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BMW 3-Series Sport Wagons



  • I usually post over on the Sedan board. There wasn't much activity here until Pocahontas got us started. There only seems to be 3 BMW wagon owners posting recently, so we hang out there rather than here. I'll try and check the WRX site soon. At least we can both be thankful we didn't buy a VOLVO wagon, eh?
    And like the sign posted in a local bar says:
    "Some people work their whole life to achieve Greatness, while others of us are lucky to be born Irish!" Congratulations on your luck...
  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    Yeah, at one time I considered a V40 wagon until I saw them in person at the Seattle Int'l Auto Show. There's been some unflattering reliability stories as well. Anyhow, I'm sort of an AWD convert so I would only be interested in the Cross-Country, but I'm not. :-)

    My other interests would be the BMW and Audi's (that is until I got my WRX...sorry, couldn't resist).

    Anyhow, I'll check out the sedan board as time permits, thanks. I personally think that BMW builds some of the most attactive cars made, very pleasing to the eye. This is something that wasn't true w/my WRX wagon at the beginning but it's growing on me (insert jokes here...).

    Take Care,
  • jbuntzjbuntz Posts: 2
    I am looking for a vehicle to carry 2 people and 2 bicycles. I have measured the bikes and I need about 40 inches between the floor and ceiling and 5 feet in length. Do you know if this will fit in the 3 or 5 series wagons with the seats up or down? Thanks.
  • You can fit 2 bikes in the 3 series wagon with the rear seat folded; BUT you have to remove bike front wheels and partially stack bikes. A better solution is to buy a cartop bikerack setup like the Yakima or Thule. The wagon is low enough that's it's easy to lift bikes on/off the rack. Cost is about $400 for a lockable 2-bike setup. I'm not sure about the size of 5-series wagon, but it's $10,000 more than the 3-series, which doesn't compare well to the Yakima (LOL)! You might have an easier in-car fit with a Passat or Volvo wagon. But then you wouldn't be driving a BMW, would you..?(with apology to my friend Stephen!!)
    Hope this helps (:->
  • mschukarmschukar Posts: 351
    I measured the 3 series wagon compared to our Volvo V70. We fit two road bikes in the back of the Volvo by mounting the forks to mounts I screwed to a 1x6. We have to remove the seats, but both bikes fit upright.

    After measuring the 325i wagon, I think I could do the same thing height wise, but the BMW is a bit narrower.

    BTW, we have a Thule on top of the Volvo for shorter trips.

  • Just thought I would tell everyone about how the 325xiT fairs on the Autobahn.

    I moved to Germany in January and picked up my new American Sped 3-series wagon 1-week later (I had previously ordered it through BMW Military/Diplomatic sales for $900 below dealer invoice). I absolutely love this car! I typically cruise at between 100 and 110 mph on the open Autobahn, and this car feels just as solid as it does at 60 mph. It's going to kill me when I move back to the Maryland in three years and have to drive 65 again. Anyway, it has become obvious to me that this car was built to drive fast for long periods of time.

    I got a manual transmission because I was afraid of the terrible gas mileage with the AWD and the Auto tranny. It typically gets 24 mpg during my mixed driving daily commute of 26 miles. When driving 110mph for any distance, it drops to 21mpg. I don't think that's too bad. The engine operates at 5000rpm when driving at 125mph for those of you who care.

    Service in this country is a little different than in the States. For one, even though I have a US car, I still have to go by the Euro warranty: 1-year unlimited miles. I purchased an additional two years for around $200. This doesn't include any maintenance. The dealer I use is awesome. I've been to BMW dealers in the states and this one blows all of them away. The place is huge and the service people are plentiful. The show room has over thirty cars in it including a M3 convertible and a Z8. I was never able to find a Z8 back in DC. Because of the exchange rate, all BMW accessories are pretty cheap. The top end alarm with motion detectors only cost $350 dollars. I think they go for about $500 in the States. I'm not sure how much the 15000 mile service will be. I'll let you know probably in Nov/Dec.

    If you have any questions about driving BMWs in Germany, just ask.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    40" is way to high for any wagon. The Passat is pretty tall and I am sure it is less than 36" inches. I measured a Subaru Legacy wagon myself and it was only 32" for comparison ( I had a Taurus that only had 30"), and I think the legacy is bigger than the 3 series. 40" is minivan territory.

