2012 BMW 3-Series Wagon

The 2012 BMW 3-Series Wagon is at the top of the list of luxury wagons. That's because it brings an excellent package that combines performance, luxury and practicality.

The 3-Series Wagon does not contain as many updates as its sedan sibling but nevertheless it impressed test drivers because the winning formula is retained. Indeed, there is no reason for BMW to mess with the wagon's winning assets.

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Wagon Base Price: $37,500.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 16.1 gallons (61L) MPG: 18 city / 28 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 178.6 in. (453.6 cm) Wheel Base: 108.7 in. (276.1 cm)
Height: 55.8 in. (141.7 cm) Width: 71.5 in. (181.6 cm)
Curb Weight: 3594 lbs (1630 kg) Ground Clearance: 5.5 in. (13.9 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 25.0 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Performance
Engine: 3.0L Inline 6 DOHC Compression Ratio: 10.7: 1
Horsepower: 230 HP Max RPM: 6500 RPM
Torque: 200 lb-ft @ 2750 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
0-60 mph: 6.5 seconds Maximum Speed: 130 mph (209 km/h)
Available Trims & Engine
Option:328i xDrive MSRP: $39,500; MPG: 17 city / 25 hwy

Engine

The 2012 3 Series Wagon has a 6-cylinder 3.0 liter engine that delivers 230 horsepower and 200 lbs/ft of torque. It is paired with a manual 6-speed transmission but car buyers have the option to go for the automatic.

According to the EPA, the 3 Series Wagon has a fuel economy rating, for the automatic transmission model, of 27 mpg for highway and 18 mpg for city driving. You have to reduce those numbers by one to get the rating for the manual transmission.

Performance

The 3 Series Wagon provides adequate power. Acceleration is smooth and the engine is responsive. Most test drivers agree that the 3 Series Wagon is one of the most balanced in its class. Consequently, it is also one of the best handling.

The balance and the nimbleness of the wagon can be better experienced in the all-wheel drive model. It enhances the grip and stability, making the wagon resilient in different driving conditions.

Exterior

The front layout of the 3 Series Wagon bears the trademark front grille and the organically shaped headlights. There are subtle edges on the hood that help define an exquisite shape. The sides have slightly protruding edges that help outline the lower and upper sections of the wagon. The balance in its looks seems to foreshadow what the driver will experience behind the wheel.

Interior

The interior of the 3 Series Wagon, which is made of quality materials, is driver focused. The seats provide enough support and comfort both for the driver and the passengers. However, the iDrive system in the wagon is not as friendly as those that are in BMW SUVs.

The front seats are spacious enough for adults but the back seat seems to lack legroom for taller passengers - a thing that is common for most cars.

Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the federal government is yet to extensively crash test the 3 Series Wagon. Nonetheless, it has a handful of safety features such as adaptive brake lights, anti-lock brakes and air bags. The 3 Series Wagon also features a crash sensor that disconnects the starter, fuel pump and battery, turns on the hazard lights, and unlocks the doors after a crash.

Reliability

The 3 Series Wagon comes with a 4-year standard warranty and 24 hour roadside assistance that lasts for four years. The first scheduled maintenance is free of charge. The warranty for the 3 Series Wagon is average in its class. The 2012 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon offers longer powertrain warranty.

Pros

The 3 Series Wagon has a capable engine that is smooth and responsive. It has high quality interiors and the seats provide optimum support and comfort. The wagon has balance, excellent road grip and impressive handling. The looks complement the performance of the wagon. The safety features are above reproach.

Cons

The backseat is cramped for tall adults and the iDrive system is not as intuitive as in the iDrive in the SUVs.

With a capable engine, excellent handling and an overall balanced performance, the 2012 BMW 3 Series Wagon is worth its price. The Acura TSX (MSRP $30,010; 22 city / 31 hwy) and the Audi A4 Avant (MSRP $36,400; 21 city / 29 hwy) have been compared to the 3 Series Wagon.

Overall Rating
78 out of 100

What others say:

“But BMW has confirmed that it will sell the new-generation 3-Series Sports Wagon in the U.S., beginning in early 2013.”Car Connection

“The 2012 BMW 3-Series Wagon includes a standard complement of expected and federally mandated safety features. Front- and rear-obstacle detection and adaptive cruise control are optional.”Consumer Guide

“By almost any important measure the redesigned BMW 3 Series sedan is an excellent car.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“The 3 Series sedan is all-new for 2012, but the other body styles carry over unchanged. Regardless, this BMW stalwart remains a well-rounded and highly desirable entry-level luxury car.”Edmunds