Is the BMW 3 Series Wagon the Ultimate Car for Dads?

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There's a common refrain among automotive writers as well as enthusiasts I run into who also — like me — happen to be fathers. They love station wagons. I'm not talking dads who remember Woodstock, but those who can recall when Lollapalooza toured the country and don't mind the anti-SUV body style.

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For that group I present the 2014 BMW 328d xDrive Sports Wagon. I spent an entire day off with the kids in this white beauty, which not only had the wagon part down, but also all-wheel drive and a turbocharged diesel engine with 280 pounds-feet of torque.

Could it live up to my high expectations plus deliver the family-friendly goods?

By David Thomas | April 2, 2014 | Comments (3)

Study Ranks Owners' Ability to Afford Their Cars by City

DrivingInBigCity

Can you afford your car? Obviously, the answer to that question is more complicated than "yes" or "no." But far more often than you might imagine, it's the latter, according to a study of the nation's 25 largest metropolitan areas by Interest.com. Now you can gauge your own financial solvency as it relates to your household vehicles — or just use the info to justify your condescending smirk/head-shake combo as your neighbor drives by in his new luxury sedan.

2013 Year-End Sales Preview

"Too many families are spending way too much on new cars and trucks," Interest.com Managing Editor Mike Sante said in a statement. "Just because you can manage the monthly payment doesn't mean you should let a $30,000 or $40,000 ride gobble up such a huge share of your paycheck. You can get a great car for much less and use the savings to invest in yourself."

The study calculated how much a household can afford to spend on a car or light-duty truck using the so-called 20/4/10 rule: a down payment of at least 20 percent; a financing term of no more than 48 months; and principal, interest and insurance not exceeding 10 percent of a household's gross income. Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Boston led the charge in ability to afford vehicles, while Miami and Tampa, Fla., car owners were at the bottom of the list. The nation's three largest cities were clustered toward the middle of the list of 25, with New York at No. 10, Chicago at No. 12 and Los Angeles at No. 14.

By Matt Schmitz | March 14, 2014 | Comments (3)

2015 BMW M3, M4: Up Close

M3ucwide

Formerly grouped under the M3 nameplate, the high-performance versions of BMW's compact sedan and coupe are now known as the M3 and M4, respectively. They share many styling cues inside and out in addition to a 425-horsepower, turbocharged inline-six engine, and the M3 and M4 bring a predictable aggressiveness to the cars' designs.

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The new M cars have gaping, sharply creased lower grilles that ratchet up the aggressiveness, but the design is a little tame compared to the giant grilles showing up on Audi and Lexus performance cars. Both M cars have a nice stance, and flared rear wheel arches hint at the power under the hood.

By Mike Hanley | January 13, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 BMW M3, M4: First Look

2015-m3-500

Competes with: Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, Audi RS 5 and several cars in the rumor mill
Looks like: The 3 and 4 Series with some aggressive additional bodywork
Drivetrain: Turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six with 425 hp and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic or six-speed manual transmission; rear-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Summer 2014

Witness the new M3 sedan and its M4 coupe sibling, which lop off two cylinders but add a whole heap of turbocharging. It had to happen, didn't it? Automakers — particularly the Germans — are swapping cylinders for turbos like displacement is the plague. The latest iterations of the Audi S8 and BMW M5 have dropped V-10s for turbo V-8s; even Mercedes-Benz downsized most of its AMG V-8s and added turbos.

By Kelsey Mays | December 12, 2013 | Comments (2)

2014 BMW 328i Gran Turismo: Family Review Checklist

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The 2014 BMW 328i Gran Turismo can be quite a tease for parents. It's an all-new hatchback variation on the 3 Series sedan. Its body style brings an added element of ease to families, and the increased cargo room and rear legroom is nothing to scoff at either.

For people who enjoy BMW's 3 Series sedan, the 328i GT could be the next practical step for them once kids enter the picture.

As I started formulating my pros and cons list for the Gran Turismo, I found it to be almost tit for tat. Drive experience? Pro. Fuel economy? Con. Cargo area space? Pro. Personal storage space? Con. For everything I loved about it, there seemed to be a counterpart I found ridiculous. And then, of course, there's its biggest family obstacle: the price. The 328i xDrive Gran Turismo I tested came with a $55,500 price tag.

By Carrie Kim | December 4, 2013 | Comments (5)

Does the 2013 BMW 3 Series Come With a Spare Tire?

"Does the 2013 BMW 3 Series come with a spare tire?"

Anonymous

By Rick Popely | October 26, 2013 | Comments (11)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

2014MercedesBenzCLA-Class

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class sedan returns to the top of the heap for its third week in a row, landing at No. 1 on our list of most-read reviews. The only other movement of note on this week’s list came courtesy of debuts from the 2013 Volkswagen Passat sedan and 2013 Fiat 500e electric car. They could only muster Nos. 8 and 10, respectively, but rest assured, the Passat did so without offending anyone with its tastefully un-showy style and the 500e with zero emissions. Check out what else was popular:

1. 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
2. 2014 Subaru Forester

3. 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
4. 2014 Jeep Cherokee
5. 2013 Toyota RAV4

6. 2014 Mazda3

7. 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

8. 2013 Volkswagen Passat

9. 2013 BMW 328i

10. 2013 Fiat 500e
By Matt Schmitz | October 20, 2013 | Comments (0)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

2014MercedesBenzCLAClass

After making No. 1 its "entry level" on our list of most-read reviews last week, Mercedes-Benz's new entry-level luxury sedan, the 2014 CLA-Class, returns to the top spot this week. The CLA-Class' encore is followed by two 2014 debuts in the Mazda3 compact car and Kia Soul hatchback, bowing at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. Meanwhile, the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe crossover rejoins the list at No. 5. Check out what else was popular:

1. 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class
2. 2014 Mazda3
3. 2014 Kia Soul
4. 2014 Subaru Forester
5. 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
6. 2014 Jeep Cherokee
7. 2013 Toyota RAV4
8. 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

9. 2013 BMW 328i
10. 2014 Nissan Versa Note

Editor's note: This post was updated on Oct. 14 with the correct photo of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class.

By Matt Schmitz | October 13, 2013 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 76,200 BMW Cars and SUVs

BMWRecall
Vehicles Affected:
Approximately 76,200 model-year 2012-14 vehicles equipped with 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engines, including the 1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series, X1, X3 and Z4.

The Problem: An interruption in the oil supply to a part could mean the loss of power braking assist; this could require the driver to press harder on the brake pedal in order to stop.

The Fix: BMW will notify affected owners by mail, and dealers will repair the problem in the power braking system.

What Owners Should Do: The automaker said drivers who lose power brake assist should pull over and call for roadside assistance. Owners can call BMW at 800-525-7417 or email CustomerRelations@bmwusa.com for more info; they can also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov.

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By Matt Schmitz | October 1, 2013 | Comments (6)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

2014JeepCherokee

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee and 2013 BMW 328i refused to budge from the top of our list of most-read reviews this week, holding fast at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. Returning to the roster this week is the 2013 BMW X1, the X3's smaller sibling, at No. 6. Meanwhile, at Nos. 7 and 8, respectively, the 2014 versions of the Toyota 4Runner and the Ford Taurus make their debuts. Check out what else was popular:

1. 2014 Jeep Cherokee
2. 2013 BMW 328i
3. 2014 Subaru Forester

4. 2013 Toyota RAV4

5. 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

6. 2013 BMW X1

7. 2014 Toyota 4Runner
8. 2014 Ford Taurus

9. 2014 Infiniti Q50

10. 2014 Acura MDX

By Matt Schmitz | September 22, 2013 | Comments (3)

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