Thirty two years on from the debut of the first ever BMW 3 Series Touring, the new edition of the five-door 3 Series brings a compelling and seamless blend of driving pleasure and functional appeal to the premium midsize class.
Since its launch in 1987, more than 1.7 million examples of the 3 Series Touring have hit the roads, with the new car’s immediate predecessor alone accounting for more than 500,000 of these.
The new 3 Series Touring will have latest-generation engines and new chassis technology to provide improvements in performance and handling, while intelligent equipment features optimise versatility both in everyday use and on trips away. It also includes the new BMW design language, a refined interior and innovations in control/operation and connectivity.
The 3 Series Touring has larger exterior dimensions than its predecessor. It has grown by 76mm to 4,709mm in length, by 16mm to 1,827mm in width and by 11mm to 1,440mm in height. The wheelbase has also been extended by 41mm to 2,851mm, plus 43mm added to the front track (1,587 mm) and 21mm to the rear track (1,604mm).
The Touring matches the nose of the new BMW 3 Series Saloon, and is headlined by a large BMW kidney grille, slim twin headlights and a jutting front apron. The two elements of the BMW kidney grille are framed by a single surround and split up by wide bars. The headlight units extend all the way up to the grille and this familiar look is further emphasised by a notch in the front apron that rises up into the headlight unit contour. Adaptive LED headlights with U-shaped daytime driving lights are standard.
BMW Laserlight featuring blue, L-shaped elements in the inner and outer light sources are optionally available.
Central to the fresh look alongside the long bonnet, short overhangs and long wheelbase is the extended roofline. Added to which, a character line climbing from the front side panel, along the doors and into the rear teams up with the rearwards descending roofline to create a more wedged profile.
The converging lines also dictate the contour of the Hofmeister kink (the familiar counter-swing at the trailing edge of the side window graphic). Roof rails are part of the standard specification for all models and finished in either Black Matte (SE Models) or Black High-gloss Shadow Line (Sport, M Sport and M Sport Plus Edition).
The rear window is around 20mm wider than on the outgoing model and now extends beyond the water run-off strips on either side of the boot opening. All of the light functions use LEDs as standard. Elsewhere, the tailpipes from the exhaust system (a dual-pipe system on all model variants) have a diameter of 80 or 90mm, depending on the engine fitted. The new BMW 3 Series Touring also comes as standard with a load sill cover in stainless steel.
From launch, SE and Sport customers can choose from two non-metallic colours and nine metallic shades. M Sport customers have a choice of one non-metallic and five metallic shades. The newly introduced M Sport Plus Edition is available in a choice of three exclusive colours – Dravit Grey, Tanzanite Blue and Oxide Grey.
The driver-focused cockpit design, with controls arranged to optimal ergonomic effect, helps the person behind the wheel to concentrate on the road ahead. The newly designed instrument cluster and Control Display form a large-surfaced, screen grouping, while the controls not included in these units are clustered into clearly structured function panels. In the centre of the instrument panel, the displays and buttons for the air conditioning integrated around the central air vents form a sharply designed unit, while the light functions are operated from a panel of buttons next to the steering wheel. The start/stop button for the engine is now positioned in a control panel in the centre console, where the gearshift lever or newly designed selector lever is joined by the iDrive Controller and the buttons for the Driving Experience Control switch unit and electromechanical parking brake.
The range of standard and optional interior trim elements available for the instrument panel and centre console has been replaced almost in full. SE and Sport models come with Black High Gloss trim, and M Sport customers have a choice of two aluminium trims as well as a selection of modern open pore wood trims. Customers choosing the M Sport Plus Edition benefit from an exclusive Aluminium Fabric high-gloss trim.
Three trim levels and a new Edition model for the UK
The new BMW 3 Series Touring comes in three trim levels: SE, Sport and M Sport. As well as a line-specific front and rear bumper design, the SE comes with exclusive light- alloy wheels in 17-inch or optional 18-inch formats, aluminium door sill strips and LED front foglamps. The SE model comes specified as standard with a restyled leather sport steering wheel with multifunction buttons and thumb rests.
Sport model includes BMW Individual High-gloss Shadow Line trim, plus kidney grille bars and trim elements for the air intakes and rear apron in High-gloss Black. The sporty exterior is enhanced with exclusive 18” V spoke light alloy wheels. Inside the Sport gets trim strips in High-gloss Black and heated sports seats in Vernasca leather.
M Sport model features large air intakes at the front end to combine with an equally distinctive design for the side skirts and rear apron. These elements are joined by BMW Individual High-gloss Shadow Line trim, kidney grille bars in High-gloss Black, air intake trim in High-gloss Black and a rear diffuser in Dark Shadow. Heated sports seats with Vernasca leather, an M leather steering wheel, an anthracite-coloured BMW Individual headliner and interior trim strips in Aluminium Tetragon are standard for the M Sport model.
From launch the new M Sport Plus Edition will be introduced exclusively for the UK market. This Edition features all of the content from the popular M Sport Plus package including sun protect glazing, Adaptive M Sport suspension, Extended BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line, M Seat Belts, M Sport Braking System (320d, 320d xDrive) and M Sport Differential (330i and 330d xDrive). In addition, the M Sport Plus Edition benefits from a choice of three exclusive BMW Individual exterior colours – Dravit Grey, Tanzanite Blue or Oxide Grey – along with black mirror caps, an exclusive jet black 19” M light Double spoke alloy wheel and exclusive Aluminium Fabric high-gloss interior trim. The M Sport Plus Edition is available on the 320i, 320d, 320d xDrive, 330i and 330d xDrive models.
