Cost & verdict

BMW 3 Series Touring review

Manufacturer price from:£28,800
What Car? Target Price:£26,436
Search new deals
BMW 3 Series Touring
Review continues below...
26 Jan 2016 15:38 | Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 15:01

In this review

Cost & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

BMW 3 Series estate running costs

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 official fuel economy and CO2 emissions figures. The 320d ED is the most impressive in this respect, offering a particularly low CO2 output even with an automatic gearbox fitted. Factor in attractive leasing deals and it’s easy to see why it is a great choice for business users.

Compared with the Skoda Superb Estate, the 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 3 Series 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

BMW 3 Series estate equipment

The 3 Series Touring’s level of standard equipment compares well with that of premium rivals, but the Superb Estate offers much more as standard.

That said, even in entry-level SE trim, the 3 Series Touring comes with sat-nav (it’s an extra on the Audi A4 Avant), 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 A4, which doesn’t have leather. ED Sport features 17in wheels and sports seats.

M Sport models get larger 18in alloy wheels, more aggressive exterior styling touches and adaptive dampers as standard, while M Sport Shadow Edition cars add 19in wheels and black exterior accents. We’d say they’re both too expensive to recommend, though.

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

BMW 3 Series estate reliability

In our latest reliability survey, BMW managed 17th place out of 32 manufacturers, while the 3 Series placed fourth out of 14 in the executive car class.

The 3 Series Touring comes with a decent manufacturer’s warranty covering the first three years of its life with no mileage restriction. While its main rivals also offer three years, they tend to cover only the first 60,000 miles.

It is possible to extend the warranty by a further two years for a sum that is roughly in line with packages from other manufacturers.

BMW 3 Series Touring

BMW 3 Series estate safety and security

In 2012, Euro NCAP awarded the 3 Series saloon its maximum five-star rating. It hasn’t tested the Touring model. However, since 2012, the Euro NCAP tests have become tougher, so it can’t be assumed that were the car be tested today, it would do quite so well.

The 3 Series Touring has six airbags as standard, but not a driver’s knee airbag that rivals such as the Volkswagen Passat have as standard. Automatic emergency braking, which comes as standard on many of rivals, is extra as well.

Thatcham Research, the security research company, has awarded the 3 Series its maximum five stars for resisting theft and four stars for withstanding being broken into – the same as its rivals. The car comes with a full alarm and immobiliser as standard.

 

BMW 3 Series Touring
open the gallery16 Images

Verdict

Pick the right options, and this is the finest car of its type

  • Fun handling
  • Quality interior
  • Excellent infotainment
  • Four-cylinder diesels sound gruff
  • There are bigger and better-value estates
  • Offset pedals in the manual version
There are 26 trims available for the 3 Series estate. Click to see details.See all versions
SE
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...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£26,436
Average Saving £2,364
View Trim
Sport
Like 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...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£26,711
Average Saving £2,389
View Trim
SE
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...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£28,788
Average Saving £2,582
View Trim
SE
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...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£28,851
Average Saving £2,559
View Trim
Sport
Like 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...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£29,062
Average Saving £2,608
View Trim
Sport
Like 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...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£29,125
Average Saving £2,585
View Trim
SE
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...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£30,014
Average Saving £2,696
View Trim
Sport
Like 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...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£30,288
Average Saving £2,722
View Trim
M Sport
M Sport models come with even more aggressive-looking bumpers and sill extensions, M Sport 18in alloy wheels and lowered adaptive sports suspension. Inside are a leather steering wheel and sports s...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£30,864
Average Saving £2,746
View Trim
SE
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...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£31,385
Average Saving £2,795
View Trim
Sport
Like 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...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£31,660
Average Saving £2,820
View Trim
OUR PICK
EfficientDynamics Plus
This is our favourite trim because you get all the equipment of SE but with added luxuries such as heated front seats and leather trim. Swaps the SE’s 17in wheels for 16in ones with low-rolling-res...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£31,707
Average Saving £2,853
View Trim
M Sport
M Sport models come with even more aggressive-looking bumpers and sill extensions, M Sport 18in alloy wheels and lowered adaptive sports suspension. Inside are a leather steering wheel and sports s...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£32,027
Average Saving £2,883
View Trim
EfficientDynamics Sport
Like the ED Plus, it 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...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£32,164
Average Saving £2,896
View Trim
M Sport Shadow Edition
M Sport Shadow Edition cars add 19in alloy wheels and black exterior accents to the M Sport trim’s list, but we’d say it’s too expensive to recommend...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£32,602
Average Saving £2,908
View Trim
M Sport
M Sport models come with even more aggressive-looking bumpers and sill extensions, M Sport 18in alloy wheels and lowered adaptive sports suspension. Inside are a leather steering wheel and sports s...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£33,398
Average Saving £2,982
View Trim
M Sport Shadow Edition
M Sport Shadow Edition cars add 19in alloy wheels and black exterior accents to the M Sport trim’s list, but we’d say it’s too expensive to recommend...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£33,765
Average Saving £3,045
View Trim
M Sport Shadow Edition
M Sport Shadow Edition cars add 19in alloy wheels and black exterior accents to the M Sport trim’s list, but we’d say it’s too expensive to recommend...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£35,137
Average Saving £3,143
View Trim
M Sport
M Sport models come with even more aggressive-looking bumpers and sill extensions, M Sport 18in alloy wheels and lowered adaptive sports suspension. Inside are a leather steering wheel and sports s...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£35,252
Average Saving £3,183
View Trim
M Sport Shadow Edition
M Sport Shadow Edition cars add 19in alloy wheels and black exterior accents to the M Sport trim’s list, but we’d say it’s too expensive to recommend...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£36,991
Average Saving £3,344
View Trim
M Sport
M Sport models come with even more aggressive-looking bumpers and sill extensions, M Sport 18in alloy wheels and lowered adaptive sports suspension. Inside are a leather steering wheel and sports s...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£38,605
Average Saving £3,465
View Trim
M Sport Shadow Edition
M Sport Shadow Edition cars add 19in alloy wheels and black exterior accents to the M Sport trim’s list, but we’d say it’s too expensive to recommend...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£40,343
Average Saving £3,627
View Trim
M Sport
M Sport models come with even more aggressive-looking bumpers and sill extensions, M Sport 18in alloy wheels and lowered adaptive sports suspension. Inside are a leather steering wheel and sports s...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£40,621
Average Saving £3,624
View Trim
M Sport
M Sport models come with even more aggressive-looking bumpers and sill extensions, M Sport 18in alloy wheels and lowered adaptive sports suspension. Inside are a leather steering wheel and sports s...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£41,381
Average Saving £3,694
View Trim
M Sport Shadow Edition
M Sport Shadow Edition cars add 19in alloy wheels and black exterior accents to the M Sport trim’s list, but we’d say it’s too expensive to recommend...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£42,360
Average Saving £3,785
View Trim
M Sport Shadow Edition
M Sport Shadow Edition cars add 19in alloy wheels and black exterior accents to the M Sport trim’s list, but we’d say it’s too expensive to recommend...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£43,119
Average Saving £3,856
View Trim