BMW 3 Series Touring (2015-2019) review
The BMW 3 Series Touring is a fun-to-drive estate car with a well-built interior and a wide range of engine options but alternatives look nicer inside and have bigger boots.
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What's not so good
BMW 3 Series Touring (2015-2019): what would you like to read next?
The BMW 3 Series Touring is a more practical version of the 3 Series executive saloon and is more fun to drive than the likes of the Audi A4 Avant and the Mercedes C-Class Estate.
The current BMW 3 Series Touring is about to be replaced by an all-new model, but it still looks pretty smart on the outside. More affordable Sport models look a little tame but go for a high-spec M Sport model and this practical estate looks much more purposeful than the angular Audi A4 Avant and swoopy Mercedes C-Class Estate.
Step inside, however, and the BMW 3 Series Touring starts to show its age. Sure, everything’s laid out nice and simply and all its various plastic and metal-effect trims feel nice and solid, but it’s nowhere near as memorable as the C-Class Estate’s elegant interior.
You don’t get as much high-tech kit as in the latest 3 Series saloon, either. That being said, sat nav comes as standard and its iDrive infotainment system is a doddle to use.
You’ll find the BMW 3 Series Touring feels sportier to sit in than alternatives from Audi and Mercedes and you get just as much adjustment to help you get comfy. There’s enough space to ferry a couple of tall adults in the back too, but three will find the 3 Series Touring a little cramped. Their luggage will fit in the boot at least, if not quite as comfortably as in the roomier Audi A4 Avant.
You’ll want to consider the BMW 3 Series Touring if you’re looking for a practical family estate car yet want something that’s still good fun to drive.
At least you’ll have more fun hauling rubbish to the tip in the BMW 3 Series Touring than in the Audi. It feels more nimble in the corners – even without the optional adaptive suspension fitted – and the standard steering setup gives you a great idea of what the front wheels are up to on twisty roads.
The optional variable steering dulls the experience somewhat but it does make the BMW 3 Series Touring slightly easier to drive around town. That being said, even without it you won’t find inner-city journeys all that stressful thanks to the excellent visibility you get through the BMW’s large windows.
It’s pretty relaxing to drive for long periods, too – especially if you go for the quiet and economical 2-litre diesel engine. There’s also a range of cheaper petrol engines which are a better bet if you do lots of short journeys and a couple of faster 3.0-litre six-cylinder engines if you want something sportier.
You can also swap out the BMW 3 Series Touring’s standard six-speed manual gearbox for a super-smooth automatic. It’s not particularly expensive and helps make it especially easy to drive in heavy traffic.
In fact, there are plenty of optional extras for the BMW 3 Series Touring, which can push the price up quite a bit. It’s still an excellent premium estate car, however – especially if you’re looking for something that’s practical and good fun to drive.