Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
Broadly speaking, the BMW 3 Series Touring is priced between the slightly cheaper Audi A4 Avant and the slightly more expensive Mercedes C-Class Estate and Volvo V60. Resale values are quite strong by class standards, and that bodes well if you’re looking to buy one using PCP finance.
If you’re a company car driver, you should look at the 330e plug-in hybrid; its low CO2 emissions keep it in the lower benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax bands. To get the best economy out of the 330e you need to keep the battery charged – otherwise you’re basically running on its 2.0-litre petrol engine alone. The battery takes 6 hours to charge from empty if you plug into a regular domestic three-pin socket, which falls to an official 3hrs 36min if you plug into a proper electric car charging point using the optional type 2 lead.
People clearly appreciate really sporty looks, as most BMW buyers opt for the even more aggressive-looking M Sport trim. You get a body-kit, lighter M alloy wheels, blacked-out exterior detailing and an M-specific steering wheel, but the really beneficial upgrades are the fantastic digital instruments and larger 10.3in infotainment screen.
If you go for M Sport trim, as we suggest you do, make sure you add the optional M Sport Plus Pro package for a more comfortable ride (that and the adaptive suspension that comes with it are standard-fit on the range-topping M340i Touring and M340d Touring).