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Thread: Vehicle "lines"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Alexandria, VA

    Vehicle "lines"

    Hello again folks,
    I'm looking at buying a 2014 328i xDrive sports wagon, and I'm having difficulty getting a straight answer on the effect of the "lines" for this particular vehicle. I understand that if I was buying a rear-wheel drive sedan the "sports" line would actually provide driving performance enhancements. However, for all wheel drive vehicles it appears to be the case that the sports line, for example, provides primarily cosmetic changes (kidney grill bars, key fob, upholsteries, wheel rims) instead of performance enhancements (improved transmission or suspension). I've visited three different dealers, and each sales rep has given me a different answer. To compound the confusion, the build-your-own tool at doesn't mention the sport automatic transmission (yeah I prefer manual but my wife has to drive the car too) while the online build tool through my car buying service (USAA, through seems to suggest that the sport automatic transmission with paddle shifters is now standard.

    What I'm really trying to do is get a tight and well-handling vehicle (similar to the way my Z4 drives) instead of a mushy luxury car experience, as I seem to get with the basic models.

    Does anyone have any knowledge of, or experience with these issues? Suggestions anyone?


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Your best bet is to download the ordering guide from bimmerpost ( and read it over a couple of times. A quick glance shows that your only factory option for an upgraded suspension of any kind is to add the dynamic handling package. Besides the steering, you get variable dampers. I'm pretty certain the ride height isn't lowered, though I don't know if the springs themselves are stiffer.

    Another option would be to add the M-Performance suspension (Port or Dealer installed), assuming it's even available for the touring and/or xi

  3. #3
    Senior Member pseto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Columbia, MD
    ^^good advice, although you're still going to have to find a really good salesperson to place your order. The vast majority of them are NOT enthusiasts and have limited BMW expertise. If you're planning on doing ED or PCD, my goto sales guy is now located in CA, but it really doesnt matter where your sales person is.

    Also note that the aftermarket suspensions for XI vehicles is rather limited (probably even more so for xDrive wagons), so your best bet maybe something from the factory.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Alexandria, VA
    Thanks for the advice. Getting different answers from each sales rep is pretty frustrating, but the link you've provided to the retail pricing guide appears to be the key to clarifying things quite a bit.
    I did some more checking around, and it appears that BMW of Silver Spring has a car on the lot which is pretty close to what I'm looking for. Depending on how things go there this afternoon, I may just buy the car off the lot rather than order one, we'll see. But either way, the retail pricing guide is very informative.

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