I need room. Two kids under three means at least one of my cars has to now be able to do some serious family hauling every so often. So my wonderful 2004 330i ZHP has to go. But the problem is, what to replace it with?

Given my need for performance, a hint of efficiency and the desire to feel like I ‘m driving a sports sedan, the only choice is to go with a wagon.

Since BMWNA axed the 5 Series wagon anyone looking for utility within the BMW range was either forced in the 3 Series wagon or up into the SAV range. The problem is that there are many people that don ‘t want a crossover and need something a bit larger than the current 3er wagon. And with the larger F31 3 Series wagon at least a year off, the only choice is either a used 5 series wagon or to look at other brands.

The latter is not an option for me. So that leaves an exhaustive search across the country for a decent wagon. Naturally it has to be a 535ix right? 300 hp is hard to argue with (as long as all N54 issues were either dealt with by the owner or BMW. But the big problem in this is the search. Finding a 5er wagon with the combination of the navigation and the sport package has been almost impossible. And trying to find it all with a manual is almost impossible. So I ‘ve given up on the manual and just resigned myself that my next family car will be an automatic. Perhaps not the worst decision given the kind of car the 535ix is and the ki d of service it ‘ll be formed into.

Then there are the myriad of options and color choices that give the whole thing a very wild card feel. But being a car guy there in lies the fun. The hunt for something interesting is what we live for. And finding something interesting in the sea of sameness that is the see wagon market should be an interesting challenge.

Look for updates over the next month as I zero in.

Side note: if you ‘re interested in a loaded 68,000 mile 2004 330i ZHP (aka the performance package) drop me a line via the contact link above or the comment section below. Loaded with Nav, it ‘s the best all around car I ‘ve ever owned and it deserves a good home. I ‘m ready to move it at a very reasonable price to make way for what is coming.