BMW 3 Series Touring reaches UK shores this September
Monday 14 May 2012
• Popular estate version of BMW’s class leading compact exec
• Subtly improved in all areas
• Priced from £29,380
The BMW 3 Series Touring is due to go on sale in the UK this September, priced from £29,380.
Based on the recently launched 3 Series saloon, the Touring shares that car’s front-end aesthetic but swaps the saloon profile for a gently sloped, stretched roofline with extended glazing.
BMW enthusiasts will be pleased to hear that the trademark ‘Hofmeister kink’ is present and correct, emphasising the car’s rear-wheel-drive layout.
Initially there will be three engines to choose from, with more becoming available after the car’s market debut. The diesel line-up consists of a 2.0-litre 184bhp engine, badged 320d, and a 3.0-litre, straight-six with 258bhp, labelled 330d.
The sole petrol option at launch will be the 328i. Utilising a 2.0-litre turbocharged unit, it develops 245bhp – more power than the larger (and thirstier) six-cylinder 325i and 330i models of the previous generation.
The reduction of engine sizes has had positive effects on fuel consumption and emissions. The petrol unit will manage a combined 41.5mpg and emit 159g/km of CO2, while the UK favourite 320d is particularly parsimonious, sipping fuel at a rate of 60.1mpg (61.4 with the optional automatic gearbox) and emitting 124g/km (122 with the auto).
Inside, the focus has been on practicality, with the boot now 35 litres bigger than the previous generation, at 495 litres. Fold the 40:20:40 split seats down and the load space increases to a cavernous 1,500 litres – the best in class.
Thought has been given to how the 3 Series Touring is to be used too. The boot comes with a myriad of nets and cubby holes, the front door bins have been re-designed to accept large drinks bottles, and the optional storage package includes a reversible boot floor, with a protective coating for carrying wet or dirty items.
The tail-gate is electrically operated as standard, and there’s also an optional Smart Opener, which opens the rear hatch with just a strategic waggle of the foot under the rear bumper.
The interior is unchanged from the saloon and the Touring will come in the same trim levels: ES, SE, Sport, Modern, Luxury and M Sport. Each give subtle alterations, both inside and out, with not just equipment, but design differences giving the car a vastly different feel.
Even entry level ES models are competitively specced, including 17-inch ally wheels, chrome tail-pipe trim, automatic boot opening, automatic air-con, BMW professional radio with 6.5-inch colour screen, keyless start, cruise control and a USB audio interface.
BMW’s Driver Performance Control module is also fitted as standard, allowing drivers to customise various attributes between a sport and comfort bias. It also includes an ECO PRO mode, which governs the on-board systems, as well as the throttle mapping, to give the best possible fuel consumption.
By Daljinder Nagra
Check out our video review of the 3 Series saloon: