The BMW 3 Series Touring has been one of our favourite estates for many years and remains highly recommendable, even up against newer rivals such as the Audi A4 Avant and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate. It’s worth remembering, though, that if you can live without a prestige badge, the Volkswagen Passat and Skoda Superb Estates are more spacious and substantially cheaper – particularly the Skoda – yet don’t feel like budget cars.
One of the 3 Series Touring’s key attributes is the way it drives. Its traditional rear-wheel drive underpinnings offer a great driving experience, although now you can also buy xDrive versions with four-wheel drive. You’ll also find the 3 Series offers quality and practicality at a price that’s generally on a par with the model’s premium rivals.
The range of trims includes SE, ED Plus, ED Sport, Sport, Luxury and M Sport, paired with various petrol and diesel engine options that offer excellent performance and competitive emissions. The best version is the 320d SE. It offers a great blend of value, performance and reasonable running costs. The ED is a little slower, but it’s still great to drive, and with emissions as low as 104g/km it’s ideal for company car buyers.