Sunday, December 19, 2010
The 2011 BMW 328i
The rear-wheel drive BMW 328i is available in coupe, sedan, wagon and cabriolet bodies, while the xDrive all-wheel drive system is available in coupe, sedan and wagon only. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on all variations, with a six-speed automatic transmission optional.
As BMW runs a war path with new model introductions — two gigantic, turtle-shaped crossovers a year, at this pace — they haven't forgotten where the profit margin lies. It's in the little 3 Series. Young maverick-type men and attractive suburban women can't, for the life of themselves, stay away from this car. So BMW's getting generous. It's a no-charge combo of 17-inch alloys, leather and iPod integration. In other words, BMW looked dumb selling a luxury car with 16-inchers, fake leather, and a $400 USB cable when Audi, Acura and even Mercedes do more for less.
At about the same time the 2011 BMW 328i Sport Wagon became available at U.S. dealers the all-new 5-series was also. If BMW’s X3 or X5 Sport Activity Vehicles meet your need, then you are still OK. If you wanted a car with space and versatility, then the 3-sport wagon is it.
The interior of the 3-wagon is stylish, comfortable and ergonomically friendly. For those bad weather conditions especially winter, in addition to the xDrive all-wheel–drive system, Dynamic Stability, Traction and Brake Control systems enhance the driving experience and overall safety. Looking at the X3, BMW’s smaller Sport Activity Vehicle or crossover, pricing starts at $38,850 whereas the Sport Wagon starts at $37,700. The X3 is a little quicker 0 to 60 mph at 7.1 sec. v 7.3 sec. for the Sport Wagon but there is a fuel economy tradeoff with the Sport Wagon at 17 city mpg and 26 highway mpg and the X3 at 17 city mpg but 24 highway mpg.
The Sport Wagon holds 25 cu. ft. behind the rear seat and the X3 holds 30 cuft. On the outside, the Sport Wagon is 1.3 inches shorter and a significant 10.2 inches lower. The empty-nester couple will be very comfortable in the Sport Wagon and the 4-doors and rear seat allow for easy accommodation of friends or family.
Most BMW dealers will provide a BMW loaner if you schedule it in advance…always a quick test drive opportunity