BMW has revealed its fifth-generation 3-series Touring — Munich’s rival to the Audi A4 Avant and Mercedes-Benz C-class estate.
Following on from previous generations, the new car places as much emphasis on styling appeal as outright load carrying, adopting an extended roof and angled rear window much as the larger 5-series Touring does. New underpinnings have ensured crucial increases in accommodation, though, including, BMW claims, greater rear legroom and load-carrying capacity.
Set to go on sale in the UK from September, the new estate version of BMW’s best-selling model will initially be sold with a choice of just three engines — all already available in the 3-series saloon.
Two are diesels: a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder unit with 182bhp and 280lb ft in the 320d Touring, and a 3.0-litre straight six packing 254bhp and a sturdy 413lb ft in the 330d Touring.
The former comes with the choice of either a standard six-speed manual or optional eight-speed automatic gearbox, while the latter gets the eight-speed automatic as standard.
The 320d Touring has a claimed 0-62mph time of 7.7sec (7.6sec for the automatic) and a top speed of 143mph, together with combined fuel economy of 60.1mpg (auto 61.4mpg) and a CO2 output of 124g/km (auto 122g/km). The 330d Touring’s figures are 0-62mph in 5.6sec, a 155mph top speed, 55.4mpg and 135g/km.
BMW is also putting the finishing touches to a EfficientDynamics version of the 320d Touring, although it is not expected to arrive in the UK until early next year. Also being considered for the UK is a four-wheel-drive 320d Touring xDrive to rival the Audi A4 Allroad.
Joining the two diesel units in the UK will be a sole petrol engine: a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-pot with 242bhp and 258lb ft in the 328i Touring. Also available with a standard six-speed manual or optional eight-speed automatic gearbox, the 328i Touring hits 62mph in a claimed 6.0sec and has a governed 155mph top speed in both cases, while returning 41.5mpg (43.5mpg for the automatic) and 159g/km (152g/km).
In line with its saloon sibling, the new 3-series Touring has grown. Length is up by 97mm and height by 11mm at 1429mm.
It also rides on a new platform with a 50mm longer wheelbase (now 2810mm), while the front and rear track widths are up by 37mm (to 1543mm) and 47mm (to 1583mm) respectively.
With 495 litres of load space when the rear seats are up, the new 3-series Touring is a nominal 35 litres bigger than the fourth-generation model, just beating its main rivals (the Audi A4 Avant has 490 litres and the Mercedes C-class estate 485 litres).
Maximum load space is up by 115 litres to 1500 litres with the BMW’s rear seats folded down, 70 litres more than the A4 Avant offers and the same as the C-class.