Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The BMW Alpina B3 Touring is powered by the 3.0-litre petrol engine in the M340i, with the power output increased by Alpina from 369bhp to 456bhp. That gives the car a 0.62mph time of 3.9sec, beating the Audi RS4 Avant and matching the BMW M3 saloon.
The B3 hasn’t just been tuned up for the sake of reaching those headline figures, though. The smooth power delivery and the engine’s flexibility allows you to cover ground effortlessly by using the engine’s mid-range muscle. It’ll rev keenly all the way to the redline, accompanied by an exhaust note that’s loud enough without being antisocial.
The brakes are effective at shedding speed, although the initial response from the pedal can be a little too sharp in low-speed traffic. Unless you’re quite delicate with the pedal, it can be a little tricky to stop smoothly.
The B3’s ride is a bit firmer than the M340i it’s based on and tends to bounce occupants around over bigger potholes with sharp ridges, but the sports suspension rounds off most bumps nicely.
There's some vibration through the steering wheel at low speeds and road noise on motorways, but wind noise is minimal and refinement levels are generally high, making the B3 an accomplished long-distance cruiser.