The New BMW 3-Series Wagon Continues the Renaissance of the 3-Series

Daniel Golson
Photo credit: BMW

From Car and Driver

  • The new BMW 3-series wagon has been revealed, but it won't be sold in the United States.
  • It's the sixth generation of 3-series wagon, with over 1.7 million having been sold since 1987.
  • The engine lineup ranges from a 147-hp diesel four-cylinder to a 382-hp gasoline inline-six.

BMW's new 3-series has been a kind of renaissance, bringing the sports sedan back to its driver's-car roots. Now that the sedan is all settled into the BMW lineup, the brand has revealed the 3-series Touring-otherwise known as the wagon-and, no surprise, we think it looks great. But for the first time since the E46 generation of the late 1990s, this new 3-series wagon won't come to the United States. Because we already whine enough about European wagons not coming to the U.S., we'll try to keep any complaining to a minimum and just focus on the car.

Photo credit: BMW

None of the new 3-series wagon's styling is exactly surprising. It is, after all, just another 3-series, so everything from the B-pillar forward is identical to the sedan. But it has the softest iteration of the brand's Hofmeister kink yet, with the base of the side window slightly rising after the C-pillar to come to a subtle point at the D-pillar. The rear hatch is nicely raked and has a thick almost-spoiler at the base of the rear window, and the thin LED taillights look to be taken straight from the sedan.

The interior is also identical to the sedan's, at least until you get to the rear seats. The second row folds with a 40/20/40 split and can be folded from a button in the cargo area. That cargo area is wider and larger than before and has a lower floor, and optional anti-slip rails automatically extend to keep stuff in the rear from sliding around. As on other BMW wagons, the back window can be opened separately from the tailgate, and the tailgate is powered as standard.

Photo credit: BMW

Mirroring the sedan's powertrain lineup, the wagon is available with a range of turbocharged gasoline and diesel engines. At the bottom of the heap are the 318d and 320d diesel models, which use a 2.0-liter inline-four. The 318d makes just 147 horsepower but 236 lb-ft of torque, while the 320d has 188 horsepower and 295 lb-ft; these are the only two engines available with a manual transmission. The 262-hp 330d uses a diesel inline-six that is paired only with an eight-speed automatic.

The gas engines mirror the U.S. 3-series sedan's lineup for the most part. There's a 320i with a four-cylinder that hasn't been announced for the U.S. market yet, but the 330i and M340i's powertrains are identical to what is currently in the sedan. BMW says the M340i Touring will hit 62 mph in 4.5 seconds, just 0.1 second behind its quoted time for the M340i sedan. Rear-biased xDrive all-wheel drive is standard on the M340i and optional on some of the other powertrains. BMW also announced that a plug-in-hybrid model will be introduced next year.

Photo credit: BMW

BMW says the wagon has a 50/50 weight distribution, better aerodynamics, a lower center of gravity, and a more rigid body than before. It's also as much as 22 pounds lighter, according to BMW, despite being longer and filled with more tech features and sound deadening. The brand says the development process was rigorous and "driving-pleasure led," and that the car has a "noticeable increase in agility" compared to the old wagon. If the sedan is anything to go by, the wagon should be a return to its sporty roots, too.

The 3-series Touring will be built in Munich for export to other countries in Europe and Asia, arriving in dealerships in September. With this new wagon not coming to the States and the weirdo hatchback 3-series Gran Turismo also kicking the bucket, if you live in America and want a 3-series–sized BMW that isn't a sedan, you've gotta get an SUV.

Oh, but there's one bit of silver lining: While Canada usually gets all the nice European wagons that are denied to the U.S., BMW won't be selling the new 3-series wagon there, either.


('You Might Also Like',)