How do you make the best, better?
If youre BMW, you could try turning your saloon car into an estate, as BMW has done for years with its 3-Series and 5-Series Touring models.
Latest to join the stable is the Touring version of BMWs new 3-Series, a car already decimating the competition in road tests. With more elegant lines and increased practicality, the Touring might become all the car youll ever need.
BMW is claiming biggest-in-class load capacity, an area in which previous Tourings have fallen a little short next to rivals. The new car has 35 litres more boot space than the old Touring, taking the total to 495 litres with the rear seats in place. That rises to a massive 1,500 litres with the seats folded forward.
A low loading lip and wider opening make loading the 3-Series Touring easier than ever too. Theres also a wealth of storage spaces and cubby holes inside the car, and the rear seats have a 40:20:40 split for awkward loads. Got your hands full? Not a problem with Tourings featuring the Smart Opener option. Part of the Comfort Access option, Smart Opener allows you to swish a foot beneath the rear bumper to open the tailgate automatically.
Naturally, it shares all the saloons virtues too. BMW says the cars are identical from the B-pillar forwards, so the Touring shares the saloons aggressive front end, inspired by BMWs i8 concept car.
Engine choices vary between different flavours of 2.0-litre turbodiesels and turbocharged petrols, with up to 61.4 mpg available from the 8-speed automatic 320d, and an output of 245 horsepower from the latter in 328i spec.
Even more powerful is the 330d. Three litres and six cylinders in capacity, it produces 258 horsepower and still manages 55.4 mpg combined. Less powerful and more frugal petrols and diesels will be available later in the year.
On sale: September
Price: From 30,400 for the 328i, 29,380 for the 320d and 34,700 for the 330d
Once the full range of 3-Series Tourings hit the road therell be a version to suit virtually everyone, from ultra-frugal 316d models to hugely quick turbocharged petrols.
Throw in Sport, Modern and Luxury trim lines, M Sport options and intelligent ConnectedDrive infotainment systems and its hard to imagine a more complete vehicle.
Coming to a company car park near you soon
Check out our full guide to the excellent new BMW 3-Series Saloon. With reviews, user reviews, videos, photos and stats.