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BMW 3 Series Touring estate - Interior & comfort

BMW interiors are notoriously conservative but a raft of new technology has lifted the interior

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Interior & comfort Rating

4.5 out of 5

BMW interiors are known to evolve at a steady pace but BMW has pulled out the stops to ensure the 3 Series Touring can stand its ground against the Audi A4 Avant and Mercedes C-Class Estate.

There are now more expensive-looking materials and finishes than before, all of which lift the atmosphere inside. The new additions don't distract from the Touring's logical dash layout, though, which is as clear as ever.

BMW 3 Series Touring dashboard

Infotainment has taken a big step forward because it now benefits from BMW's latest iDrive OS8 software and includes "Hey BMW" style voice commands. All models get BMW’s new ‘Curved Panel’ display setup which comprises a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster alongside a 14.9-inch central touchscreen. The system itself is slick and responsive and the displays are incredibly crisp and bright. 

One drawback, however, is that in order to fit this new system to the car, BMW has sacrificed the physical climate control knobs for a set of controls integrated into the bottom of the touchscreen. While this is a better solution than having to enter a separate menu, we much prefer the old buttons and switches as these are easier to operate when on the move.

Equipment

Unlike the outgoing model which had an endless list of trim levels, BMW has slimmed the 3 Series Touring lineup down to three specifications: Sport, M Sport and M. As standard, all cars get adaptive LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB radio, a rear-view camera, adaptive LED headlights and a powered tailgate come as standard. M Sport adds a racier bodykit as well as larger 18-inch alloys, lowered M Sport suspension and Alcantara upholstery. The M-badged models almost act as separate models altogether and get an even more aggressive appearance as well as leather upholstery and 19-inch wheels.

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The 3 Series Touring is also one of the first BMW models to come with Drive Recorder, which constantly records footage from its cameras in a loop. If a collision occurs, this can be saved to provide dash-cam style footage of what happened immediately before and during the crash.

Options

While BMWs tend to come with more standard kit nowadays, there's still lots to choose from on the options list. A driver-assistance package can help the driver tackle long trips with less fatigue, adding features such as adaptive cruise control. The Touring's LED headlights can also be upgraded to 'laser' lights that can shine farther into the distance at night.

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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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