2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo vs. 328d xDrive Sport Wagon
June 11, 2014
Two cars: one our long-term 2014 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo and the other a 2014 BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon. They're both 3 Series, they both have extra cargo space compared to the regular sedan, both come standard with the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and they even have the same base price at $42,375.
And yet, they are quite different.
The Gran Turismo weighs 135 pounds more than the wagon and has 4.4 extra inches of wheelbase. Not surprisingly, it also has 4 extra inches of rear legroom and that makes a big difference for rear occupants. You'd be a bit squished when sitting behind me in the wagon, but not so in the GT. Quite surprisingly, though, the GT actually has more cargo capacity than the wagon. With seats up it has 18.4 cubic feet versus 17.5, while the difference in maximum capacity is 56.5 cubic feet versus 53.
Of course, cubic feet don't tell the whole story. The wagon's more traditional cargo area shape is ultimately more versatile and useful. You'll be more likely to carry something tall and bulky like a large flatscreen TV back there. The wagon's rear window can also open separately from the rest of the tailgate (remember when everything did that?), allowing you to carry surfboards, rakes from the Home Depot or other long objects. Finally, the wagon comes with a roller dog net that can be affixed just behind the cargo cover or on the folded rear seats, giving your four-legged friend(s) two possible spaces in which to roam without fear that they'll come careering into passengers (by choice or inertia).
Then there's the matter of athletics and aesthetics. It's not a terribly significant difference, but the wagon is better to drive, with less weight and smaller dimensions to lug about. It also looks exponentially better than the bloated, awkward GT. Especially with our wagon test car's M Sport package and Melbourne Red Metallic paint. Yum. Oh, and you can get it with a diesel engine.
So there you have it, stop the presses: Auto Journalist Prefers Diesel-Powered 3 Series Wagon.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor