Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

BMW 3-Series Sport Wagons



  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    I don't see a dedicated message board.
    How does the C240 wagon compare to the BMW 325 wagon as far as features, performance and price on 2WD and AWD models?
    I know the C has at least a couple more years its body style, whereas the 2005 BMW will be the last year before redesign or replacement by the SUV model.
    I may go to Europe next year for a month with 2 friends and a wagon would be nice to have for everyone's luggage if we decide not to use trains.
    Does either have a better navigation system? I checked a couple years ago and they were still using CDs instead of DVDs, so you couldn't play a music CD and use the navigation system at the same time. Very archaic.
    When the car gets shipped back to the US, I assume I would be able to carry two mountain bikes inside by laying them on top of each other on their sides (with a blanket between them to prevent scratches)instead of using a rooftop carrier. Is this possible with the rear seats folded down?
  • tel5tel5 Posts: 13
    Thanks for your input. You insight is particularly valuable since you have a daily side-by-side opportunity to make comparisons.
  • I just bought a 2002 325IT wagon. I've always had cars with all-season tires on them, so forgive the ignorance, but my question is: I have snows on the car now. Can anybody recommend a tire to put on for the warmer months? Should I just put all-season tires on there to save myself the trouble of switching twice a year? Would it be bad in the snow with all-seasons? Do I need new rims or wheels for different tires?

    I have 17" wheels, by the way.

    Any advice would be appreciated.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    for winter. They are much, much better than all-season tires in snow. All season tires are fair when new. But after 15,000 miles or so, their traction in snow gets significantly worse (at least, that's been my experience).
  • I'm about two weeks into ownership of my wagon, love the way it drives, but one annoyance is the doors automatically lock when the car is in motion, meaning I have to unlock the doors so everybody can get out, or pull the handle twice to unlock the doors. Apparently I have to go to the dealer and pay them $104 to 'deactivate' this.

    Also the rear defrost automatically turns on when the heat is on, meaning again I have to turn it off each time I drive. Again, annoying.

    Is there a way to do these adjustments myself? I hate to have to go to a dealer and pay that kind of money for something so silly. Technological overkill in the extreme, yes?
  • dan4dan4 Posts: 12
    I am in the final steps of car shopping. I dont like the sticker ( and have to give up starbucks to afford it) but I love the 325xi. Over dinner last night my asked me to look at the outback vs a 325 wagon. I was not considering a 325 wagon but trying to keep the peace. I need all of your help with a true insight. I cant see how I will beat the outback? I have not driven one yet but will do that today? any insight. Tomorrow is last day for the lease program on the bmw....thank you
  • bo_chungbo_chung Posts: 61
    I believe your dealer can program your wagon to not lock when the car is in motion. Not sure why your defroster turns on everytime. Mine don't.
  • mschukarmschukar Posts: 351
    I cant see how I will beat the outback? I have not driven one yet but will do that today?

    If driving the 325 doesn't demonstrate to you how it "will beat the outback", then the BMW probably isn't for you.

  • dan4dan4 Posts: 12
    Guess your not married. Either way I drove the outback and I amgoing to buy the 325xi. Now, for a 325xi wagon, leatherette, heated seats, metallic paint, powered seats & moon roof. What should I be paying. dealer is giving me a 470/month 15k lease with taxes included. out of pocket is 1st pymt, security pymt, bank fee 525, mv 224, cap cost reduction 500. any help out there lease rate dies tomorrow. What if I wait?
  • sapessapes Posts: 3
    I am considering upgrading my Subaru to a 325i wagon and am struggling with whether I need AWD or not. We live in northern CA but don't do the snow thing too much (1-2x per year), and the weather is mostly rainy in the winter months (very rainy!). I do like camping and in the past have found myself on fairly rutted, winding dirt roads for miles heading towards a trail head or stream access. I've always used a Subaru AWD and 4WD for these purposes and found it sure and reliable, but was it really necessary? Invariable I'd arrive somewhere feeling like an accomplished off roader only to find several sedans (Camery's, Honda's, etc.) already there. Can a 325i wagon with good tires handle this type of activity, and the occasional snow trip, or should I get the xi package? The A4 or a Saab is the other consideration.
  • bo_chungbo_chung Posts: 61
    I would recommend the 325iT. If you don't do much snow driving, it's not worth getting the AWD. AWD slows down the wagon significantly. I drove both versions before getting the AWD. RWD feels significantly lighter. You'll get better mileage as well. Sounds like a good all season tires is all you need. I felt the need to get AWD since we've been getting around 30 inches of snow a year in the northeast.
  • cabbatan1cabbatan1 Posts: 40
    Bob,I certainly hope you mean the 3.0 engine and not the 1.8t... That engine is fine in the Jetta and the Beetle but hardly appropriate in a $45k car(Canadian$).
  • From the Department of Anal-Rententive Car Guys: after I wash my white car, I spray on that foam on the tires that makes them shiny. But then when I drive it, black specks (a lot) end up behind the wheels on the surface of the car, both behind the front and back wheels. It looks bad.

    Does anybody have a solution for this? Try a new product? Let it dry overnight?
  • daedae Posts: 143
    Get xiT for sure - but with a stick shift.

    I live in north CA, and find that BMW's AWT to be far superior in handling to Subaru and Audi, and especially Volvo and Mercedes - forward balanced ones. It is not as good off road, but it still handles deep snow Tahoe trips better then many SUVs.

    AWD helps not only in snow and rain. Yeah, yourdrag racing time will take a slight hit - but in a curve it is far more stable and easy to handle for hard driving then RWD and FWD.
  • bmbwbmbw Posts: 1
    Well, I had the same issue on my 2000 323 wagon. I am sure it is a manufacturing fault.
  • whibywhiby Posts: 2
    I fuully Agree Cabbatans Comparison between the 5series vagon and the 3 series, i purchased the 325xit Wagon and after 10 months Canadian Summer And Winter driving i Apsolutley love the car.It Handles great In Snow and ice.I looked at the Avant and the mb vagons and drove them all the 3 series is by far the better road car.My gand son plays goal in hockey and i have no problem getting his gear and sticks into the vaggon.I have regretted Buying many a car but this car i will keep with pleasure.
  • jamanjaman Posts: 3
    I've been looking at either an Avant or 325xit wagon. My concern with either is the amount of stuff they can actually carry. My wife and I are expecting our first child in the spring so we need to carry a stroller, etc. I don't want to wait for the redesign and would welcome your comments as to just how useful this car truly is for carrying cargo.
  • whibywhiby Posts: 2
    The load carrying capacity with the rear seats up is quite good.A folding type stroller would be no problem but if you wish to carry additional other large containers your stacking will have to be well thought out.With the rear seat down i carried a six foot step ladder quite easily with the hatch closed.The carrying capacity of the 325xit is probally the least effective selling point but the rest of the vehicle is a 10.My own observatios suggest that Both the Avant And the VW Have slightly Larger Storage capabilities But are not as much fun to drive.
  • as i step on my brakes i can hear a thumping sound on my rear wheels is this a typical problem on wagons? sometimes i can feel a slight jerk.....anyone has the same problem? thank you.
  • mikeodmikeod Posts: 5
    I need new wagon immediately. Had stick. Want to stay with stick. Had snows on the 5. Should I go with the Xit or it?
  • I am 6'4 and a half. I'm in the market for an AWD wagon -- either a BMW, Audi, VW, or MB.

    I have yet to test drive a 3-series BMW, but I am told they are tight on leg room. Any hope of a lengthened "L" version?

    Is the 5-series any better? I might hold out for the new AWD 5-series if it is substantially roomier than the 3-series.

    Any other feedback on the other makes I'm consdidering would be welcome.

  • mmmmishammmmisha Posts: 1
    Like Sapes at "To AWD or not", I'm in Nor California and considering buying a 2002 iT vs. xiT. Don't do much snow driving but like the idea of safety in wet conditions (especially for the wife and kids), but honestly found the xiT slightly underpowered -- though frighteningly good on the curves. A friend says the rear wheel drive bimmers have a real tendency to skid in rain. Any thoughts? Is there a noticeable difference in (a) handling, (b) acceleration between the iT and the xiT. (Incidentally, I've been looking for a month and have almost never seen manuals in either configuration.) Any suggestions would be most welcome!
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,096
    All that is just wrong...

    I don't have a wagon, but I do have a RWD 325i with sport package.. and, just today, I drove a 330xi as a service loaner.. in the rain..

    All newer 3-series BMWs have stability control.. Getting them to skid in the rain takes some real work.. The AWD models don't seem to have any advantage in wet-weather handling over the RWD. In fact, the extra weight from the AWD, and the higher ride height make the AWD handle a little worse...

    And, add about 0.5 seconds on your 0-60 run for AWD... plus there is a gas mileage penalty..

    Unless you need AWD for winter weather, stick with the RWD models... The manuals are noticeably quicker, but probably hard to find in a wagon..


    P.S.: I live in the midwest.. I have winter tires on my car... My wife drives it to work every day.... snow and all... No AWD needed..


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • squirtdadsquirtdad Posts: 22
    I'm in northern Cal also, and have been sort of watching the used market for a stick xiT.....they are very rare, a stick xiT is something the dealers just don't seem to order. I'm still going back and forth between an xit and subaru legacy gt.
  • cargal2cargal2 Posts: 36
    From my understanding, the xit wagons are not as plentifully made in general. I guess there's more of a preference for the new x3, and automatics in general. Sticks are usually a rarer creature in general.

    Keep in mind, if you buy a new(er) BMW, all maintenance will be included, and can be extended up to 100,000 miles. You'll just be responsible for the tires/rims and inbetween oil changes. Subaru sometimes offers maintenance coupons, but the rest is really up to you...

    Kyfdx, just curious. You said that you have a rwd bimmer, live in the midwest, and with snows haven't had any problems??? I've heard (which is why I went with the xit) that bmws are notoriously bad in the snow. During one of the blizzards, I had a loaner rwd wagon with a sports pkg. I got stuck. Well, what few cars didn't?

    I had a blast driving the rwd wagon when the snow cleared, though. It was much lighter, and I could really feel the zoom-zoom from the rear.

    On the other hand, the greatest pleasure I've had driving my own car is in really bad snow, and ice. It was a totally joy to drive it back from Philly, and watch everyone else struggle as the snow outbeat the ploughs through the Turnpike. It was like glue to the road, not one skid!!! On another night I even snuck out in the middle of real nasty ice to test it. No prob., either....

    Otherwise, it's not as fun these days, and most certainly, the gas mileage on this car has been pretty similar to that of a thirsty suv.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,096
    The key.. winter tires..

    I also have the sport package... I wouldn't venture out in a dusting of snow with the stock tires...

    But, with the winter tires, it does great... Not as good as AWD, of course, but better than most FWD with all-season tires...

    The most limiting variable is ground clearance... When the snow gets up to the front spoiler or sidesills in parking lots, you are in trouble..



    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • mkonstmkonst Posts: 2
    Unless you're in a snowy climate I don't see a necessity to pay for AWD, but they're both great choices.. I just went through my first winther in Chicago with a 325iT on stock tires (not sport package of course) without any problems beyound an expected bit of fishtailing in turns on snow.. In rain RWD has been just fine. I actually felt better in it than I did in my FWD Acura CL-S
  • texbluestexblues Posts: 1
    2004 325 wagon and love it, has enough power for the wife who is primary driver, but I could use a little more..........

    I'm looking for a way to tie down a pair of touring kayaks, these are sitting on a Thule rack with standard straps around the belly of the kayak which works great for local trips below 35mph........

    I don't see a way to tie down the front and rear of the kayaks so we can take these on the freeway. I know I should have checked this out before purchasing this car.........

    Come on BMW this is a Sport Wagon, not a shopping cart, put some way to tie stuff down, why even have the roof rack.........

    Any ideas would be great, before I start hacking.
  • 73scout73scout Posts: 1
    I'm considering a 2001 or 2002 325xiT, but haven't driven one yet. Do you know if the accelerator pedal location problem (too far left) was fixed for '01 and/or '02 in the 325xiT? I have an on-again off-again sciatic nerve problem that acts up if I drive a car with a poor ergonomic arrangement like you described. I appreciate you bringing that problem to our attention.
This discussion has been closed.