had been available in 5-door form for a few generations, and it VR6 form it was quite entertaining. However, quality of the pre-B5 chassis Passats wasn’t the best, and all-wheel drive had only been available with the Quantum for a few short years in the late 1980s. Audi had offered its unique large Avant platform in both 5000/200 and S6 form, but they were pretty expensive relative to the small cars the company offered. The A4 Avant continued on for through the B7 chassis we saw yesterday; a serious improvement in looks over the rather plain looking B6. When the B8 launched, initially I thought “There goes Audi again, following the formula of making everything bigger”. The B8 was a LOT bigger than the original A4 had been; in fact, park one next to an original A6, and the B8 A4 is dimensionally it was only slightly smaller. There was one key difference, though. Sure, the A4 had been stretched in every direction – but most importantly, you’d find that the wheel base was now the best part of a foot longer than the early Audi platforms. Visually that shortened the notoriously long overhangs of the Audis and offered more legroom to the occupants. Anyone who has ever been in the back of a B5 A4 would certainly appreciate that. Amazingly, too, the new A4 was lighter, and thanks to revised suspension geometry, new and more advanced computers and a torque-laden 2.0 turbo motor, it felt and drove considerably better than any of the previous generations had, too. It even looked really good in my mind. It was an instant success as previous generations had been, making one wonder even more why it went away:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2010 Audi A4 2.0T quattro Avant on eBay

Convertible Week: 1955 Porsche 356 Pre-A 1500 Continental Cabriolet – Revisit

Convertible Week: 1955 Porsche 356 Pre-A 1500 Continental Cabriolet – Revisit

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The very rare and very head-turning 1955 Porsche 356 Pre-A 1500 Continental Cabriolet that we featured back in October has come back up for sale again as a reserve auction. This car was featured in a recent issue of Excellence Magazine so perhaps the seller hopes to capitalize upon that exposure in the search for a new owner of this lovely machine. This is, without question, the most striking 356 we’ve ever come across as well as a unique piece of Porsche history.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1955 Porsche 356 Pre-A 1500 Continental Cabriolet on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site October 31, 2014:

Convertible Week: 2011 Porsche 911 Speedster

Convertible Week: 2011 Porsche 911 Speedster

As a brand new Porsche 911 passed me by the other day, I thought to myself “my this car got fat.” Sure, the new 911 is a perfectly capable and desirable sports car which is (thankfully) still offered with a manual gearbox. Years before the 911, Porsche introduced the Speedster moniker on the 356, a lower cost, simpler option for those seeking drop top thrills. The Speedster name would carry on through several iterations of the 911, up to the latest example we see here, the 997-based 911 Speedster. While many of the 997 Speedsters you see are painted in Pure Blue, this 911 Speedster for sale in Connecticut wears the more classic Carrera White.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 Porsche 911 Speedster on JamesEdition