BMW’s 3 Series Sports Wagon doesn’t get much love from the Americans and for a single reason – the notion of owning a wagon. But everyone that has owned and driven one, will always brag about its 3 Series Touring and what makes it special. We’ve recently driven the new F30 3 Series Wagon and came back impressed with its versatility, driving dynamics and looks. Yes, you’ve read that right! To us, the 3 Series Sports Wagon – especially when equipped with the M Sport Package – is a beautiful automobile with great proportions and a design balance rarely seen.
To highlight its qualities further, our series of readers’ owned cars continues today with a 2011 BMW 328i Sports Wagon which rows the gears via a six-speed manual.
Name: Daniel Johnson – Seattle, WA
Car (year/make/model): 2011 BMW 328i Sport Wagon 6sp RWD
Time of Ownership: Since March 2013
What made you buy it?: I was looking for a car to replace my ’95 325is coupe. I test drove a 1998 M3, 2003 530i, 2004 330i ZHP, and 2005 M3, but ultimately I felt they were all a bit overpriced and I couldn’t get the sellers to budge. On a whim I found the wagon on BimmerForums coming off a lease with a buyout ~$6000 below KBB. I was intrigued at the thought of a manual RWD wagon. The fact that it has the sport package and adaptive HID lights just added to the intrigue. I decided to pull the trigger. I have since learned only ~429 sport wagons with a 6sp Manual and RWD were brought to the US between 2007 and 2012, which makes this car quite rare.
Things you like: Practicality. 3-series DNA. Sport seats and suspension.
Things you’d change: Needs a LSD for better poor-weather traction.
Modifications Done: Michelin A/S 3s on stock wheels for summer, Michelin X-Ice XI3’s on Rial X10’s for winter. Burger Tuning’s N52 piggy-back.
Any Adventures?: Flew to LA to pick up the car sight unseen. Immediately it became my daily driver. This car has seen day-hikes on dirt roads, snowboarding trips on snowy roads, several road trips, has helped me move multiple times, and even a spirited BMW club organized “cruise”.
Costs: $25k at purchase. Typical maintenance costs since.
What’s Next (Next car, next adventure, etc.)?: I plan to keep this car for a long time. My highest priority for the car is an LSD and BMW Performance brakes. I will eventually do a H/K or BavSound upgrade to the stereo. I am considering an M Sport front/rear bumper conversion. Swap to 18″ wheels for summer at some point. Down the road I may do an ESS supercharger or possibly an N54/N55 swap, but that is looking 5-10 years out. This is my daily driver, it will never see a track, but it will continue to be used on road trips, spirited back road driving, and year-round adventures.
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