Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
The BMW 3 Series Touring has a tad more leg room up front than the Audi A4 Avant. There's not a huge difference, but it might be a deciding factor if you’re particularly long-legged. Head room shouldn't be a worry even if you’re tall, and the generous interior width means there’s no risk of rubbing elbows with your passenger.
Storage space in the 3 Series Touring is reasonable. There’s a useful cubby under the centre armrest that has a USB-C socket inside, as well as partitioned door bins that help prevent loose items rolling around.
The folding process can be made even easier if you opt for the electric backrest release, which replaces the levers with a couple of small buttons on the inside of the boot. Rivals such as the Mercedes C Class Estate offer a similar feature.
The 3 Series Touring has a reasonable boot that's roughly on a par with the A4 Avant's, but smaller than the Volvo V60's. Just bear in mind that while both the Avant and Touring can swallow seven carry-on suitcases, the Touring is rather narrow between the rear wheel arches. Not only is that problematic for those Ikea runs, but even getting a bike back there can be troublesome.
What might sway you in favour of the Touring, though, is that its rear window can open independently of the tailgate. This handy feature allows you to stow light items, such as shopping bags, without opening the entire tailgate. If the reason you're choosing an estate is that you want the biggest boot possible, consider the cheaper Skoda Superb Estate.