    Might fit in the new toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe. They advertise an internal bike rack. Should be a real nice little vehicle, and the price is right, but it looks a little radical for me - maybe I will warm to it over time.
  • travismltravisml Posts: 10
    Yet another bike geek joins the thread. Has anyone looked into putting a 1 1/2" receiver hitch on the wagon? I wouldn't want to tow anything, just to put a bike rack on.
  • My employeer recently purchased a 325 Sport Wagon. I would like to assist her in looking into acceories, such as a heavier type of mat for the cargo area. I know that for some SUV's and station wagons, you can find after market mats that are made of a flexible type rubber/plastic material. Does anyone know where these might be obtained, or any other helpful accesories for the 325 Sport Wagon. Any input or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks much guys!
  • Definitely check out Weathertechs, these can be found through MacNeil:

    there are others that sell weathertechs (possibly for less)


  • The Weathertech mat mentioned above is nice, but it cost about $90. Your friend can go to any auto supply store like Pep Boys and find similar mats alot cheaper. Or she can go to Home Depot and buy a piece of flooring rubber for about $10 and cut it to fit. If you want to know about other BMW accessories, just be specific (alarm, CD changer, garage door opener, bike racks,etc)and you'll get lots of help here or over on the 3-Series Sedan Board. Better yet, get the wagon owner herself hooked up here and she'll learn alot about her new ride!
  • My wife and I are considering different station wagons. Before taking the trip over to our local BMW dealer, I have a question:

    In the past I have been unable to buy Audi or BMW cars because of their use of "red" lighting on the displays and dash. I am colorblind, and the displays simply are unreadable during the day.

    What color are the 3-series instruments?

  • Day: White on Black

    Night: Orange
  • If it is a bright enough orange, than It might work.

    What color are the radio and other displays?

  • Hello everyone! I will be picking up my 325xiT 5-speed 6 weeks from today in Munich. I will unless we are in all out war. The terrorist situation is the only thing that is tempering my excitement for this trip. Being excited about my new car seems kinda selfish and petty at a time like this, but I am still planning on going. The President wants us to carry on so thats what I'm doing.
    Heres the cool part of my story. My dealer ordered an xi for me when I only wanted rear wheel drive. They couldn't change it or find me a new car for that date. I made the original deal for $1600 over euro invoice. Since it was his mistake, he agreed to split the cost of the AWD so I am getting the car for 850 over invoice. I almost ordered the car with AWD anyway, but decided it was cheaper just to get snow tires. Now I am getting the AWD and it didn't cost me as much.
    Alpinebum1-any tips on Germany and your car would be helpful.
  • ptrmptrm Posts: 3
    After driving my 2002 325 wagon for two months, I decided to purchase rubber floor mats to protect the carpets as much as possible. After considering both Weathertech and BMW's mats, I chose the later and purchased them from my dealer.

    They look great and fit exceptionally well and I was more than mildly pleased when I saw that they had a built in anchoring system to keep the mats in place when in the car.

    But, they sure do have an overpowering oily/rubber smell to them. I had the mats in the car one day, but then I decided to remove them because their odor completely overpowered the sweet "new car" smell and the smell of my new leather seats.

    I left a similar note on the bmwusa owner's site and was referred to consult with my dealer to try and solve the problem.

    Does anyone have any ideas on how to stabilize the odor emissions from the mats? Currently, I have them outside, on the deck and in the sunshine trying to "cure" them.

    Keep the hammer down!

  • rhmassrhmass Posts: 263
    I am in the process of ordering either a 325ixT or the 325iT. The dealer only had an ixT model for me to test drive. The all-wheel drive sport wagon actually was peppy enough for me, contrary to my expectation based on my reading of many posts on the subject. I took the car through winding roads as well as the highway. I was impressed. Has anyone had tested both models? Does the all wheel drive model really handle considerably better than the rear wheel drive? I liked the test model very well but had no experience with the other.
    How much above invoice is cosidered a "good" price? Thanks for sharing your experience. I think the small 325 wagon is just the ticket for my family.
  • I'm interested in buying a 325 wagon and according to Edmunds I'll have to pay a little over MSRP for the "TMV" price. Is this really true? What has been anyone else's experience. Assuming there is some negotiation room in their prices, what happens if you order one? Are you definately stuck paying MSRP?

