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Avg. Price Paid:$14,242 - $15,199
Original MSRP: $34,500 - $36,400
MPG: 20 City / 30 Hwy
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2008 BMW 3-Series Wagon Interior

This interior review was written when the 2008 BMW 3-Series Wagon was new.

The interior of the 2008 BMW 3-Series Wagon is attractive -- the Detroit News calls it "exquisite" -- and comfortable, if a bit cramped in the backseat. "The interior of the BMW 3 Series Wagon is tastefully designed," says Forbes. Edmunds reports: "The 3 Series interiors provide a restrained show of luxury. The emphasis, through items such as supportive seats and clean analog gauges, is on driver comfort and involvement." And Kelley Blue Book finds it has a "clean, elegant look." The materials inside are expensive and attractive. According to Edmunds, "Materials are high in quality and build quality is exceptional; indeed, even the standard leatherette upholstery looks and feels better than one would expect."

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Seating

The 2008 BMW 3-Series Wagon seats five and the front row is comfortable. Consumer Guide says, "Good head, leg room for all but tallest drivers ... Seats provide fine lateral support." Edmunds writes the "front seats have enough firm support to ward off fatigue during a day's worth of driving." Forbes seconds: "The front seats are among the most supportive and comfortable in the industry."

But the second row is a bit tight for taller passengers. Forbes says "larger occupants will feel cramped in the rear. Fortunately, the wagon's more-horizontal roofline provides a little extra headroom compared to the BMW 3 Series Sedan and Coupe." The San Jose Mercury News says, "I still think of a wagon as a family car, however, and here's where the BMW 325xi falls short. Backseat room is cramped." But The Auto Channel notes backseat passengers "are treated to an excellent view of the heavens, or mountain scenery, through the standard extra-long panorama moonroof."

Interior Features

The basic gauges and controls in the BMW 3-Series Wagon are generally well thought out. "As always," says The Auto Channel, "instrumentation and controls are arranged for serious driving." And Forbes says, "Displays and switches are well located."

However, there is the odd nit. Consumer Guide notes, "Audio, climate controls compromised by low-mounted position, some cryptic markings. Turn-signal stalk has odd toggle action." The optional BMW iDrive controller, which fuses entertainment and climate-system controls into a single interface, is often criticized as being overly complicated and difficult to learn to use, but the redesigned version in the 3-Series Wagon is better received. "Control is by the latest generation of BMW's iDrive system," says The Auto Channel, "which has been simplified since its inception in the 7-Series a few years ago and is generally pleasant and logical to use."

Standard interior features in the 2008 BMW 3-Series Wagon includes AM/FM in-dash single CD player with CD MP3 playback, ten speakers, auxiliary MP3 input, audio controls on the steering wheel, push button startup, separate left and right temperature controls, temperature- and volume-controlled rear air outlets, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an interior active charcoal air filter, cruise control and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel.

Cargo

The maximum cargo capacity of the 3-Series Wagon is a barely adequate 60.9 cubic feet (16.2 with sets upright). "The compact German sport wagon offers style and performance," says the Detroit News, "but, unfortunately, not a lot of space for new families and all the gear they have to haul once baby arrives." Consumer Guide finds neither "sedan trunk nor wagon cargo bay generously sized," but they add that both "are shaped for maximum utility and have wide openings, low liftover." The Auto Channel says, "The trunk is not huge and golfers might have problems getting in four sets of clubs as well as themselves," but they add that "with the rear seat folded, large and long objects are no problem." And the Los Angeles Times likes the storage space as is: "Throw up the hatch, throw down the seats, throw in your skis or band equipment or climbing gear. In terms of practicality and life-carrying cargo capacity, the 325xi sacrifices very little to the upright, lumpen crossovers whose ads blare from the pages of Vibe and Maxim." Still, several reviews point out that the wagon's cupholders "are pretty worthless, too," as the Detroit News says. "Kind of surprising, considering the Germans' usual attention to detail." The Auto Channel says BMW should "get rid of the ashtray and put the cups there!"

Review Last Updated: 2/25/09

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