BMW 3 Series Touring review

Category: Estate car

Section: Performance & drive

BMW 3 Series Touring 2021 rear tracking
  • BMW 3 Series Touring 2021 front tracking
  • BMW 3 Series Touring 2021 rear tracking
  • BMW 3 Series Touring 2021 interior dashboard
  • BMW 3 Series Touring 2021 RHD boot open
  • BMW 3 Series Touring Across Front Seats
  • BMW 3 Series Touring 2021 RHD infotainment
  • BMW 3 Series Touring 2021 right static
  • BMW 3 Series Touring 2021 front right tracking
  • BMW 3 Series Touring 2021 rear right tracking
  • BMW 3 Series Touring 2021 front right static
  • BMW 3 Series Touring 2021 rear right static
  • BMW 3 Series Touring 2021 front tracking
  • BMW 3 Series Touring 2021 rear tracking
  • BMW 3 Series Touring 2021 interior dashboard
  • BMW 3 Series Touring 2021 RHD boot open
  • BMW 3 Series Touring Across Front Seats
  • BMW 3 Series Touring 2021 RHD infotainment
  • BMW 3 Series Touring 2021 right static
  • BMW 3 Series Touring 2021 front right tracking
  • BMW 3 Series Touring 2021 rear right tracking
  • BMW 3 Series Touring 2021 front right static
  • BMW 3 Series Touring 2021 rear right static
What Car?’s 3 Series deals
Nearly new deals
From £32,500
In this section:
  • Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
  • Suspension and ride comfort
  • Handling
  • Noise and vibration

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

Diesel has proven a popular BMW 3 Series Touring choice over the years, and deservedly so. It’s tempting to plump for the 282bhp 3.0-litre 330d – with a 0-62mph time of 5.5sec (5.2 in four-wheel drive xDrive form), it's certainly quick. However, our favourite diesel engine is actually the cheaper 320d. This 187bhp 2.0-litre diesel is more than nippy enough, hitting 62mph from a standstill in just over seven seconds. There’s also an entry-level 148bhp 318d, but you have to work it quite hard to make spirited progress. 

If you’re not planning on doing massive miles, however, we’d point you in the direction of the truly fantastic 181bhp 320i. This petrol engine is perky enough for most situations, including overtaking on country roads, and its rev-happy nature sits well with the 3 Series Touring’s sporty character. If you need some extra punch, then there’s the more powerful 255bhp 330i, but once you get to that elevated price point, we’d recommend you take a look at the 330e. This plug-in hybrid has similarly brisk performance to the 330i but adds a real-world electric-only range of around 30 miles.

Suspension and ride comfort

How smoothly the 3 Series Touring rides depends on which suspension set-up you choose: the standard system, stiffer M Sport or M Sport adaptive suspension. We’ve yet to sample a 3 Series Touring on its standard steel springs but, if the saloon is anything to go by, it should offer a good balance between comfort and control. 

M Sport models have stiffer M Sport suspension, with which you definitely feel every bump as it passes beneath the car. Still, while the ride it provides is definitely on the firm side, body movements are neatly controlled so there's no unwanted body bounce.