The new 3 Series sporting stance and aerodynamic profile have been carried over to the Touring, as slim LED headlights and a larger kidney grille with new double bars create an assertive 'face'. BMW’s design team have cleverly created an estate-like cabin and load space without making it look in any way boxy or utilitarian. The rear tailgate slopes down towards the taillights, giving it a coupé-like profile without intrusion on the cabin space. Luggage space is 500 litres, an increase on the previous model, and this becomes a full 1500 litres when all rear seats are folded. Inside, an updated cockpit places an even greater focus on the driver and the dash and control faces are clean and classy.


The 3 Series Touring offers a wide choice of petrol and diesel engines which come with an eight-speed Steptronic transmission as standard. Diesel variants use mild-hybrid tech, from the entry-level 320d producing 190hp to the range-topping six-cylinder 330d xDrive with an output of 340hp, which hits 62mph in 4.7 seconds from rest. The petrol range starts with the four-cylinder 320i, offering 184hp whilst the 330i delivers 245hp and 400Nm of torque. Flagship of the range is the six-cylinder M340i which produces 374hp and 500Nm of torque, for 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds. The 330e plug-in hybrid Touring combines a petrol engine and electric motor to produce 292hp and 300Nm, with a 0 – 62mph speed of 5.9 seconds and an electric-only range of up to 37 miles.


The new 3 Series uses the BMW Operating System 8.0 which includes BMW Live Cockpit Plus, real-time navigation, and Intelligent Personal Assistant. But the real star of the show is the BMW Curved Display; the 12.3” information display behind the steering wheel is merged with another 14.9” screen to form a single, high-res display spanning the dashboard. Among the features specific to the 3 Series Touring are a fully automated tailgate with separate rear screen opening – handy when someone has parked too close behind you. The optional Anti-Slip Rail System stops packed luggage, bags, and suitcases from sliding around in the boot. Parking is simplified with a reversing camera, front and rear Park Distance Control, Parking Assistant, and BMW’s Reversing Assist function.


As you’d expect of the latest generation BMW, the new 3 Series Saloon has a panoply of advanced safety systems as standard. This includes Front Collision Warning with brake intervention, Cruise Control, the Speed Limit Display with no-overtaking indicator, Manual Speed Limit Assist and Lane Departure Warning with lane return. The 3 Series can be further upgraded with other optional innovative features such as Optional Parking Assistant Plus and Driving Assistant Professional.