BMW 3 Series Touring estate
- Good performance and economy
- Top-notch build quality
- Excellent practicality
- High list price
- Expensive options stack up fast
- Cheaper rivals offer more space
"The BMW 3 Series Touring mixes performance, economy and practicality in a safe and well-built package."
There are a number of significant reasons why the BMW 3 Series estate (known as the Touring) has been leaving most of its rivals trailing for the past two decades. Its mix of performance, handling, ride comfort and fuel economy is wrapped up in a stylish and upmarket exterior that really does give you the feeling that you’re driving something very special indeed.
The BMW 3 Series Touring used to be seen as a bit of a ‘lifestyle’ estate, which basically meant the boot wasn’t big enough. Not so these days, because boot space is the best in the class, with 495 litres on offer with the seats up, and 1,500 litres when they’re folded.
The 3 Series Touring is easily big and practical enough to cope as a family's sole means of transport. Even a fairly big dog will be quite happy in the boot, too. As with its 3 Series saloon counterpart, the Touring is the sharpest-handling, best-driving compact executive estate you can buy.
There are a choice of powerful yet efficient four and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines on offer, but the best news is that our preferred option, the 2.0-litre diesel 320d Touring, is pretty economical too.
Most versions are rear-wheel drive, but the impressively smooth BMW xDrive four-wheel-drive system is a £1,500 optional extra on some models and is a serious answer to the Porsche Macan and Range Rover Evoque. It could be worth the extra money if you live in a rural area where winter access is an issue.
The Touring is available in SE, Sport, M Sport, Modern and Luxury trims.
The 3 Series should be as safe as a room full of pillows, too. Crash-test body Euro NCAP has tested its saloon sister car and given it a full five-star rating. It achieved a particularly high score for adult occupant protection.
The fast and efficient engines in the BMW 3 Series Touring provide a good driving experience and keep running costs to a minimum
Even with a larger boot, the BMW 3 Series Touring is just as sharp as the saloon, which makes it the best-driving executive estate you can buy
The BMW 3 Series Touring is comfortable for five people over the worst that the UK’s roads can throw at it
The BMW 3 Series Touring boot is not only big enough to be practical, it also has numerous touches to make it easier to use
The BMW 3 Series features top-notch safety and typically tough German build quality