Available in plug-in hybrid form for the first time, the new 3 Series estate “handles even better” than the old one
James Attwood, digital editor
10 September 2019

BMW has shown the new 3 Series Touring at the Frankfurt motor show, and promised it will retain the dynamic handling of the saloon version. 

The new 3 Series estate will go on sale in late September with a range of petrol and diesel engines. For the first time in the Touring, there will be a plug-in hybrid 330e model, which will arrive in July 2020. As with the 330e saloon, it will feature a 248bhp powertrain, comprising a 181bhp petrol engine with a 111bhp electric motor, and the ability to run 39 miles on electric-only power. 

At launch, the petrol engine range will start with the 181bhp 320i and the range-topper will be the four-wheel-drive M340i xDrive, which has a 3.0-litre unit with 369bhp and 295lb ft. The M340i xDrive Touring can achieve 0-62mph in 4.5sec. 

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Diesel options will range from the 147bhp 318d to the 261bhp 330d xDrive. 

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All models will have an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard. No manuals are offered in the range. 

The 3 Series Touring also receives a new lift-related damping system for the first time. An M Sport differential is standard on the M340i xDrive and optional on higher-spec models, as is M Sport suspension. 

Product manager Stefan Horn told Autocar the new Touring will “handle even better” than the old car thanks to a stiffer chassis, lower centre of gravity and weight reduction. 

Entry-level models will sit on 17in wheels as standard, rising to 19in on higher specs, with full-LED headlights and tail-lights also standard. Horn claimed the objective was to prioritise the car’s looks to increase desirability, as the estate sector declines in the face of SUVs. 

At 4709mm, the new model is 76mm longer than the previous generation, in part due to a wheelbase that’s 41mm longer, at 2851mm. The new 3 Series Touring is also 11mm taller and 16mm wider. 

BMW claims it offers extra shoulder and knee room, along with the ability to fit three child seats across the rear bench. 

The 500-litre boot is wider and five litres larger than before and is accessed via a standard automatic tailgate, which retains a separately opening window. 

There are storage areas under the main boot floor, and new optional rubber anti-slip rails, which keep smaller loads in place. The rear seats can be folded in a 40/20/40 layout, increasing the storage capacity to a maximum of 1510 litres. 

In the UK, the 3 Series Touring will be offered in SE, Sport, M Sport and M Sport Plus trim levels. The top level includes M Sport suspension and brakes, 19in alloy wheels and a choice of exclusive colours. Prices have yet to be announced, but expect the base model to start from just under £30,000, with an average increase over like-for-like saloons of around £1500.

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Comments
27

11 June 2019

I've seen a few new 3 series on the road now, and not a massive fan of it. This looks better, although I'll reserve judgement until I've seen one 

12 June 2019

I would look more desirable if BMW still understood what a hoffmeister kink is.

12 June 2019
scrap wrote:

I would look more desirable if BMW still understood what a hoffmeister kink is.

Hoffmeister was a nasty, weak lager, commonly refered to as Bear's P*ss. Not sure what it has to do with cars...

12 June 2019
It would look more desirable if BMW understood what simple strong design meant.
When a design has nothing important to say,it relies on applied details ie added-on, not designed-in. This 3 series looks a mess.

12 June 2019

Agree.  It looks like they began with an estate car-shaped blob of clay, then started crimping bits here and sticking on bits there until they felt it had enough "character".  Even some brightwork in chrome or aluminium round the windows might help give the shape a bit more definition.

12 June 2019

 Yep!, it certainly is, not a fan of the rear though.....

12 June 2019
"All models will have an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard. No manuals are offered in the range."

This is outrageous! What's the point of building a driver focused car and then denying the driver the interaction and full control of the torque delivery to the rear wheels that only come with a proper manual gearbox?

In many ways a compact exec estate is my perfect car (comfort, space, dynamics, efficiency and performance) but it's becoming really hard to find the above with a manual gearbox. It doesn't help that estate varients are being squeezed out by SUVs (giulia/stelvio, xe/f-pace etc).

12 June 2019
jameshobiecat wrote:

"All models will have an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard. No manuals are offered in the range." This is outrageous! What's the point of building a driver focused car and then denying the driver the interaction and full control of the torque delivery to the rear wheels that only come with a proper manual gearbox? In many ways a compact exec estate is my perfect car (comfort, space, dynamics, efficiency and performance) but it's becoming really hard to find the above with a manual gearbox. It doesn't help that estate varients are being squeezed out by SUVs (giulia/stelvio, xe/f-pace etc).

I wonder if wltp has anything to do with no manuals? Autos are the most popular choice, apparently, and there would be extra cost and time involved in testing every model/spec with a manual with little financial reward as most specify the auto?

Agree the estate is far more appealing than any SUV.

12 June 2019

If I could +1 you I would!

+1 anyway

jer

12 June 2019

I just couldn't open ghe garage door and feel I'd spend 40 or 50k on something pleasing to look at/own. Id get the Volvo looks better arguably cool-er and near enougn dynamically for most drives.

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