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Premium Member
2014 328i xDrive Wagon 8 spd Auto
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1,975 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife has taken delivery of a new 2014 328i xDrive Sportswagon. Deep blue with beige leather. I thought I'd throw some initial thoughts up here for anyone wagon hunting.

A little background, my wife is extremely single minded in what she wanted: a traditional looking station wagon, period. That limited her choices to a Mercedes, Audi, VW, and BMW. If Subaru still made a wagon, that would have been her first choice. Mine too.

We've accumulated about 550 miles on it so far. It has a 2.0 DIT engine similar in spec to my 2014 XT's, an 8 speed auto, leather, parking assist, NAV, cold weather package, dual power seats w/memory, and an incredible lumbar adjustment.

Break-in fuel economy is 32 highway, 24 city, 93 octane.

The pro's so far:

xDrive : We picked the car up in Maine, about 94 miles away from home on a snowy Saturday. Driving down a very snowy, messy I-95 the xDrive system with all season tires felt as secure on the road as her 2008 OBW that I drove up there to trade-in. That was a pleasant surprise.

Seats: a very good grade of leather, several notches in quality above my XT's.

Seat Adjustments: Plenty of range to find a sweet spot, and the range of the lumbar adjustment is something to be felt to be appreciated, especially if you have a bad back.

Engine: we haven't tromped on it much yet, but so far power is more than adequate, and very similar to my XT's.

Heated steering Wheel: I know, who needs one of those? After using it, I'd have to say its a lot more appreciated than I would have thought.

Heated seats: They come up to temperature quick, and maintain it well.

Climate control: Warm's up quick, totally unobtrusive, and very quiet.

Human Factors Engineering: This is really subjective, but I think they've done a great job on the dash, everything on there is very intuitive. I especially like that they've included a limited subset of the NAV's display on the dash proper so that you don't need to look at the NAV screen. The main control knob that accesses the computer and accesses many features of the car is a lot more intuitive than I thought. It's still a hard drive based NAV system, and there's a lot of room left over to upload your music to it.

Auto Parking Assist: I don't know that she'll use it much, but it does work as advertised, including centering itself in the parking spot after it's done. More useful perhaps, is its ability to recognize if a parking spot is big enough as you slowly drive by. She could do a great job of parallel parking her OBW with no rear view camera, so she'd be fine with this car, especially given its large size rear view camera.

Automatic Rear Gate: I wish my XT was either more like this one, or fully manual. It has the "swing the foot under the bumper feature" that actually works, and moves open and closed like it means it, i.e. quick.

Voice recognition: So this is how its supposed to work...... my car has it, but its useless. This one worked out of the box.

Keyless entry, PB start: Very similar to my XT's, except it has the auto start stop feature. You can turn that feature off after you start the car, or you can have the dealership program it to default to off. Our next stop at a dealership, Off it goes.

Headlights: They swing a few degrees left or right, and she got the HID's (or whatever their equivalent is).

Moon roof: Large, panoramic style. Lets a lot of light into the cabin.

Drivability: Okay, there's a reason they're called the Ultimate Driving Machine.

Fit and Finish: You get what you pay for. Have not found a single flaw yet.



4yr/50K free maintenance.


Cons:

Tires: They ride good, and handle better than I would have thought. But, they are Run Flats, so unless one goes flat in the driveway, its a throwaway item, no repairs. Ride on it too long and you'll be replacing a wheel as well.

Engine noise: Externally, park this next to my XT when its running cold, and they both sound like crap. Better noise insulation internally, but from the outside, nothing special.

DIY Maintenance: Not. Friendly. At. All. I knew it before she got it, but for pity's sake you need to run a program to measure the engine oil (no dipstick). In fairness, my XT doesn't have a front diff dip stick, nor a CVT dipstick. Seems to be an unfortunate trend.

Oil change interval: Under the free maintenance its done at 15k, 30k, and 45k. No way am I letting a DIT engine go that long between changes. I will let it go to 7.5k, then pay to get it done. So I'll be paying for every other one. At $79 for OEM oil and filter, its no worse than my Subaru dealer's.

Ground clearance: Lower to the ground than her OBW, by a couple inches it looks.

Size: Its smaller overall than her OBW, a casual glance at it parked in the garage shows that. A little less room in the cargo area.

My biggest concern is the amount of electronics in the car. Too many microprocessors and actuators. All the manufacturers seem to be headed in a similar direction, but BMW certainly has its fair share.

My second biggest concern is carbon build up with their DIT engine. From following the BMW forums there are a lot of heads coming off after 50k for a cleaning.

We spent a lot of time going over the options list, and arrived at a pretty sane set of them. Base price on the wagon was 41K (3K more than my loaded XT), to which we added about 10k in options. The reason we ended up getting one 90+ miles away was the dealer's willingness to order a car, and then take about 4k off the top. He also gave us a decent price for her trade-in.

Summary: She's thrilled with it. She has a commute that goes between a half hour and an hour and a half each way, depending upon traffic. When she was agonizing over the price, my suggestion was get something that will make you feel comfortable, and that you'll be happy with. She works hard and waiting until your too old to enjoy the fruits of your labor never made sense to me.

Long windy review, thanks for reading.
 

