Interior layout

BMW 3 Series Touring review

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BMW 3 Series Touring
Review continues below...
26 Jan 2016 15:38 | Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 15:01

In this review

Interior layout

The interior layout, fit and finish

BMW 3 Series estate driving position

All 3 Series Tourings come with a height-adjustable driver’s seat and a reach-adjustable steering wheel. You have to pay extra if you want lumbar adjustment or electric seats, even on more expensive trims. M Sport models come with sports seats that have added side support to help hold you in securely when cornering. On the whole, it’s a good set-up, apart from the annoyingly offset pedals in the manual cars.

The dashboard ergonomics work very well, partly helped by the centre console being angled towards the driver. All the buttons are within reach, and their size and clear labelling make them easy to find when you’re on the move.

BMW 3 Series Touring

BMW 3 Series estate visibility

It’s easy to see out of the front of the 3 Series Touring, thanks to its relatively narrow windscreen pillars, while the door mirrors give a good view of what’s drawing up alongside you. Blindspot warning and a head-up display are options that can help keep your eyes on the road.

The over-the-shoulder view is hampered by the car’s thick rear pillars, but all 3 Series Tourings come with rear parking sensors, so this isn’t such a problem. You can also add front parking sensors, a surround-view camera and a reversing camera to make things even easier.

Automatic lights and wipers are standard, and so too are LED headlights for better visibility at night.

The standard rear headrests obscure much of the rearward view when in position, so folding rear headrests are a cheap option that you should add.

BMW 3 Series Touring

BMW 3 Series estate infotainment

BMW was the first car maker to amalgamate all of its models’ infotainment functions into a series of on-screen menus operated via a rotary controller on the centre console, and this iDrive system remains the best. Only Audi’s MMI system comes close, while the awkward touchpad system in Mercedes-Benz cars and the touchscreen in the Skoda Superb Estate are trickier to use on the move.

All 3 Series Tourings come with Bluetooth and a DAB radio, plus an SOS emergency call feature. BMW Business versions have a sat-nav with a 6.5in screen mounted high on the dashboard (sat-nav costs extra on an entry-level A4 Avant) or you can upgrade to the BMW Professional system. This comes with a larger 8.8in screen, online services and live traffic information.

Other options include voice activation, a digital TV tuner and a more powerful Harman Kardon audio system.

BMW 3 Series Touring

BMW 3 Series estate build quality

Throughout the 3 Series Touring’s interior, BMW uses a mix of generally high-quality materials. The dashboard features soft-feel plastics, gloss black finishes on the centre console and chrome highlights around the air vents. Harsher plastics are reserved for less obvious places. It looks classy and feels well constructed, while the switchgear feels nicely damped, too.

The interior feels more high-end than that of the Jaguar XE and even the Mercedes C-Class, which looks smart but isn’t quite as solid to the touch. However, the A4’s top-notch interior just beats it.

BMW also offers a so-called Individual range, bringing more personalisation options including higher-grade leathers and interior trims for an additional cost.

 

BMW 3 Series Touring
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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