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2014 BMW 328d Sport Wagon: Redefining the Diesel Wagon

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On: Tue, Aug 13, 2013 at 1:46PM | By: Teddy Field

2014 BMW 328d Sport Wagon: Redefining the Diesel Wagon

For many people, the BMW 3-Series wagon is the ideal daily-driver, because it offers the perfect blend of pleasure and practicality. Similarly, diesel engines come with a deep well of torque to slingshot you to 60 mph just like a gas engine. And modern diesels get around 10 more miles-to-the-gallon, making them a lot more practical than their gas-fired counterpart. Put those two together, and you get the new 2014 BMW 328d xDrive Sport Wagon. A car that's as practical, as it is fun.

Now, the phrase “diesel wagon” probably conjures up images of soot-covered slow coaches like the 1980's Volvo 240d, or the Mercedes 300TD. But modern diesels have come a long way since then. Technology like computer optimized (direct) common-rail injection, and urea-squirting emission systems, allow today's turbo diesel to offer exceptional fuel economy, with none of the drawbacks usually associated with oil-burning engines. Mash the Go-Pedal and you'll get gas-level performance thanks to multi-geometry turbos, and NASA-grade programming. Europeans have enjoyed the benefits of modern diesel technology for years. And now, BMW is allowing its American customers to sample another of their oil-fired gems in the 43 mpg 2014 BMW 328d Wagon.

Starting at $42,950 (just $1,500 more than the gas-powered 328i Estate), the AWD 2014 BMW 328d xDrive Sports Wagon is EPA rated at 31 city / 43 hwy / 35 comb. These impressive numbers are made possible by a number of fuel-saving technologies, including brake regeneration to charge the battery, reducing the alternator's drag on the engine, and providing enough extra juice to power the (defeatable) start/stop system. There's also a paddle-shiftable 8-speed automatic to allow ultra-low-rpm cruising. And of course, there's an Eco Pro setting to dull accelerator response, and give you graphical brownie-points for driving soslowlyefficiently.

Pressing the Sport switch has the opposite effect. The new-to-us 2.0L Twin-Power TDI churns out 180-hp, and a mighty 280 lb-ft of torque. 22 more than you get from the gas 2.0L, with which this engine shares many parts. That interchangeability also means that the new BMW diesel wagon weighs just 10 more pounds than the gasoline version. No official 0-60 time has been released yet, but Motor Trend estimates 7.2 seconds, which is barely a tick faster than the 61-hp more-powerful 328i Sport Wagon. In the real world, 7-ticks to 60 isn't bad for a nearly 2-ton AWD wagon. And it gets 43 highway mpg, versus 33 hwy in the 328i.

The 2014 BMW 328d xDrive Sports Wagon comes with the same standard features as the 328i, including a full-color Head-up display, which projects information like current speed, and navigation directions right onto the windshield. And Comfort Access, which allows you to open the tailgate by simply waving your foot under the rear bumper. Opening the rear glass or hatch will reveal 17 cu-ft of stuff-room behind the seats, and a CUV-like 53 cu-ft with the seats folded.

If you want fun, luxury, and practicality, all rolled into one vehicle. Then check out the 2014 BMW 328d xDrive Sports Wagon. It's the Wagon Queen Family Truckster, for the uber-urban set.

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