Double Take M-Sports Wagon-off: 2017 BMW 330i xDrive Individual v. 2014 BMW 328i xDrive

There’s an entire sub-culture of automobile enthusiasts that MUST have everything wagon. And for those people, there have long been many options to choose from – expect recently. Since the 2000s, the number of wagons available to U.S. fans has dropped off a cliff so that today precious few are left. I detailed what I felt was the height of the market last year over at The Truth About Cars.

Today, enter the marketplace and there are very few options left. The staple Audi A6 and BMW 5-series wagons have left the market, as has the regular A4. Sure, today you can finally get an all-wheel drive Golf Sportwagon that was promised for so long, but outside of that, you’re left really with the Allroad, the expensive and numb (but potentially ridiculously quick) Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon, or the BMW 3-series.

Options for the 3-series have dwindled as well as the price has increased. From rear-or-all-wheel drive a few years ago with multiple engine options, only two remain – you have a choice or gas, or diesel. The Sports Wagon has gotten pretty ridiculously expensive, too – starting at $43,000, it’s not hard to break $60,000 when you start to add options (which you’ll see below). Even more ridiculousl is the naming convention, to the point of I’m not sure what the word order is in the title of these cars anymore. Seriously, consider our first example – the “2017 BMW 330i xDrive Sports Wagon M-Sport Individual”. Or was Individual first? Or M-Sport second?

Nevertheless, these wagons remain popular among sport-minded German car freaks who need to carry more than just themselves. Today I have two interesting blue options to consider – one a special-ordered Individual in Laguna Seca that is brand spanking new, or a lightly used Estoril Blue Metallic example. Which is the one to have?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2017 BMW 330i xDrive M-Sport Sports Wagon Individual on eBay

Continue reading

2016 BMW 340i xDrive

For years, the BMW 3 series has been the standard bearer for someone looking for a sport sedan with a dash of luxury mixed in. Luckily for the enthusiast, it is one of the few cars in its class that offers the option for a manual transmission. While modern automatic gearboxes are more efficient, there are still those of us out there who enjoy rowing their own. This 2016 340i xDrive for sale in New Jersey is lightly used, but is one of the few big engined 3 series sedans so equipped these days.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2016 BMW 340i xDrive on eBay

Continue reading

Feature Listing: 2008 BMW 328xi Sports Wagon

Over the past few years, my wife and I have had an ongoing conversation about what would replace her 2006 Subaru Outback. It’s not that we don’t like the car; in fact, quite the opposite. Subaru really stepped up the quality and look of the fourth generation Legacy and made it close to comparable to the European counterparts. A svelte exterior was matched by a luxurious interior, a great all-wheel drive system, and the theory of Subaru reliability. But there are several places where the Legacy, despite it’s massive popularity, shows its budget origins. The ride is great as long as the roads aren’t rough and are reasonably straight; it doesn’t really like corners much and if there is a bump mid corner prepare for you and your passengers to look a bit like bobble head dolls. Then there’s the transmission; if you went with the Limited spec like my wife originally did, you got the nicer interior wood finish, climate control and leather seats – but the manual was opted out, making them automatic only. Couple that automatic to the 2.5 liter boxer 4 and saddle it with the best part of 4,000 lbs and the result is anemic. But the real thorn in the side has been the reality of fourth generation Subaru ownership; far from trouble free, the Outback has eaten its headgaskets, wheel bearings, batteries and brakes like it’s going out of style. I think when you purchase something like an Audi or BMW wagon, you expect that once it’s outside of warranty there will be a big occasional repair – that’s the trade off for the luxury and performance of the nicer marques. But in a Subaru? It’s then when the other shortcomings really begin to wear on your patience and you begin to think of alternatives. While my natural inclination has been to look at the benchmark for performance luxury all-wheel drive wagons – Audi’s Avants – ironically it’s been BMW who has offered more options in recent years, such as this lovely sport wagon E91 Sports Wagon:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 BMW 328xi Sports Wagon at Euro Werkz

Continue reading

Wagon Week: 2015 BMW 328d xDrive

13359237_7

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

2010 BMW 535i xDrive Touring 6-speed manual

Today, I’ve decided to jump from one manual transmission to the next. Albeit this time we’ll look at one that has a bit more get up and go than the Mercedes featured earlier.

Similar to Audi, BMW has decided to nix the traditional estate, or Touring model, from the US lineup. As of this moment, if someone wants a new BMW that is more versatile or commodious, you’ll have to look towards their lineup of SUVs or the oddly shaped 5 series Gran Turismo. There are rumors, as purported by Automobile Magazine, that BMW is planning to bring a Touring variant of their new 3 series across the pond, but it has yet to be seen if it will be offered with this 535i xDrive Touring’s most tasty feature, the 6-speed manual gearbox.

Sold in very limited numbers here, this 535i XDrive Touring is made even more rare with the three pedal option. This gearbox mated to the 3.5 liter, twin-turbo inline six producing 302 horsepower will make sure you can haul fast. Literally. And the dark green over tan color combination would look right at home in The Hamptons or country club parking lot.

Year: 2010
Model: 535i xDrive Touring
Engine: 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged inline six
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 30,145 mi
Price: $37,480

2010 BMW 535i xDrive Touring 6-speed manual on AutoTrader

Screen Shot 2013-01-27 at 10.55.16 AM

Navigation, ultra-rare 6-speed manual transmission, premium package, heated seats, heated steering wheel, Harman Kardon Logic 7 Premium Sound System, panoramic sunroof, power liftgate, one previous owner.

Every time I see a late model E60 5 series Touring for sale, they don’t seem to come cheap. Could it be the uncertainty of whether BMW will bring the 5 series Touring back to the US? Or are these 5-door Bimmers just that good. I tend to think both reasons are at play here. Even though it seems pricey for a three year old 5 series, the high $20,000 to mid $30,000 range is what low mileage 535i xDrive Tourings are averaging. If it could be had closer to around $34,000 to $35,000, this would certainly be a great machine for the family that doesn’t want to surrender driving enjoyment.

-Paul

Theme Week: 2013 Alpina B7 XDrive for sale

I see a lot of executive saloons around here and wonder about the decision making process leading up to such a purchase. Why, exactly, did that grandma want the S600? Was it simply that it was the most expensive, or does she secretly love twin-turbo V12s? Does the S65 really make that guy feel bigger than the guy in the S63? These are questions that may never be answered, but I do know that the guy in the Alpina B7 was more than happy to talk to me about it at several stoplights. He had recently taken it to Dinan’s headquarters just south of here, and after some Dinan love they went for an ill-advised 180-mph blast in 25mph zone. If I were a 1-percenter looking for the ultimate big sedan, Alpina is where I’d look too. They combine the right amount of styling improvements and curb-stomping power to differentiate without losing class.

2013 Alpina B7 XDrive for sale on eBay


You can check out the listing if you need to see the litany of luxo-tech options checked, but after a previous life of BMW Executive demoing, you can be confident is has everything possible. The Frozen Blue and ski-bag options set a theme backed up by the BMW’s XDrive, an interesting choice to help wrangle the 540hp and 538lb-ft. I’ve always wanted to be able to roast the rears in an Alpina, but if you’re in the top 1% and wish to continue rolling deep through the winter in your $150k ride, why not tick that last option box? If you see someone driving one of these, see if they’ll explain their motivations.

-NR