BMW has announced that the Touring estate version of the new 3-Series will arrive in the UK in September.
The new car is about two inches longer in the wheelbase and four inches longer overall compared with its predecessor. Seats-up luggage capacity grows by 35 litres to 495 litres, and total luggage capacity with the rear seats lowered is 1,500 litres. Rear-seat passengers get slightly more knee and head-room than before. All cars get automatic boot opening, which allows the tailgate to be opened with a wave of the foot – a handy feature for anyone approaching the car with shopping bags in both hands.
There will be three familiar BMW model lines – ES, SE and M Sport. The SE gets 17-inch alloy wheels, a BMW Professional radio with a 6.5-inch screen and i-Drive. SE models get additional features such as parking sensors, an automatic dimming mirror and automatic lights and wipers. The Sport, Modern and Luxury interior “themes” first seen on the saloon are offered here too. Finally, the M Sport has larger 18-inch alloy wheels, M Sport body mods, M Sport suspension and modified interior trim, with sports seats and leather as standard.
Initially, there are three engine options for the 3-Series Touring. Two are diesels, the four-cylinder two-litre 320d and the three-litre six-cylinder 330d, which pump out 184 and 258 horsepower respectively. The 320d has a top speed of 143mph and can accelerate from rest to 62mph in 7.7 seconds, while the automatic-only 330d gets to 62mph in 5.6 seconds and will eventually reach an artificially limited 155mph. The 320d achieves 60.1mpg on the official combined cycle test, the 330d 55.4. The 320d emits 124g/km of Co2, the 330d 135.
Initially, there is only one petrol engine version, the 328i. A few years ago, you could safely have assumed that badge meant it had a 2.8-litre straight six, but engine down-sizing means that the 328i instead has a two-litre four – albeit one with what BMW calls TwinPower technology. In concrete terms, that means direct injection, twin-scroll turbocharging and Valvetronic variable valve timing, features that give the two-litre engine 245 horsepower and at least the amount of go that would previously been associated with a 2.8. It can reach 62mph from rest in 6.0 seconds and tops out at a governed 155mph. Combined cycle fuel consumption is 44.5 mpg and CO2 emissions are 159g/km. BMW expects eventually to provide the Touring with the full range of engine variants that are already available on the new 3-Series saloon.
Prices for the 3-Series Touring start at £29,380 for the 320d, rising to £30,400 for the 328i and £34,700 for 330d. On the basis of past experience, BMW expects to sell about 8,000 3-Series Tourings a year in the UK.