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In-depth reviews

BMW 3 Series Touring estate review

"The BMW 3 Series Touring is practical, easy to live with and great to drive"

Carbuyer Rating

4.4 out of 5

Owners Rating
Be the first to review
Price
£42,430 - £62,225

Pros

  • Excellent handling
  • Convenient touches
  • Spacious interior

Cons

  • No manual gearbox
  • High servicing costs
  • Dubious BMW owner satisfaction

Ever since it first arrived in 1987, the BMW 3 Series Touring estate has been the car to beat for those looking for a fun, upmarket load-lugger. Aided by rear-wheel drive and powerful engines, it has always outclassed the Audi A4 in the driving department, even if things have become much closer over the years.

Best estate cars 2024Top 10 best estate cars 2024

BMW gave the 3 Series a mid-life facelift in 2022, in order to keep up with the latest generation Mercedes C-Class. This update included a revised headlight design as well as deeper front and rear bumpers. On the inside, the facelifted car gets BMW’s latest iDrive OS8 infotainment system; this features twin screens forming a curved panel and comes as standard on all models.

From the front, it's almost impossible to discern the 3 Series Touring from its saloon counterpart, however, move round to the side and you’ll see the estate gets a taller roofline. The car’s boot grows slightly to 500 litres, meaning there's more room for passengers and welcome features include a pop-up window to quickly access the luggage compartment and a handy anti-slip boot floor.

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Out on the road the 3 Series Touring maintains its reputation as the driver's estate, with resolute body control and sharp steering. When its dampers are put in their softest setting, it's genuinely comfortable, too. BMW's chassis engineers are rumoured to test prototypes on Welsh roads, and the results seem to be paying off; the 3 Series rides well on broken British roads.

Engines are predictably strong too, with every version getting from 0-62mph in less than nine seconds and most a great deal quicker than that. The BMW 320d Touring can return over 55mpg and the 330e plug-in hybrid is also available with CO2 emissions that will please company-car drivers. Apart from the fire-breathing M3 Touring – which is a separate model in itself – the 375bhp M340i xDrive is the hottest version of the standard 3 Series on sale, getting to 62mph from a standing start in 4.5 seconds – the same as a Porsche 718 Cayman.

With all this considered, along with improved technology and a noticeable quality hike inside, the BMW 3 Series Touring remains the car to beat in the class, particularly our favourite model – the 320d in M Sport trim.

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Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    320i Sport 5dr Step Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £42,430

Most Economical

  • Name
    330e 22.3 kWh Sport 5dr Step Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £48,785

Fastest

  • Name
    M340i xDrive MHT 5dr Step Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £62,225

Andy is Carbuyer's managing editor, with more than a decade of experience helping consumers find their perfect car. He has an MA in automotive journalism and has tested hundreds of vehicles.

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