Newly designed seats, more space in the front and rear
The 3 Series Touring features newly designed seats for the driver and front passenger, while the sports seats – standard on the Sport and M Sport models – provide an even greater range of adjustment. Both the standard and the sports seats can also be specified with electric adjustment including memory function. Vernasca leather upholstery is available as standard on Sport and M Sport models with a choice of four colours and special decorative quilting and seam patterns that vary according to the equipment line.
Shoulder room in the front has been increased while passengers in the rear benefit from more legroom, and all occupants now enjoy extra headroom over the outgoing car. The distance between the front and rear seats has been extended by 11mm and there is enough room in the rear seat unit for a row of three child seats, two of which can be locked into place using ISOFIX anchor points. Doing so is now easier, as the ISOFIX bars are positioned at the outer edges of the seats.
Automatic tailgate operation is once again included as standard on the new BMW 3 Series Touring. How far up the tailgate opens can be adjusted via the iDrive menu. The optional Comfort Access system allows hands-free opening and closing, too. The rear window opens separately, allowing smaller objects to be placed in the boot even if there isn’t enough room to open the tailgate. This handy opening mechanism for the rear window can also be operated using the radio remote control. The boot is up to 112mm wider than on the predecessor model, and its loading aperture is 30mm higher and up to 125mm wider in its upper section. The loading sill is slightly lower (at 616mm) and the step between it and the boot floor has been reduced in height from 35mm to 8mm – all of which makes it much easier to load large, heavy items of luggage. The optional anti-slip rails integrated into the boot floor are a new feature and they automatically extend when the tailgate is closed and prevent cargo from sliding around. The rubberised rails return to their original position once the engine has been switched off.
The flexible luggage compartment cover and the boot partition net can be detached separately from one another, together with the cases they pack away into, and securely transported, in specially designed compartments underneath the boot floor. Load capacity can be increased as required by flipping down the sections of the 40:20:40 split-folding rear backrest, either individually or as one. The backrest elements can also be released from the boot at the push of a button as an option. This electrically operated folding function is part of the Comfort package, which also includes the Anti- slip rails, Heated steering wheel, Extended Storage and Comfort Access.
The new BMW 3 Series Touring’s boot can hold 500 litres – five litres more than its predecessor – when all the seats are occupied, and directly usable primary load capacity is up by 32 litres. Boot capacity expands to offer a maximum capacity of 1,500 litres.
There is the additional option of a trailer coupling that extends and retracts again electrically, likewise using a button on the new-look control panel in the boot. The maximum trailer load is 1,600kg for the new BMW 320i Touring and 1,800kg for all other model variants.
Panoramic glass roof and ambient lighting increase light and atmosphere
The panoramic glass roof is part of the Premium Package and is made up of a two-part glass structure to create a transparent surface of around 0.8 square metres, and an electrically operated interior blind improves headroom in the rear.
Interior ambient lighting is standard in all new BMW 3 Series Touring models – a total of six light colours and 11 combinations of brightness, light distribution and colour scheme can be selected for all light sources in the interior from the iDrive menu. The Dynamic interior light function offers pulsating light signals as an extra safety feature on the inner panelling of any doors that are open when the engine is running, while pulses of light are triggered in the instrument panel by incoming phone calls. Another of the ambient lighting’s functions is the Welcome Light Carpet, which illuminates the approach to the doors when they are unlocked using the central locking or when a door is opened.
Adaptive LED headlights with BMW Laserlight
The standard Adaptive LED headlights with extended features include full LED low beam, high beam and eyebrow direction indicators and include a dynamic cornering light function and feature U-shaped LED units in the inner and outer headlights as daytime driving lights. The LED foglamps are horizontal and are integrated into the outer air intakes.
Customers choosing the Visibility Package will benefit from BMW Laserlight, which offer variable illumination of the road ahead and a non-dazzling high beam. With this system, the high beam function is enhanced using a BMW Laserlight spotlight with Selective Beam. As a result, the high-beam range is extended to around 530 metres, almost double that of the full-LED headlights. The High Beam Assistant (also part of the package) helps to prevent dazzling of oncoming traffic or road users travelling ahead.
Climate control, A-pillars, windscreen, doors and tailgate optimise acoustic properties
The new BMW 3 Series Touring comes as standard with a rain sensor, automatic headlight activation, a hands-free phone system and automatic three-zone climate control which features independent temperature and ventilation settings for the driver, front passenger and the rear passenger compartment.
Modifications to the car’s body to divert wind noise to good effect give a further boost to acoustic comfort, while the structural foam used to fill the A-pillars lessens the amount of airborne sound that reaches the interior. Acoustic glass for the windscreen and front side windows is also part of the standard specification.
Bespoke entertainment and sound
The BMW Live Cockpit with Professional radio fitted as standard in the new BMW 3 Series Touring features six speakers with an output of 100 watts. The harman/kardon surround sound system, complete with 16 speakers and a digital seven-channel amplifier delivering 464 watts of audio power is available as a single option, or as part of the Technology package.
The 3 Series Touring uses a range of petrol and diesel engines with either four or six cylinders and BMW TwinPower Turbo in the petrol versions. The BMW 320d Touring and BMW 318d Touring models are mated to the latest-generation six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with the most recent version of the eight-speed Steptronic transmission (standard on the other model variants) available as an option. The intelligent all-wheel-drive system is standard on the range-topping BMW M340i xDrive Touring and available as an option on the 330d xDrive and 320d xDrive models.