There are hefty discounts available to private buyers on most 3 Series Touring models, as well as attractive PCP finance offers. The model’s resale values are also very good so if you’re planning on selling yours on after three years, it should return a decent proportion of its purchase price.
Every version, including even the four-wheel-drive models, boasts competitive government fuel economy and CO2 emissions figures. The 320d ED is the most impressive in this respect, offering particularly low CO2 emissions even with an automatic gearbox fitted. Factor in attractive leasing deals and it’s easy to see why it is so attractive to business users.
Compared with the Skoda Superb Estate, the BMW 3 Series Touring looks expensive but against its fellow premium rivals it’s competitive, at least in terms of ownership costs. This applies to the high-powered petrol models, as well.
A fixed-priced servicing package is available that covers the Touring for up to five years or 50,000 miles. It’s a worthwhile option that’s fairly priced against rival manufacturers’ packages that can cost several hundred pounds more.
BMW 3 Series Touring equipment
Non-premium alternatives offer more
The Touring’s level of standard equipment compares well with premium rivals’ but the Skoda Superb Estate offers much more as standard.
That said, even in entry-level SE trim the Touring comes with sat-nav (it’s an extra on the Audi A4), dual-zone climate and cruise controls, rear parking sensors, 17in alloy wheels, Bluetooth, a DAB radio, and automatic lights and wipers.
ED Plus, our preferred trim, adds leather and heated front seats, and looks generously equipped against the equivalent Audi A4 Avant, which doesn’t have leather. ED Sport adds 17in wheels and sport seats.
There are a host of optional extras available with the 3 Series Touring. They include the latest technologies such as adaptive LED headlights and a driver’s head-up display, along with trim enhancements such as wood, aluminium and carbon interior finishes.
BMW 3 Series Touring reliability
Fair to middling
Our latest customer satisfaction survey highlighted a few issues with the 3 Series Touring including brake shudder, electrical gremlins, and heater and air-conditioning gripes.
As a brand, BMW achieved a pretty lowly ranking in our most recent reliability survey. That said, Audi, Jaguar and Mercedes performed slightly worse. VW outranked them all, with a mid-table position.
The 3 Series Touring comes with a decent manufacturer’s warranty covering the first three years of its life with no mileage restriction. Its main rivals cover their cars for only the first 60,000 miles and three years.
It is possible to extend the warranty by a further two years for a sum that is roughly in line with packages from rival manufacturers.
BMW 3 Series Touring safety & security
Not as well protected as some rivals
In 2012 Euro NCAP awarded the BMW 3 Series saloon its maximum five-star rating. It hasn’t tested the Touring. Since 2012 the Euro NCAP tests have become tougher, so it can’t be assumed that were the Touring to be tested today, it would do as well.
The model has six airbags as standard, but these don’t include a driver’s knee bag, which rivals such as the VW Passat have as standard. City braking, which comes as standard on many of the Touring’s rivals, is extra, too.
Thatcham, the security research company, has awarded the BMW 3 Series its maximum five stars for resisting theft, and four stars for withstanding being broken into – the same as the model’s rivals. The BMW comes with a full alarm and immobiliser as standard.
Comes with all the essentials such as sat-nav, reversing sensors, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, DAB radio and 17in alloy wheels, but you have to pay extra for luxuries such as leather seats. Three-way split-folding rear seats are standard on all models, as is a bootlid with a rear window that opens independently for easy access in tight areas.
Our pick ED Plus
This is our favourite trim because you get all the equipment of the SE but with added luxuries such as heated front seats and leather trim. Swaps the SE’s 17in wheels for 16in alloys with low-rolling-resistance tyres to aid efficiency.
Like the ED Plus comes with features including sat-nav, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control and a DAB radio, as well as leather trim and heated front seats. Also has a sportier look and feel, thanks to 17in wheels, sporty-looking bumpers and sports seats.
Like the ED Sport, the standard Sport model comes with 17in wheels and sportier bumpers and trims. Inside, there are sports seats and a sport multi-function steering wheel, but not the leather trim or heated seats of the ED Sport.
Offers a more luxurious feel with added chrome highlights inside and out, plus wood instead of metal trim on the dashboard. Luxury models also add leather seats with contrasting stitching and larger 18in alloys.
M Sport models come with even more aggressive-looking bumpers and sill extensions, M Sport 18in alloy wheels and lowered sports suspension. Inside are a leather steering wheel and sports seats, along with metal dashboard trim finishes.
The 3-series is the most sought-after small executive saloon thanks to its image, driving characteristics and performance. The rear seats are a bit of a squeeze for two adults and the boot is not as big as some rivals'. Base models lack some minor exec es