BMW 3 Series Touring estate - Engines, drive & performance

Clever suspension means the BMW 3 Series Touring is both fun to drive and comfortable

Carbuyer Rating

4.4 out of 5

Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.5 out of 5

Just like the saloon, there's no question the BMW 3 Series Touring goes straight to the top of its class for driver appeal. Not only is it the sharpest, most fun executive estate, but BMW has also optimised the ride comfort. In cars with adaptive suspension, Comfort mode really is just that, filtering out bumps better than most rivals.

It might not offer the last word in feedback, but the car’s steering has a pleasing weight and accuracy, and in Sport mode the 3 Series Touring is controlled and confidence-inspiring. Four-wheel drive is available for the 320d, 330d and 330e, but there's little discernible difference on the road, so we'd only recommend it if you regularly need the extra grip.

BMW 3 Series Touring diesel engines

The 3 Series Touring range kicks off with the 318d, which produces 148bhp. Despite its entry-level status, it’s capable of swift performance, managing 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds. Above this, the 320d with 187bhp costs around £1,000 more to buy and has traditionally been the bestseller in the 3 Series range. For an economical engine, 0-62mph in 7.1 seconds is certainly impressive, and this only drops a couple of tenths if you choose xDrive all-wheel drive.

We've already driven the BMW 330d xDrive - its 261bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine feels potent in just about every situation. Not only that but its performance is combined with smooth responses and, surprisingly, a pleasing sound. It can get from 0-62mph in a rapid 5.4 seconds and its top speed is electronically limited to 155mph.

Above that is an M340d xDrive, with a 335bhp power output. It accelerates from 0-62mph in only 4.8 seconds (meaning it’s one of the very fastest diesels on sale now) which is all the more impressive considering its 44mpg fuel economy figure matches the 330d’s. Both the M340d and the 320d get mild-hybrid technology, which provides an 11bhp overboost to aid overtaking, as well as helping to save fuel.

Petrol engines

As mentioned above, both the 320i Touring and 330i share the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, albeit with 182bhp and 255bhp respectively. These can get from 0-62mph in 7.5 and 5.9 seconds, and they're joined by a straight-six M340i xDrive Touring with 369bhp that’s capable of the same sprint in just 4.5 seconds. The latter is the fastest 3 Series Touring model available until the M3 Touring arrives, with the new M DIvision derived flagship model expected to be the fastest variant in the range by some margin with a 0-62mph time of less than four seconds.

At the other end of the range, a new 318i model is the cheapest 3 Series Touring engine. This engine produces a respectable 154bhp and gets from 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds.

Hybrid engines

The BMW 330e Touring is powered by the same petrol engine as the 320i, along with a 68bhp electric motor for a combined total of 288bhp. This combination allows a 0-62mph time of less than six seconds, and an electric driving range of between 32-37 miles, depending on spec.

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