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BMW 3 Touring is a model to love 


I’VE just had my first taste of driving a BMW 3 Series Touring and if it’s those early impressions that count then this is a car I will continue to love.

You always wonder how estate models will handle with that extra loading space but any fears were quickly dispelled.

The test car was a 320d Touring Modern and its handling and agility were aided with the M Sport suspension – a £750 option that is well worth considering.

Sitting in a rather sumptuous cabin with its all-round quality materials and finish, there is plenty to like for the driver and passengers – not least lots of room even with three rear-seat passengers.

It’s also worth noting that the Touring has a load capacity highest in its class at 495 litres, expanding to 1,500 litres with the seats folded, and has handy items standard on entry models such as luggage securing lugs, coat hooks, a luggage net and strap.

The loading sill is just 620mm off the ground and the electrically-powered boot opening is particularly useful when you’re heading towards it in a downpour. Its versatility also includes a split rear boot which allows you to open the upper glass area on its own.

So there’s no doubting the practicality of this model and the good news is it is a great car to drive as well.

There are several engines to choose from and I doubt it if there are any more suited to it than the 2-litre 184bhp turbo diesel engine in the test model.

This proved to be super smooth and efficient whether driving in town, country or cruising on the motorway.

With a zero to 62mph time of 7.7 seconds it moves fairly rapidly through a slick six-speed manual gearbox and with an electronically limited top speed of 143mph was hardly fussed at legal speeds.

There are more powerful engines available but this unit was more than capable and I achieved overall fuel consumption of 52mpg with official figures showing it capable of 58.9mpg – 47.1mpg urban and 70.6mpg extra urban.

Handling and ride comfort could not be faulted and it was a real shame to hand this model back.

This cost of 320d Touring Modern is £30,380 and the standard spec is pretty high. But you have to be careful with any options you may add as the test car’s total extras cost was just £245 short of £10,000.

Last and not least is the fact that this model is pretty attractive as well – viewed from front, rear or side.