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BMW 3 Series Touring Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2019
      Body type
      Estate
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
Dan Powell

Written by

Dan Powell

00/10
heycar rating
The best premium estate around

Best bits

  • Rewarding to drive
  • Luxurious and practical interior
  • Excellent eight-speed automatic gearbox 

Not so great

  • Large wheels and sports suspension hinder ride comfort
  • Best in-car tech costs extra
  • Rivals offer more boot space

Read by

BMW 3 Series Touring Exterior Front

Overall verdict

BMW 3 Series Touring Interior

On the inside

BMW 3 Series Touring Driving Back

Driving

BMW 3 Series Touring Media Screen

How much does it cost to run

BMW 3 Series Touring Boot

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"Practical, comfortable and brilliant to drive, the BMW 3 Series Touring is one of the best premium family cars."

BMW 3 Series Touring Exterior Front

If you want something that combines the practicality of a family estate with the fun and reward of a sports saloon, the 3 Series Touring will be everything you'll ever need. 


The key to the success of the BMW 3 Series lies in its ability to deliver an exciting, sporty driving experience within the limits of a family estate car. In fact, from behind the wheel, there is very little to tell the BMW 3 Series saloon and Touring apart - both are equally excellent. 


All versions of the BMW 3 Series Touring get a first class interior, filled with lots of high quality and soft-touch materials. Premium features like interior ambient lighting are fitted as standard, along with LED headlights, touchscreen navigation and Apple CarPlay.


You get a comprehensive choice of petrol and diesel engines. There’s also a petrol plug-in hybrid. Designed for company car drivers, the hybrid has low CO2 emissions (32-41g/km) and an electric range of 34 miles. 


For most drivers, the 2.0-litre petrol and diesel versions will give the best balance between performance and running costs. The 330i is the best of the petrols, developing 184PS and returning up to 40.4mpg. If you want a diesel, you should aim for the 320d with its 190PS and official fuel economy of 53.3mpg. 


The 330d and 330i are the best for performance. The 330d uses a 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel that develops 265PS. The 330i uses an uprated version of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine to produce 258PS. Both cover 0-62mph in under six seconds and use an upgraded version of BMW’s eight-speed Steptronic transmission to improve performance with shorter up and down shifts. 


If you buy a 3 Series Touring then you'll most likely opt for one of the standard rear-wheel drive models. But on-demand four-wheel drive (called xDrive in BMW speak) is available as an optional extra. These cars are rare, but worth seeking out if you need more grip from your daily drive. 


The 3 Series Touring will easily accommodate four large adults, with lots of head and legroom in the front and rear. However, while there’s technically space for five adults, the raised floor in the rear of the car limits legroom in the middle rear seat. BMW advertises the 3 Series as a car that will fit three child seats across the rear bench, only two Isofix anchor points are fitted as standard to the outer rear seats, however.


Boot space is a respectable 500 litres, which means the 3 Series Touring is a smudge short on the 505 litres you get in the Audi A4 Avant. However, compared to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate (460 litres) the 3 Series Touring is more practical. 


As a premium all-rounder, the 3 Series Touring estate is BMW at its very best. Opt for one of the four-cylinder versions and you’ll get a fun and efficient family car that’ll match its pricer premium rivals for comfort, luxury and in-car technology. It’s one of our favourite cars. 


If you're looking for the older version, you need our BMW 3 Series Touring (2012-2019) review.

Is the BMW 3 Series Touring right for you?

The BMW 3 Series Touring is not the cheapest or most practical estate car on the market - both the Skoda Octavia Estate and Peugeot 308 SW provide more cargo space and value. However, as a premium family car, the 3 Series Touring is a step above everything in its price range.


Its key selling point is found in its road handling. In short, it’s brilliant to drive. The steering is perfectly weighted steering and body control is every inch as good as the 3 Series saloon. M Sport trim elevates the handling to sports car levels, by sharpening the steering and adding high performance suspension. 


If you value comfort over a sharp and rewarding drive then the 3 Series Touring may not be the car for you. Most models use runflat tyres, which tend to return a hard ride quality on less than perfect roads. 


M Sport models harden the ride further by adding 18-inch wheels and sports suspension to the mix, while the range topping M Sport Plus Edition makes big compromises in comfort with low-profile 19-inch wheels fitted as standard. 


What’s the best 3 Series Touring to choose?

The mid-spec four-cylinder 320i petrol and 320d diesel engines provide the best balance between performance and fuel costs. Both accelerate from 0-62mph in under eight seconds and get a smooth shifting eight-speed automatic transmission as standard. 


If you want to add some excitement your daily drive then the high performance petrols and diesels are worth considering. The 330d is powered by one of the best turbocharged six-cylinder diesel engines in the business, developing  265PS and a heart thumping 580Nm of torque. It also gets an upgraded version of the eight-speed automatic transmission, with gear shift paddles behind the steering wheel and a sport mode that shortens the up and down shifts. 


Sport models provide a high level of standard equipment with leather seats, LED headlights and 18-inch alloy wheels included. Drivers who prefer dymicaic styling can spec the 3 Series Touring in M Sport trim, which lowers the suspension by 10mm and adds a wider air intakes and a larger grille to the body of the car. 


M Sport models also get a high-resolution 12.3-inch infotainment screen and digital instrument  cluster behind the steering wheel.


What other cars are similar to the BMW 3 Series Touring?

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate and Audi A4 Avant are the key rivals to the BMW 3 Series Touring. Both are similarly priced and designed to strike a balance between sports car performance and limo-like luxury. We’d argue that the 3 Series Touring is the best of the trio, with its sharp handling and high quality interior giving it an edge over its German rivals. 


Recently, the Volvo V60 has started to become a contender for the compact premium estate car crown. It isn’t as sharp as the 3 Series Touring to drive but it does have more boot space (528 litres) and can be specified as an outdoorsy Cross Country soft-roader. If you value comfort over performance, the V60 might be the better car for you. 


Learn more

BMW 3 Series Touring Interior

On the inside

BMW 3 Series Touring Driving Back

Driving

BMW 3 Series Touring Media Screen

How much does it cost to run

BMW 3 Series Touring Boot

Prices, versions and specification

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