BMW 3 Series Touring (2019) Review

BMW 3 Series Touring (2019) At A Glance

5/5
Honest John Overall Rating
Practical, comfortable and brilliant to drive, the BMW 3 Series Touring is one of the best premium family cars.

+Strong engine line-up. More powerful models are guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Handles very well. Quality interior.

-It's not cheap...

If you want something that combines the practicality of a family estate with the fun and reward of a sports saloon, the 3 Series Touring will be everything you ever need. 

All versions of the BMW 3 Series Touring get a first class interior, filled with lots of high quality and soft-touch materials. Premium features like interior ambient lighting are fitted as standard, along with LED headlights, touchscreen navigation and Apple CarPlay.

The key to the success of the BMW 3 Series Touring, however, lies in its ability to deliver an exciting, sporty driving experience. From behind the wheel, there is very little to tell the BMW 3 Series saloon and Touring apart - both are equally excellent. 

You get a comprehensive choice of petrol and diesel engines. There’s also a petrol plug-in hybrid. Designed for company car drivers, the hybrid has low CO2 emissions (32-41g/km) and an electric range of 34 miles. 

For most drivers, the 2.0-litre petrol and diesel versions will give the best balance between performance and running costs. The 330i is the best of the petrols, developing 184PS and returning up to 40.4mpg. If you want a diesel, you should aim for the 320d with its 190PS and official fuel economy of 53.3mpg. 

That said, the six-cylinder diesels are very competent all-rounders, combining impressive performance with wallet-friendly economy. The 330d uses a smooth 3.0-litre turbodiesel that develops 265PS while the M340d uses the same engine but packs a hefty 340PS and 700Nm of torque. Both of these will accelerate to 62mph in less than six seconds.

 

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) was available as an optional extra. These cars are rare, but worth seeking out if you need more grip from your daily drive. The M340i and M340d both come with xDrive as standard.

The 3 Series Touring will easily accommodate four large adults, with lots of head and legroom in the front and rear. However, while there’s technically space for five adults, the raised floor in the rear of the car limits legroom in the middle rear seat. BMW advertises the 3 Series as a car that will fit three child seats across the rear bench, only two Isofix anchor points are fitted as standard to the rear seats. 

Boot space is a respectable 500 litres, which means the 3 Series Touring is a smudge short on the 505 litres you get in the Audi A4 Avant. However, compared to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate (460 litres) the 3 Series Touring is more practical. 

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 cars. 

Ask Honest John

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

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