Next in line to review the F31 BMW 328i Sports Wagon is AutoExpress UK. Interested in the driving experience? Let’s have a look.
“In performance terms it’s an engine that does everything you ask of it, pulling hard from low revs with only the faintest hint of lag from the twin-scroll turbocharger. The eight-speed auto is as close to perfection as it gets, fading into the background in auto mode and firing through the gears when you used the paddles like a heavier twin-clutch box.
The sound it makes though is a little flat, and when the stop-start system fires it back up, it sends a judder through the chassis. The impressive fuel economy and effortless performance are hard to ignore, but it can’t match Audi’s 2.0 TFSI for smoothness.
The only significant chassis change is firmer dampers at the rear, to account for the extra 70kg of weight. But on a blind test you’d be hard pressed to notice any difference in the way it drives next to the saloon, which is excellent news. It’s no sportier to drive than its predecessor, but high-speed refinement has taken a step up, and so long as you order the optional adaptive dampers (£750) the ride is supple in all but the firmest setting and the body control is superb.
As with all electro-mechanical set ups, the steering is light and loses some feel next to a hydraulic system, but toggle up through the four driving modes (Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport and Sport+) and it weights up nicely without feeling too artificial. Throw it into a few corners and it’s not the last word in agility, but you’ll walk away with a bigger grin than an Audi A4 Avant owner.
The trim structure has been carried over from the saloon, so you can order your Touring in ES, SE or M Sport guise. In addition, there are three ‘styling lines’ based on the SE model – Modern (£1,000), Luxury (£2,500) and Sport (£1,000) – which tinker with the trim colors and interior materials to create different themes. We’d stick with the well-equipped SE model and add a few choice options, or if you like to be noticed save up £3,000 for the road-hugging M Sport.”
Stand by for our own review of the new 3 Series Touring.