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2014 BMW 328d xDrive Wagon Long-Term Update 4

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 11/14/2014 Carlos Lago, Motor Trend Staff
2014 BMW 328d xDrive Wagon© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 BMW 328d xDrive Wagon

We can talk performance numbers, fuel economy, cargo space, and so on, but there isn't a data point for simply enjoying a car. After around 14,000 miles, I love this diesel wagon, but can't find standout empirical reasons why.

I come back from traveling eager to drive it again. I enjoy starting it each morning and hearing that quiet but unique diesel sound. I sometimes wish I were driving it instead of whatever hot new car is in the office for testing. There's something in the 328d's aggregate that I find compelling.

Maybe it's the design. This 328d is a nice-looking car and proves that wagons don't have to be eyesores or the unfortunate products of space requirements. The M Sport exterior accessories and wheels give what would normally be a staid-looking German wagon decent road presence. I've heard it called "sharp" multiple times from onlookers.

The filler neck only accepts a standardized diameter diesel pump to prevent accidental gasoline filling, so what happens when your only option is the larger commercial grade pump? The black adapter shown here.© Provided by MotorTrend The filler neck only accepts a standardized diameter diesel pump to prevent accidental gasoline filling, so what happens when your only option is the larger commercial grade pump? The black adapter shown here. Yes, it's slower than the equivalent gas-powered wagon, but I find the 2.0-liter diesel more interesting. It may only supply 22 lb-ft more, but the low-revving character of that power delivery makes it feel stronger. Plus, I enjoy the curious looks it gets while waiting in line for diesel fuel among truckers and "brodozer" (think lifted trucks with smokestacks) drivers.

On that note, people often ask how hard it is to find diesel fuel. Not all stations stock the stuff, but it is by no means difficult to find. I bet there's a station that sells it on your commute. What about long drives? Chances are you'll be on the freeway next to trucks that burn -- you guessed it -- diesel fuel. Plus, with a range that can reach up to 600 miles, you'll have plenty of time to find the right spot with even the slightest of planning ahead.

The manual shades on the rear windows are easy to deploy and help keep the cabin cool during long drives or when parked.© Provided by MotorTrend The manual shades on the rear windows are easy to deploy and help keep the cabin cool during long drives or when parked. It's also performed beautifully as a camera car for innumerable video shoots, its cargo area storing loads of camera equipment and its smooth ride allowing stable shots from cameras mounted to its bumper. The wagon door allows photographers and videographers to hang out of the back (safely restrained, of course) and capture the images and video you see on our website. The handling allows it to keep up with sports cars.

While I can't put my finger on it, there's simply something about driving this car that feels good. Kim Reynolds piloted it briefly to compare its stop-start system with that of his former 528i (this one's better), and, after a few minutes, he said, "This is a nice car."

I agree so much that when Ed Loh half-jokingly offered to trade it for the M3, I said "no." Without hesitation.

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