BMW 3 Series Touring Review 2024

BMW 3 Series Touring At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
Practical, comfortable and brilliant to drive, the BMW 3 Series Touring is one of the best premium family estate cars.

+Strong engine line-up. More powerful models are guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Handles very well. Interior quality is first class.

-It's not cheap to buy new or used. Hard ride quality on M Sport models.

New prices start from £37,865
Insurance Groups are between 24–42
On average it achieves 0% of the official MPG figure

Combining the space of a family estate with the fun of a sports saloon, the BMW 3 Series Touring is a car that offers most things to most people. Practical, stylish and rewarding to drive, we rate it as one of the best in the premium estate car class.

The compact executive estate class is highly competitive. Both the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate and Audi A4 Avant are excellent cars but we think the BMW 3 Series Touring is quite possibly the best of the bunch - especially now it's been brought bang up to date with sharper looks and a new infotainment system.

The 3 Series Touring has a comprehensive choice of petrol and diesel engines, along with an impressive petrol plug-in hybrid that's designed for company car drivers with low CO2 emissions and an electric range of up to 38 miles. 

The 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines offer a good balance between performance and running costs. The 320i is the best of the petrols, developing 184PS and returning up to 42mpg. If you need a diesel, you should aim for the 320d with 190PS (official fuel economy peaks at 58.9mpg). 

If you want to inject some fun into your daily commute then the 3 Series Touring is offered with one of the best six-cylinder diesel engines in the business. The flagship BMW M340d packs 340PS and 700Nm of torque, taking it to 62mph in just 4.6 seconds. Figures don't quite do it justice, though - it's remarkable how much fun to drive it is for a diesel estate car.

If you buy a regular 3 Series Touring then you will most likely opt for one of the standard rear-wheel drive models. But on-demand four-wheel drive (called xDrive in BMW speak) is available. The M340i and M340d both come with xDrive as standard.

All versions of the BMW 3 Series Touring get a first-class interior, filled with lots of plush and soft-touch materials. The new navigation system that was introduced in 2022 looks ultra-modern yet is easy to use, while you still get a rotary iDrive controller. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard now, too, which means you can mirror apps from your phone onto the car's display.

The 3 Series Touring is one of the most spacious cars in the compact executive estate class. As a result, two large adults can fit in the rear without having to ask those in the front to slide their seats forward. 

The boot is a good size too, with 500 litres on offer. Admittedly, it's a smudge short on the 505 litres you get in the Audi A4 Avant but compared to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate (460 litres) the 3 Series Touring is more than practical enough. 

As a premium all-rounder, the 3 Series Touring estate is BMW at its very best. Opt for one of the four-cylinder versions and you’ll get a fun and efficient family car that’ll match its pricer premium rivals for comfort, luxury and in-car technology. It’s one of our favourite estate cars. 

Ask Honest John

What performance estate should I buy?

"I am a 73 year old petrol head. I have a 2016 BMW 520 SE Touring and a 2011 Porsche Boxster 2.9. They are both great cars and fulfil all my needs. However, I am downsizing and really only need one car. Is there one car, used or new, that could deliver some or all of the above qualities of both cars? I am a big fan of the 5 & 3 Series Touring, so preferably an estate. I am not a fan of SUV’s and not yet convinced of electric. My budget would come from the sale of the above plus £35k."
We'd recommend a BMW M340i Touring. It's a fast BMW 3 Series estate that's great to drive and has a superb cabin - you can't really beat it as an all-rounder. They're fairly rare and used prices are strong - you'll need around £60k for a new one. You could also look at the Audi RS4 Avant as an alternative.
Answered by Andrew Brady

I want one last great diesel estate car. What would you recommend as a simple option?

"I drive 25,000 business miles per year and do not think battery-electric would be suitable for my next vehicle. I recently saw an advert for the advanced technology on an Audi diesel and it frightened me the number of systems all capable of requiring a £1000 repair bills at some point in their life and all superfluous to a steady motorway cruising. What mechanically-simple, comfortable, diesel estate car would you recommend as the last best in breed diesel?"
All diesels are becoming increasingly complicated in order to meet stringent emission regulations. You're not going to find a simple modern diesel but, for your mileage, I wouldn't be too concerned. Problems occur when people use diesels for regular short journeys and the diesel particulate filter (DPF) becomes blocked. For 25k miles a year (presumably mainly on the motorway), a modern diesel will suit your needs well and should be very dependable. A Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate or BMW 3 Series Touring would be a lovely choice for 25k miles a year. Also consider a Volvo V90 as a comfortable, slightly left-field choice.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Is there any harm in me getting intermittent, smaller services done somewhere other than the main dealer?

"I've bought a 2019 BMW 320d Touring with an auto transmission. This is now a 1-year-old car and it has covered 10,000 miles. When I bought it from the BMW dealer, I asked about getting an oil change carried out on it. They replied (of course) that the onboard service indicator computer was indicating that it is not due for a service yet - the computer states that the service is due in 9000 miles. I know that you have for a long time recommended carrying out an annual oil change every 10,000 miles so I booked the car in for an oil change service at my local garage (not my local BMW dealer). I plan to get the 20,000-mile service carried out by the main BMW dealer, but to continuing to use the local (non-franchise garage) for intermittent/annual oil changes. Are you still recommending an annual / 10,000-mile oil change on such cars with extended service/long-life oil? Do you see any problems with me carrying out this intermittent oil change at my local garage and then the big/every other service at the BMW dealership?"
Using the car's service indicator as a guide will keep the warranty valid but there's certainly no harm in being cautious with oil changes - particularly if you're planning to keep the car a long time. Make sure your local garage uses approved parts (i.e. the correct oil and filter) but, otherwise, your approach sounds a sensible one.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What should I replace my old Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate with?

"My Mercedes-Benz E270 CDI Estate is still going strong with 275,000 miles on the clock since 2003. When the time comes to replace it I will need less load space and also expect a reduction in annual mileage. However, I still prefer an estate and would like to maintain the spaciousness and comfort for me as driver. My wife finds it a big old barge to drive so need to find something that she feels okay with. I am not wedded to a particular marque or bothered about buying new. Any suggestions would be appreciated. "
It sounds like your E-Class has provided excellent service. How about something still premium but a little smaller, like a Mercedes-Benz C-Class or BMW 3 Series Touring? If you're not fussed about the badge, we'd recommend a Skoda Superb.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a BMW 3 Series Touring cost?