Test Drive: 2014 BMW 328i Touring car test drives luxury cars bmw
Test Drive: 2014 BMW 328i Touring car test drives luxury cars bmw
2014 BMW 328i Touring. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Jacob Black

We’ve been blessed by the wagon gods here in the Autos.ca offices lately. I mean, sure, Jonathan Yarkony might have got the bigger, badder, “pale horse of the apocalypse” one, but the one I got was pretty darn sweet, too. Actually, scratch that, it wasn’t just “pretty sweet, too.” It was better. Mostly because this one can be driven here in the real world where 99 percent of us live. You know; the one where we actually have to monitor our fuel consumption.

First, some caveats: I enjoy turbocharged engines; I enjoy wagons; and I enjoy BMWs. This review is going to be positive, in many, many ways. I tried, really hard, to find something I didn’t like about this car – really I did – but there wasn’t. Well, it was all-wheel drive and not rear-wheel drive, but that just means I couldn’t be quite as silly as I might otherwise have been. There were benefits attached to the xDrive system, which I found useful on a white-knuckle ride up the snow-covered 401 to Montreal.

So what is this thing? Well it’s a 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Touring. That “Touring” means it’s a wagon. This one is “Glacier Silver Metallic”, or for us regular folk: silver. The interior is “Coral Red Dakota Leather”, or for us regular folk: swinger’s-bar red. This particular car has a 2.0L turbocharged inline-four that produces 241 hp between 5,000 and 6,500 rpm, and 258 lb-ft of torque between 1,250 and 4,000.

It will allegedly scramble to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds, and hit a top speed of 210 km/h. It will absolutely put a smile on your face. To broaden that smile, BMW added the M Sport Line package for some sexy look-fast bits, and the M Performance Package with some sexy go-fast bits.

Test Drive: 2014 BMW 328i Touring car test drives luxury cars bmw Test Drive: 2014 BMW 328i Touring car test drives luxury cars bmw
2014 BMW 328i Touring. Click image to enlarge

The look-fast bits include M Sport badging, M leather steering wheel, and aerodynamic package, and the aforementioned red leather seats. You also get the automatic transmission with sport mode and paddle shifters in the M Sport Line add on.

The go-fast bits include a brake upgrade (okay, technically this is a slow-fast bit), 19-inch wheels with 225/40 rubber up front and 255/35 rubber out back, adaptive M Suspension and variable sport steering. There is also a head-up display as a $1,500 standalone option.

Test Drive: 2014 BMW 328i Touring car test drives luxury cars bmw
Test Drive: 2014 BMW 328i Touring car test drives luxury cars bmw
2014 BMW 328i Touring. Click image to enlarge

The ooh-that’s-nice bits also thrown in included a heated steering wheel (win), keyless entry, navigation, surround-view parking cameras, a Harman/Kardon sound system, lumbar support, Sirius XM, blind spot detection, lane departure and collision warning and ConnectedDrive services that includes a wi-fi hotspot. There are also heated rear seats, sunshades and additional storage compartments to assist rear-passenger comfort.

To put all that another way, this car is loaded. Loooaaa-ded. And you can carry an Ikea bookcase in the back! Well, you can after you fold flat the 40/20/40 split-fold rear seats. But before you get too excited, I should tell you the price tag is equally loaded – $65,920 as tested for this model. Maybe I should become a stock broker. Then again, BMW is simply stocking the cupboards so we can evaluate all conceivable options, and you can customize your BMW in any way you’re willing to pay for.

But how does it drive? Well, I’ve been holding back until now, not wanting to get too excited too early, but I’ve listed the option packs and talked about the colour… so I guess now it’s time to talk about the car’s handling dynamics.

“I am Jacob’s goofy grin.”

The little turbo four-pot sizzles, hauling the 1,715-kg chassis up to speed in a way that is surprising and entertaining. The raspy engine note is addictive, the seat-push is just plain fun. Justin Pritchard hopped out of this and exclaimed, “I don’t remember this feeling so fast!” Mrs. Jonathan Yarkony said, “I think I’m finally starting to realize why BMW drivers have such a bad reputation – they can’t help it. The car is just too good, in every area, not to try and push it to its limits.”

Well said, Hannah.

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