BMW has revealed its fifth-generation 3-series Touring — Munich’s rival to the A4 Avant
14 May 2012

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).

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

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.

Greg Kable

Join the debate


14 May 2012

A beige carpeted loading bay is just asking for trouble. Otherwise it looks good - bring on the 335iX with a darker carpet.

14 May 2012

A good-looking thing. The new 3-series seems to be the most resolved design in BMW's new post-Bangle de-flamed design language. The 5-series is OK but not especially exciting, but the new 3 genuinely looks good on the road. It does appear to be a big as an E39 5-series though.

14 May 2012

This new 3-series looks great in both saloon and touring guises, and 55.4mpg and 0-62mph in 5.6sec? Astounding.

14 May 2012

[quote The Special One]55.4mpg and 0-62mph in 5.6sec? Astounding.

Actually, it should be 55.4mpg OR 0-62mph in 5.6sec - sadly you won't be getting both of them at the same time!

14 May 2012

Sorry folks - but after closely looking at the pics, I don't find the new estate good looking. (Certainly not ugly in the sense of the new 1-Series though - which is an utter disaster, appearance-wise.) Bonnet looks too elongated and out of proportion to the rest of the vehicle. Rear underskirt looks to bulbous and clumsy. No complaints with the saloon though - best looking sedan in the world, in my opinion. Engelbert

14 May 2012

[quote disco.stu]It does appear to be a big as an E39 5-series though.

[/quote] Going by boot space alone, it's within 5l of the E60 saloon! Simply stunning performance and economy figures.

14 May 2012

can i have one please? in red, sport, and with those interior go faster stripes on the dash?? am i the only one who loves those???!! probably!


14 May 2012

Looks very nice indeed. I'm starting to get used to the drooping nose of the new 3 - you see so many of the Olympic liveried ones in London these days you can't help but become accustomed to them. Performance and economy figures are pretty amazing.

14 May 2012

Will the upcoming M3 be available in estate form?

14 May 2012

When did BMW ditch that infuriating bar across the interior behind the rear seats? It made my otherwise outstanding 2004 3 series Touring more or less unusable as a load carrier. If you wanted to have the seats flat you had to find somewhere to leave it.

Anyhow the latest Touring looks superb.



Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week