When you’re in the market for a practical car, it’s tempting to head straight for an SUV. However, the estate car was the luggage king first, and the BMW 3 Series Touring is one that appeals to drivers while remaining unphased by the prospect of wardrobe transportation.
This is the sixth generation of the 3 Series Touring and BMW hasn’t strayed far from the time-proven theme of a sporty, rear-wheel-drive estate car. It doesn’t exactly have the market to itself, though, and faces direct competition from the Audi A4 Avant, Mercedes C Class Estate and Volvo V60.
The 3 Series Touring is the smallest estate in BMW's line-up, sitting below the larger 5 Series Touring. It's offered with a range of petrol and diesel engines, and you can even add four-wheel drive (xDrive in BMW speak) if you need more traction for slippery surfaces.
Inside, you’ll find all the quality and sophistication you might expect of a BMW, but it’s fair to say that more practical, yet less expensive, family haulers such as the Skoda Superb Estate and Volkswagen Passat Estate, have made big leaps in recent years. Exactly what, then, does the latest 3 Series Touring offer to put itself at an advantage?