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Roadshow Video Reviews
2014 BMW 328d xDrive Sports WagonWagons are hot and diesels are hot. Brian Cooley checks out how well BMW combines the hotness in the 328d diesel wagon.
[MUSIC] In a world fed to the gills with every permutation of crossover and SUV imaginable, suddenly wagons are cool again. Let's drive BMW's entry, and their most [INAUDIBLE]. Testable version of the R4, the 2014 328d X-Drive and check the deck. [MUSIC] Now our three series wagon has dual claims to coolness. One, it's a wagon. That's resurgently hip right now. Two, it's a diesel. Also resurgently hip right now. I'll be honest, I'll be curious to come back and watch this video in five years and see where both of those are in terms of the trending. In the meantime, the face of this car is virtually indistinguishable from a three series sedan. It's around the back that things were done very well, I think. BMW brought a very graceful, sporty end to the sentence, and they've also got an interesting dual tailgate of sorts back there. You can life the whole gate, which by the way, is available powered for the first time in a free wagon. or you can just lifted up the actual glass lid with a cleverly hidden button underneath the base of the wiper stock. [MUSIC] Now inside, our 328d is a very basic cabin. This was not loaded up with all the CNET style tech, but a quick glance here shows you familiar BMW. View DNA. Notice on a very basic car you still have this sort of sticking up display on top of the dash, but it doesn't have a lot in it. Basically, your media, and phone and contacts display. A few settings in there ConnectedDrive doesn't work, and you've got just basics here in a very nice interface, and your still using the I Drive controller. Basic I drive is so basic, it doesn't even have blue tooth streaming, just blue tooth calling. Now we happen to have a sport wheel, because we have the M Sport package, so know that this is different. You've got some nice paddles here for shifting, our automatic transmission control is very familiar in BMW's right now. We also sport seats in this car. Which are quite hugging. Again, these are all, along with that rather lofty redline, cues that this is not the old-style diesel that just kind of lugs and tugs all the time. This one's got some sporting pretensions. Great panoramic roof overhead by the way. For a smallish car it really covers all rows of occupants very nicely. And you can open up a full half of it to the sky. [MUSIC] Now these BMW 3 wagons come with-. Two two-liter engines. You can get the two-liter inline four gas motor, or in this guy, of course, are two-liter inline four, but it's a diesel. The twin-turbo, or twin-power technology on this car, as BMW calls it, is not a twin-scroll turbo, but it's a variable-geometry single turbo, a little different than in the gas engine car. Beyond that, of course, it's longitudinally mounted, driving all-wheel drive. In this case. And you've got the usual direct common rail injection that has really revolutionized diesels lately. Your numbers. 181 horsepower, but 280 foot pounds of torque. Welcome to Turbo Diesel Land. The car weighs about 3,800 pounds but gets up to 60 in about seven point seven seconds. Now note [MUSIC] That is 1.7 seconds slower than the gas engine cars. It's a dramatic difference. But I will tell you when we get on the road, I'll be able to report to you that Diesels feel faster than they sprint. And your MPG is the ringer. That's the big story here, 31 cities, 43 highways for an average of 35 estimate. Now controlling that engine's output is a very simple set of drive training. Hand control. Here is the key to the operation. Four position rocker. All the way up is sport-plus and then sport comfort and then the most interesting to me is Eco Pro, especially in this vehicle. I don't think anybody buys a diesel without having an eco pretty high on their shopping list. Now all these modes effect engine, transmission, steering, traction control, and in our car, suspension. Because we have the optional adaptive underpinning. The Eco Pro of course dampens throttle response, up shifts occur sooner, down shifts later, air conditioning gets dialed back, and you can set the car to coast to decouple its power train when you lift off so it really glides without drag. Even the heating of the mirrors and the seats gets tuned back a little bit to put less load on the engine's alternator and battery. Combine that with brake energy regeneration that's on almost every BMW now, as well as auto start-stop technology up here, and you've got about a 10-point plan to bring down this car's fuel consumption. Now, the last drive control I'll show you in here is actually not not in here at all, and that would be any settings for the all wheel drive. There's nothing to do with it, no controls that changes modes or behavior. It's just in there, and it works. Now there's no mistaking a diesel for a gas engine in terms of that, that tone of it's engine. And that's gonna turn some people off, even when the windows are up it comes through the base and the firewall of the car. This is a relatively inexpensive car, by BMW standards, and so there's less isolation of that than is let's say a five series diesel. However, as I mentioned this car is really only slower on paper. Yes it is slower in reality but it doesn't feel slower, when you're behind the wheel that nice successable torque makes the car feel quick, not necessarily fast. There's a subtle difference. You've got a decent, in fact a very good yellow and red line to work with here, so getting on to it and shifting is no longer an absurdity like it was with diesel cars a few years ago. You've got some rev range to work with here and it does make a difference in perkiness. You're not going to miss the manual transmission that you can't get, I don't think. This is a good, alert automatic as BMW's tend to be. And because of the torque, the vehicle doesn't get buried under its upper gears like so many cars do today. You can be in six through sevens, stomp on it, and get something. German Diesel wagon with an M-sport kit and adaptive suspension. I like it. [MUSIC] Okay Pricing our three series wagon. Well it is a small wagon. Doesn't necessarily have a small price, because to get a scene edge style, you know how it is with BMW, you've got to tick off a lot of boxes. We start at about 44,2 base with destination, but then there is another roughly 16,000 dollars in add ons that I want. See here to truly give us the old CNet stamp. We're ending up around $60,200. Now the other costs. A 328d Wagon costs $1,500 more than a gas engine 328i. Based un U.S. fuel price trends this year, the 328d will save you, maybe, $630 a year at the pump compared to feeding the gas. Gas wagon premium. That means diesel payback will take a little under two and a half years. Longer if you are ok feeding your 328-i mid grade, which will run on quite happily. The D is also 17% cleaner in terms of tail pipe CO2, but trust me, they don't get that question a lot in U.S. car showrooms. [MUSIC] You've gotta like it for more than just its native fuel efficiency, at least as long as prices stay where they are. You gotta like it for its torque [UNKNOWN] [MUSIC]