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2005 Forester XT Manual
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11 Posts
Yes, there's certainly something to be said for a BMW in terms of fit and finish, quality of interior components and texture to the surfaces and the like. And driving? Yeah, I agree :)
 

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Premium Member
2014 2.0 XT Touring High Torque CVT
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701 Posts
Sorry to hear about the "hit" your wife's new wagon took; very glad to hear she and your dog are all ok.
 

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Premium Member
2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,255 Posts
Damn, that's bad news! I am glad to hear that your wife and dog walked away.

Our 530xi wagon was hit last September while parked in NYC. :icon_mad: The front passenger door took the brunt of the impact. The repair was done at a certified BMW shop in Charlotte, NC, and the car's no worse for the wear.

I think your report is just fine in "The Relatives" sub-forum.

Good luck with the cosmetics!
Jim / crewzer
 

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2015 Forester I-Premium 6MT
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2,362 Posts
make sure you get a residual value settlement also.

as the car is probably worth at least 5000$ less now.
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,255 Posts
make sure you get a residual value settlement also.

as the car is probably worth at least 5000$ less now.
Good point!!

Regards,
Jim / crewzer
 

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Han shot first
07 FXT Ltd 3 pedal
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328 Posts
Good to know that the little BMW wagons are built well. My wife is kinda partial to the German wagons, especially now that Subaru isn't bringing any worthwhile ones over here any longer.
 

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2015 Forester Premium CVT
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665 Posts
Sheet metal, glass, plastic . . . all replacement.

Loved ones irreplaceable. I'm glad your wife and dog are well.
 

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Premium Member
07 Forester XT
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6,759 Posts
You know, I've considered getting one of these as my next car not that I'm in any rush at all to get rid of my 07 XT sports but if I had to.... Glad to read some direct feedback. How much smaller is the hatch area compared to the XT ? As in still reasonable or holy cow its much smaller ? From peaking into wagons parked at Costco it looks like I'd be giving up a bit but hard to tell as the angles are different
 

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2010 2.5X Limited 4-speed Auto
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1,979 Posts
I know I'm old and backwards at time, but why is the Outback not considered a wagon? It look like a slightly smaller version of every Chevy, Ford and Plymouth station wagon I have ever had.

What am I missing?
 

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Premium Member
2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,255 Posts
I know I'm old and backwards at time, but why is the Outback not considered a wagon?
I'm also old (-ish) and am probably considered backward by some, and have pondered the same question.

The only thing I can figure out is that the Outback's relatively high clearance and ride height makes it an SUV, as opposed to the low-clearance Legacy wagon (estate), which is no longer available in the US market.

2010 Outback SUV:



2010 Legacy wagon:



HTH,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2010 2.5X Limited 4-speed Auto
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1,979 Posts
Still looks like a wagon, to me, just not as low to the ground. :biggrin:
 

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Premium Member
2014 328i xDrive Wagon 8 spd Auto
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1,975 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Her definition of wagons and Subaru ended in 2009. She was very happy with the 2003 and the 2008 she had. I wish she still like the new Outbacks.
 

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Premium Member
2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,255 Posts
A lot of the nomenclature problem is one of market perception. Accordingly, very few "wagons" are sold in the US.

We still like our '06 530 xiT wagon with 6MT, and I suspect we'll keep it for a long while. :icon_cool:



Regards,
Jim / crewzer
 

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Registered
2007 forester xt auto
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222 Posts
You know, I've considered getting one of these as my next car not that I'm in any rush at all to get rid of my 07 XT sports but if I had to.... Glad to read some direct feedback. How much smaller is the hatch area compared to the XT ? As in still reasonable or holy cow its much smaller ? From peaking into wagons parked at Costco it looks like I'd be giving up a bit but hard to tell as the angles are different
I currently have an E46 sport pack wagon that my Forester XT will be replacing once complete. It is a great vehicle as a daily. I am also on vacation and currently driving the new BMW wagon as a rental. I think the best one to get would be a 2011 or 2012 E92 3 series wagon. Still has hydraulic steering, a dipstick, six cylinder and the possibility of a manual tranny (very rare as I have looked for a while before deciding the FXT was worth trying).
In my opinion the new 3 is just too big and refined. Nice car , but I am thinking of asking the rental company if I can switch it for a 1 series hatchback, as I think it will be more fun.
I find the hatch area on my E46 bigger than the XT, so this one is already one size bigger. The back seat is way bigger on the BMWs.
Glad the OP has benefited from the enhanced crash protection and I hope the insurance company pays out on the reduced resale value.
 

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2015 2.5i Limited CVT
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511 Posts
A lot of the nomenclature problem is one of market perception. Accordingly, very few "wagons" are sold in the US.

We still like our '06 530 xiT wagon with 6MT, and I suspect we'll keep it for a long while. :icon_cool:



Regards,
Jim / crewzer
That is a killer wagon. I considered buying a used one a few years ago but couldn't do it. Call it fear of the unknown I guess as I've never owned/worked on a German car.

For fun we test drove a 328ix-d before buying the Fozzy. Really nice drive a 43mpg highway is pretty sweet. But $42k to start is just too rich at this point in my life. I was also pondering looking at the new V60 wagon that should be out now. But again, $37k to start.

But I can definitely agree with the OP's wife. Traditional wagons are awesome.
 

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2015 2.5i Limited CVT
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511 Posts
You did forget one choice...Acura TSX Sportwagon. I was quite interested in it but that 2.4L engine really needs the MT. I can't imagine it being any fun with a slushbox behind it. I was somewhat surprised when my wife said she didn't like it.
 
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