But before you get too excited, for now the U.S. Sports Wagon lineup will be limited to automatic transmissions only, and only the base 3-Series’ 328i guise. In the U.S., the 2013 BMW 328i Sport Wagon will feature the N20 turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. So there won't be any 335i models yet. But to add some spice there will be both Sport Line trims and an M Sport package—the latter including a sport version of the transmission, with steering-wheel paddle-shifters.
Just as in the 2012 328i sedan, the engine is turbocharged and direct injected and makes 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque, allowing this wagon to get to 62 mph in 6.0 seconds and to a top speed (in Sport editions) of 155 mph. In the sedans, we’ve found it to be very satisfying, yet fuel efficient.
BMW points out that the new generation of the 3-Series Sport Wagon is about 3.7 inches longer and nearly two inches wider than its wagon predecessor, with a wheelbase that’s also nearly two inches longer. Altogether, that allows more rear passenger space, as well as almost ten percent more cargo volume—whether the seatbacks are folded forward or not.
The 3-Series wagon comes with a folding rear bench seat that’s split 40/20/20 and fully folded, expands rear cargo space to 35.3 cubic feet. Scuff plates have been placed to help protect interior trims as well. The actual hatch opening is sized 38” to 40.5” wide by 26” high.
Functional roof rails are included and are compatible with racking systems. And for the first time, BMW will be offering a power tailgate on the 3-Series wagon. The tailgate can be opened either from a button just inside, or one on the keyfob. With the Comfort Access option, sticking a foot under the rear bumper opens up the tailgate if you have your hands full and the keyfob in your pocket. There’s also a power rear window that opens separately from the tailgate and can be opened by hand or with a button on the wiper arm.
Just as in 3-Series Sedan models, the Sports Wagon will be offered in a choice of Sport, Luxury, or Modern models. Each brings a distinct interior treatment, along with exterior differences. Performance options include an Adaptive M Sport suspension with electronically controlled damping and several driving modes through the Driving Dynamics Control, and xDrive all-wheel drive will be available.
Last time BMW brought the 5-Series wagon to the U.S., but it sold very few of them. Let’s hope more shoppers vote for the survival of the sport wagon this time with the 2013 3-Series Sport Wagon.
Stay tuned for pricing, tech specs, and hopefully a drive sometime soon, and in the meantime see our First Drive of the 3-Series sedans, as well as the full review over at The Car Connection.