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Nuts and Bolts: 2014 BMW 328d xDrive sedan

Bottom line: The 2014 BMW 328d xDrive sedan is a great-driving car, especially in snow and ice. But it is laden with expensive options, including those that should be included as standard equipment in a car priced at $40,000-plus. I simply cannot ignore that, especially when so many competent, well-equipped rivals cost less.

Ride, acceleration and handling: Ride and handling are excellent, easily among the best in the business. Acceleration is highway-competent — 0 to 60 mph in about seven seconds.

Body style/layout: The 2014 BMW 328d xDrive is a front-engine, all-wheel-drive, diesel-fueled compact family sedan in the “entry-level luxury” category ($40,000-plus). It has four side doors and a rear notchback trunk. It is part of BMW’s large and popular 3-Series family, which includes coupes, convertibles, sedans and wagons. Sedans are available with all-wheel- or rear-wheel drive.

Engine/transmission: The 328d xDrive comes with a standard 2-liter, twin-turbocharged (forced air), 16-valve, diesel-fueled, inline four-cylinder engine (181 horsepower, 280 pound-feet of torque). The engine is linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission that also can be operated manually via steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Capacities: Seats five people. Cargo capacity with all seats in place is 13 cubic feet. The fuel tank holds 15 gallons — ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel (15 parts sulfur per million) is required.

Mileage: My experience closely mirrored the Environmental Protection Agency estimate of 32 miles per gallon in the city and 45 on the highway.

Safety: Standard equipment includes front and rear ventilated disc brakes, four-wheel anti-lock brake protection, emergency braking assistance, electronic brake-force distribution, automatic brake drying, electronic stability and traction control, height-adjustable front headlamps, anti-theft alarm system, stolen-vehicle tracking, front fog lamps, emergency communications system with a 10-year subscription, and side and head air bags.

Price: The base price of the 2014 BMW 328d XDrive is $40,600, with a dealer invoice price of $37,350. Price as tested is $47,075 including $5,550 in options (M Sport package, including 18-inch-diameter wheels and other performance options) and a $925 factory-to-dealer transportation charge. Estimated dealer’s price as tested is $44,000.

— Warren Brown