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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

Owners Rating
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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.

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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 diesel range kicks off with the 320d; this produces 187bhp and has traditionally been the bestseller in the model’s lineup. 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.

The BMW 330d is even more potent – its 261bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine should be enough for just about every situation on the road. 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.

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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 fastest diesels on sale now) which is all the more impressive considering it matched the 330d for fuel economy. 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 estate available bar the new M3 Touring, with the new M Division-derived flagship model claimed to reach 62mph in just 3.6 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. The added weight of the batteries does hamper the 3 Series’ handling somewhat though, meaning that despite its impressive performance the plug-in hybrid is the least dynamic model available.

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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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