• New wagon is longer and wider than its predecessor and rides on a longer wheelbase
  • Power comes from 4-cylinder turbo engine coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Four trim lines allow customers to tailor equipment and appearance

BMW has revealed details on the new-generation 3 Series wagon, set to arrive in U.S. showrooms next spring. The 2013 BMW 328i Sports Wagon is all new, based on the latest-generation 3 Series that made its debut in sedan form this year. The wagon is powered by a 4-cylinder turbocharged engine coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It's larger than its predecessor and will be offered in four equipment lines ranging from luxurious to sporty.

Although the 2.0-liter engine powering the new wagon is smaller than the 3.0-liter 6-cylinder in the 2012 3 Series wagon, it's more powerful and provides more torque. The new turbocharged unit delivers 240 horsepower-a gain of 10 horsepower-and 255 lb-ft of torque, thanks in part to technologies like direct fuel injection and variable valve timing. BMW claims that the 2013 model will provide improved fuel efficiency, although EPA fuel economy estimates are not yet available. A start-stop system, eco mode and regenerative braking all contribute to fuel efficiency.

An automatic transmission is standard equipment; it offers eight ratios compared with the previous model's six-speed gearbox. BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system will be available for improved traction in adverse weather and slippery road conditions.

Compared with the 2012 model, the 2013 328i Sports Wagon is longer and wider and rides on a wheelbase stretched by nearly two inches. This translates to more interior volume, including more rear-seat legroom and 10 percent more cargo space.

Four trim lines will be offered to suit customers' style and equipment preferences. The Sport Line includes gloss black exterior trim, black chrome exhaust tips and 18-inch alloy wheels. The look inside is consistently sporty, with standard sport seats and contrasting black-and-red trim. The Luxury Line gets chrome exterior trim and wood accents inside, while the Modern Line has satin aluminum trim outside and a choice of several unique interior finishes. Finally, the M Sport Line brings an aero body kit and M interior appointments, including a leather-wrapped M steering wheel.

 Wagons may not be top sellers in the U.S., but they certainly have their dedicated fans. And the availability of vehicles like the 2013 328i Sports Wagon gives SUV shoppers more options, too. Wagons are often just as practical, but with better economy and performance than taller SUVs and crossovers.

What it means to you: The next-generation 3 Series Sport Wagon arrives next year with more power, more space and better economy than the 2012 model.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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