This 2011 BMW 328i Sport Wagon is one of less than 400 3 Series Wagons equipped with the M-Sport package.

The naturally aspirated 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder estate makes less power than BMW’s turbocharged engines, but it’s less complex and therefore more reliable.

The result is a fast, practical and fun-to-drive car, and the icing on the cake is between the seats: a six-speed manual gearbox.

“They don’t work like that anymore” is both a cliché and a double-edged sword. Hyundai, for one, will be very happy to point out that its factories no longer make them like the old Sonata or Excel, and that’s a good thing, too. In BMW’s case, however, power and sheer speed have increased, but the 3 Series is now styled as a visual head-scratcher. On the other hand, here’s the secret enthusiast handshake that BMW used to be so good at.

Auctioned by Bring a Trailer (what, how car and driver is part of Hearst Autos), this 2011 BMW 328i Wagon checks all the possible boxes. First of all, this wagon in North American spec is one of the few equipped with the desirable M-Sport package. Along with 18-inch wheels and a more aggressive body, the M-Sport also gets sportier seats and a gorgeous three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Sport utility vehicle bmw 328i xdrive 2011

Bring the trailer

Even better, and less often, is a guide. The bulk of the 3 Series sold in 2011 was, of course, equipped with automatic transmissions. Nowadays, it is rare to even see an M-car with a stick shifter. In this case, the six-speed manual gearbox and three pedals bring much more pleasure when you get behind the wheel.

As far as specs go, the engine seems unremarkable, but that’s the trick. The naturally aspirated six makes 230 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque. Even with the BMW xDrive all-wheel drive losing some power through parasitic losses, it’s still plenty. After all, this is BMW’s inline-six: at its core, a perfectly balanced engine made by the German company whose middle initial is literally ‘Motoren’.

Sport utility vehicle bmw 328i xdrive 2011

Bring the trailer

U M4, hit the gas and go straight to jail, don’t collect $200. But in this station wagon, you could drive down your favorite road, going red line on red line over and over again. You paid for the whole tachometer, so why not use it? Then, back to work on Monday’s rat race, it’s a competent cruiser with gutsy torque. Plus, there’s plenty of cargo space to haul groceries, your dog, or your road bike. Add four-wheel drive for four-season handling, and you’ve got a Munich-made Swiss Army Knife of a car.

Sport utility vehicle bmw 328i xdrive 2011

Bring the trailer

As far as the rest of the crossover driving masses know, it’s just another car on the road. But show up at a local Cars and Coffee event in this van and those in attendance will find out. Nods of approval. Knowing smiles. Oh, is that a manual? Sweet. Too bad we can’t get the van here. Yeah, they just don’t make them like that anymore.

With six days to go until the start of the auction, which ends on Thursday, September 29, early bidding is $13,400. Whoever wins the auction will receive a very special car.

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https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a41344236/2011-bmw-328i-xdrive-sports-wagon-bring-a-trailer-auction/

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