Earlier this year the new BMW 3-Series Saloon was uncovered. Now in its seventh generation, the bloodline can be traced back to 1975. For many, the BMW 3-Series is the face of the brand, encapsulating the spirit of its times earning its title as ‘the ultimate driving machine’. Now, the new BMW 3-Series has carried on that legacy and the range has grown to include the new BMW 3-Series Touring.
The new BMW 3-Series has come a long way since the first generation captured audiences and motoring enthusiast’s hearts back in 1975 with the launch of the E21, and the fact it’s still true to its heritage and picking up high acclaim from the motoring press to this day is testament to the work BMW are doing to develop cars that stand out in today’s market.
The new 2019 BMW 3-Series Touring, like its Saloon counterpart, is a well-equipped, comfortable family car that remains fun to drive. The entry-level version of the BMW 3-Series Touring looks stylish and comes with a host of tech as standard. Featuring 17-inch V-Spoke alloys, DAB radio and a 9.0-inch infotainment screen, LED Headlights, LED Fog Lights, Multifunction Sports Steering Wheel and Park Assist, it’s clear to see why it’s such a popular car.
Upgrading to the M Sport trim package and the car gains more road presence and the standard technology package grows. The front bumper now has three larger air vents and the wheels are upgraded to 18-inch M Light Double Spoke Alloys with run-flat tyres. Combined they give the exterior a more aggressive look, yet the car remains grown up. The interior gets heated black Vernasca leather sports seats, aluminium interior trim, anthracite headlining and a stylish M Sport Steering Wheel and Cruise Control with brake functions are also standard. The driver display in the M Sport also changes from a set of analogue gauges to a digital screen that can display the sat-nav between the rev counter and speedometer and the infotainment screen grows from 9.0-inches to 12.0-inches.
Step inside and you’ll find the next generation of BMWs driver-focused dashboard, where much of it is angled towards the driver. A feature that was first presented on the original BMW 3-Series, and has become a standard feature in all BMWs today. If you’ve owned a BMW before, inside is a familiar place to be, yet it also feels new and the large infotainment screens are an obvious upgrade and integrate into the dash far better than the BMW 3-Series main rivals such as the Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C Class, that look detached from the rest of the interior.
The new BMW 3-Series Touring is the largest of the new BMW 3-Series range. It can happily carry four adults and their luggage without compromise. While the new BMW 3-Series Touring might look more compact thanks to the softer edges in the design, it's actually 76mm longer, 16mm wider and 11mm taller than the outgoing BMW 3-Series Touring. Thanks to a 41mm increase in wheelbase length, interior space has also grown, with more shoulder room in the front and legroom in the back both being the most noticeable improvements. The 112mm wider boot opening makes it easier to load heavier items and with the rear seats down, the load space goes from 500-litres to a massive 1,500-litres. An added bonus is that all models also get an electric tailgate.
From launch, there will be three petrol and three diesel engines to choose from. The 320i is the entry-level petrol unit and the most fuel efficient, returning 48.7mpg. The four-cylinder turbocharged engine produces 181bhp and will see a 0-62mph sprint in 7.6 seconds. The midrange 330i is only marginally less efficient returning 47.1mpg but has a power increase over 70bhp, producing 254bhp. This increase shaves nearly 2 seconds of the 0-62 sprint, completing it in just 5.9 seconds.
At the top of the range, the M340i xDrive gets all-wheel-drive and a turbocharged straight-six cylinder engine producing 369bhp. While the M340i isn’t a fully-fledged BMW M Car, it is producing more power and does a 0-62mph run faster (just 4.5 seconds!) than the now legendary BMW E46 M3 of the early 2000s! You might think the tradeoff is awful mpg, but with careful driving, 40mpg can still be achieved.
In the diesel line up, the entry-level unit is the 318d. This is a four-cylinder turbocharged engine and produces 148bhp but thanks to the low down torque of a diesel, a 0-62 run isn’t much slower than the 320i petrol unit, taking 8.9 seconds. There is a noticeable increase in mpg though, with a book figure of 65.7mpg.
The larger 320d uses the same engine but power has been increased to 187bhp meaning the 0-62 is now matching that of the 320i, taking 7.1 seconds. The range-topping diesel comes in the form of the 33od, available with BMWs famous xDrive all-wheel-drive it cracks a 0-62 sprint in 5.4 seconds and fuel economy stays above 52mpg.
From summer 2020, we can also expect to welcome the BMW 330e Touring and saloon to the line-up. These Plug-In Electric Vehicles (or PHEV as they have been named) will produce 248bhp in normal use but have an extra 39bhp available for 10 seconds at times with the new XtraBoost function. Provisional information is claiming the new PHEV 330e will return a combined 112mpg.