BMW 3 Series Touring (2012 – 2019) Review

BMW 3 Series Touring (2012 – 2019) At A Glance

More grown-up 3 Series. Fine balance on the road. Fantastic diesel engines.

Diesel engine stop/start system can be gruff. Beginning to feel and look old inside and out. A lot of safety equipment is on the options list.

Insurance Groups are between 18–43
On average it achieves 83% of the official MPG figure

As ubiquitous as your old chap’s Cavalier or Sierra estate car was when you were growing up, BMW’s premium 3 Series Tourer is a volume player today.

That’s sales we’re talking about, as while the 3 Series Touring is clearly an estate, you’ll find larger load-carriers for the money BMW asks for it, but that’s done little to dent its success.

Or its appeal, the 3 Series is an aspirational model for one and all, it's the car that many will pester their fleet managers for, thanks to its combination of that premium badge and its appealing driving characteristics. When it works out around the same to run over a typical period compared to mainstream rivals thanks to good retained values it’s not difficult to see why it’s become so popular.

The Touring brings a bit of respectability to the 3 Series, its nod to practicality making it feel a little more grown-up than its saloon relations. You’ll be hard pushed to notice any appreciable difference on how it drives compared to the saloon, so there’s no real penalty to pay, and the Touring is as sharp to look at as it is to drive.

Dynamics - and the engines powering it - have always been a pull for the BMW. More than its Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class rivals, the focus with the 3 Series has always been how it drives. It remains the benchmark car in the class particularly in regards to its steering feel, grip and the pleasure of just driving it.

There’s plenty of choice, too, with trim levels starting a SE, ED Plus, Sport, ED Sport, M Sport and M Sport Shadow edition. Those EDs stand for Efficient Dynamics, models that have been further honed to eke every last mile out of a drop of fuel, and save on CO2 for the 3’s sizeable fleet audience.

M Sport trim brings more overt looks. And all come with decent, if not spectacular when compared to mainstream rivals, levels of equipment. You get sat nav, DAB and Bluetooth telephone connection in all, plus there’s plenty of opportunity to add more equipment via the options list.

 The engine line up retains BMW’s familiar badging, even if what’s under the bonnet might differ from what you might expect. The base 318i is a turbocharged 3-cylinder 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol, the 320i being a turbo 2.0-litre unit, the 330i being the same but with more power. The only six-cylinder petrol is the 340i, which has an in-line 3.0-litre turbocharged engine.

Many people choose diesel and there are plenty of versions. The range comprises of a 2.0-litre turbodiesel, which is badged either 316d, 318d, or 320d depending on its output, with a 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbodiesel also on offer wearing either a 330d or 335d badge on the Touring’s tailgate.      

Real MPG average for a BMW 3 Series Touring (2012 – 2019)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

24–68 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.


Can you recommend a car that fits my long list of requirements?
I'm looking for a used car, SUV or Estate. I'd like it to have the following: torque converter auto gearbox, spare wheel or spacesaver, decent performance i.e. 0-60mph in under 10 seconds, a decent size boot with a minimum of 500 litres and cruise control. Economy isn't that important to me if I get everything else. I'd prefer petrol but would consider diesels. I have a budget of around £12,000. I know its a tall order but can you help identify something suitable, please?
A BMW 3 Series Touring or Mercedes-Benz C-Class would meet most of your requirements apart from having room for a spare wheel. How about a Honda Civic Tourer? It's a smaller car but has a huge 624-litre boot and was sold with a reliable torque-converter transmission. There's room for a space-saver spare wheel, too.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Is there a good sporty estate or SUV I should consider?
I'm a new dad and now want to move from an Audi S3 to a more suitable estate or SUV that I will use as a daily drive but would like something sporty. I have a budget of £15000, what would you recommend?
If you're looking for something sporty, you'd be better looking for an estate. We'd recommend a Skoda Octavia vRS. It's a very practical estate car that's fun to drive. Although rarer, seek out a petrol unless you cover high miles. Also, consider a BMW 3 Series Touring. Even the 318i is good to drive.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What checks do I need to make on a pre-reg car that's been sat around?
I am purchasing a BMW 340i Touring from a main dealer. It was first registered in April 2017 but only has 72 miles on the clock and has been sat round for a while. Is there anything you would recommend maintenance wise on the car? I've checked the tyres for flat spots and it's fine but I didn't know if its worth changing the engine oil yet?
One thing you need to know is what was the pre-first-year VED invoice price of the car because if it was £40k + you're in for £450pa VED for 4 years. (Under £40k: £140pa.) If it's been outside the brake discs will have rusted so, even though the rust may have cleaned off you need to make sure the discs are not grooved. Wise to have the brake fluid changed because sitting around fills it up with condensation. It's wise to change the engine oil and filter plus it will probably need a new battery (expensive with BMW's stop/start system).
Answered by Honest John
BMW refuse to give me a goodwill contribution for my disintegrating brake pads - is this a lost cause?
I have an ongoing dispute with BMW about my 2013 BMW 320D Touring. The brakes (original - total miles 32,000) suddenly started juddering on a journey and after closer inspection the surface of one of the discs seems to have lost material in a particular spot, probably two cm x half a cmin size, say 1mm deep. BMW are flatly refusing to allow any warranty goodwill even though it only came out of warranty in December and this happened in February. I still have the discs but have had to get them changed due to the time this has been going on. Do I have a case on this or am I on a lost cause?
I've seen this before on Skoda (see photos here: The discs appear to de-laminate. Salt water gets under the surface. If you want to take action against the supplying dealer I guess you could take your four year old brake disc into The County Court and make a Small Claim:
Answered by Honest John

What does a BMW 3 Series Touring (2012 – 2019) cost?

Buy new from £30,112 (list price from £36,300)
Contract hire from £321.92 per month
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