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The 325xi Touring is the first station wagon in the 3-Series to be offered by BMW in Canada.

2002 BMW 325xi Touring Road Test
AWD wagon gives great grip

By Bill Roebuck

In BMW parlance, the x on the nameplate of the 325xi is for all-wheel drive, the i is for fuel injection, and the Touring designation means station wagon. This is the first wagon in BMW's 3-Series to be offered in Canada. It's fast and sporty, but a bit rough.

During our test drive, a vibration could be felt though the floor, even on smooth roads. With its five-speed Steptronic automatic transmission and 184-hp, 2.5-litre, inline six-cylinder engine, it accelerated promptly from 0-100 km/h in 9.4 sec. Braking was just as impressive, going from 100-0 km/h in just 134 ft.

Cargo capacity is 435 litres with the rear seats up, 1,617 litres with them lowered. They split 60/40 and also feature a passthrough door in the centre for long items such as skis. One advantage this wagon is that its rear window opens separately from the tailgate. None of the others here offered that convenience.

Handling is excellent; it corners extremely well, displaying great grip on both paved and gravel turns. An exceptionally efficient traction and stability control system kicks in quickly and effectively on fast twists and turns, automatically bringing the vehicle to a safe speed and direction.

The driving position is very comfortable, and this model boasts many convenience and safety features. The rear seat was comfortable, but the small rear doors made getting out a bit of a squeeze.

Tested price: $49,300.

© Copyright Bill Roebuck, 2002.

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