  • rhmassrhmass Posts: 263
    I'll never pay at MSRP price which generally is about $3500 over invoice. Personally I'll want to offer $1500 over invoice, as that seems to be the general ball park for the sedan. I don't have much information on the sport wagons. That's why I hope someone on this board with recent experience could help.
    You usually have a negotiated price agreed upon before the order is put in.
    Which model (RWD or AWD) and options have you considered?
  • esq1esq1 Posts: 20
    I ordered a 325xiT a month ago and agreed to pay full MSRP. The wagons represent only about 3% of BMW's 3 series production, which means dealers get about 1 a month to sell (sometimes 1 every other month). So, demand is much greater than the supply. After some searching, I am sure you can find a dealer out there who is willing to negotiate a few bucks off MSRP, but then you get to worry whether your dealer will honor your deal during the 3 months that your car is on order. If a dealer only gets 1 wagon a month, why should he be in a hurry to sell this month's wagon to you for $33,000 when the next guy walks in and wants to pay sticker for a fully loaded $42,000 wagon? "Trust me" usually doesn't sound too good coming from a car salesman. In my case, I found a dealer with a great reputation and I agreed to pay what I believe is a fair price for a great car that is in demand.
  • rhmassrhmass Posts: 263
    Well if you consider it to be the ultimate AWD wagon, I think it makes sense for you to pay the full price to order it and ensure ownership. The new Audi 3.0 Avant Quattro is priced at about the same as the 325xiT (with all comparable options) with a very powerful new engine. Buying that one is almost like getting the 330xiT at the 325xiT price! Being a BMW owner for the past 12 years with two still in our home, I really can't say the BMW AWD is a better driver's car over the Quattro with the new 3.0 engine
  • esq1esq1 Posts: 20
    Appropriately enough, our biggest debate was whether to order the 325xiT or to wait for the new A4 3.0 quattro wagon. The Audi was actually in the lead for a long time (it does have more bells and whistles), but we heard one horror story after another about Audi reliability and I never like to buy the first model year of a redesign. Regardless, both the BMW and the Audi are fine cars. You'll get no argument from me on BMW vs. Audi.
  • rhmassrhmass Posts: 263
    The respective wait time is about 10 weeks for the BMWxiT and close to 4 months for the A4 3.0 Quatto, according to the dealers. I do share the same concerns you have about Audi reliability. However, I also had transmission problems with two BMWs (one was replaced at the cost of $3,800) and one of them had both the radiator and condenser's replaced, despite my following the service schedule religiously. So I think no make may be problems-free. I never have had any engine problems with my BMWs. I thought I might consider an Audi, now that I am looking for a small AWD wagon and Audi has the most experience in the AWD system. Remain undecided though.
  • The respective wait time is about 10 weeks for the BMWxiT and close to 4 months for the A4 3.0 Quatto, according to the dealers.

    I assume this is the wait if you're asking for a full-blown custom order? Reason I ask is that I was informed last month by a salesman (existing relationship) that the 3.0 Audi wagons had started to ship from Europe and should be at US dealerships sometime later this month.

    I do share the same concerns you have about Audi reliability.

    My wife has owned Audi's for the past 12 years and I keep on hearing this comment, but haven't really experienced it first hand. Granted, there have been some subsystems that have needed additional time/work sorting out while under warranty, and a few design shortcomings here or there, but I'm also talking relative to a 12 year baseline.

    Overall, I'd have to say that the biggest hassle we've had over the years is with old batteries. With the increased electrical/electronic complexity of modern cars (ALL brands), a lot of weirdness and red herrings can and do result: I'm pretty much of the opinion that its worth replacing my car batteries on a strict 3 or 4 year schedule, just to prevent electronic gremlin diagnostic dilemmas... as expensive as the hourly rates are for mechanics these days, its really a cheap investment.

  • rhmassrhmass Posts: 263
    Yes, I do mean the wait for a custom-ordered wagon from BMW as well as Audi. BMW is for around 8 weeks and Audi for 4 months. There is more availability now for Audi on dealers' lot over BMW.
    After testing both a few more times and driving different type of roads, I have to conclude BMW is still more agile and I feel more at home with, the result of probably owning the brand for the past many years. I think I'll stick with BMW and order the Sport Wagon this time.
  • esq1esq1 Posts: 20
    I forgot to mention one other important consideration when choosing between the BMW and the Audi. Go to Like all BMW's, the crash tests results for the current BMW 3 series are excellent. No test results are available yet for the new A4, but look at the results for the A6. Then picture your feet bent at the angle shown in the picture of the test dummy. Ouch.
  • Another information source are Europe's test agency webpages. They have both the A4 and 3 Series models listed (note: both are 2001 models).

    This link should get you to their homepage, and (breaking their frames, probably), here are their respective A4 and BMW 3-Series test result pages.

    BTW, if you go in cleanly from the top URL, note that both the A4 and 3 are classified as "Large Family Cars".

    Looking at the test results very simplistically:

    Zone Color----Green----Yellow--Orange---Brown



    ...on the very surface, I would not say that BMW was the winner. YMMV.


  • esq1esq1 Posts: 20
    Thanks for the links. It looks like Audi did a great job designing the A4 compared to the A6, which means A4 owners don't have to worry about the broken feet. With regard to the BMW, I can't reconcile the European review with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety review found at Who are we supposed to believe?
  • xrobxrob Posts: 4
    Hello. I purchased a new 2001 325IT in August of 2001 and my wipers have already begun to wear out. I was going to buy some Bosch Microedge replacements, but they do not seem to fit properly (driver's side especially) based on the book at the store (they recommend a 22" blade, which is about 1" shorter than the stock one). Also, there are a few attachments to the driver wiper which look like they should stay on. My question: has anyone replaced their wipers with a good brand instead of shelling out the $17 each (!) for the official BMW blade. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks,

  • rhmassrhmass Posts: 263
    I would think wipers will be replaced under warranty for a 2001 model. Check with your dealer.
This discussion has been closed.