Fleet News

First Drive: BMW 3 Series Touring 320d SE

BMW
BIK List Price
£29,325
BMW 3 Series BIK list price
BIK Percentage
19%
BMW 3 Series BIK Percent
CO2
125g/km
BMW 3 Series CO2
Combined MPG
58.9
BMW 3 Series MPG

Review

The latest version of the BMW 3 Series saloon has been on sale for a few months now, but for those drivers solely focused on more practical cars, it might have passed them by.

From September, the 3 Series will become available as a Touring estate version and it has much to offer compared with the outgoing model. It will also become the youngest estate car in the premium segment.

Available initially in 320d, 330d and 328i engine variants, the new 3 Series Touring is larger and roomier than the previous version, but is also stiffer and lighter.

The latter bodes well for driving behaviour, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The new model comes with CO2 emissions from 124g/km for the 184bhp 320d Touring – equating to 60.1mpg on the combined cycle.

These improvements are replicated on other engines, with the 258bhp 330d achieving 55.4mpg and 135g/km, while the turbocharged four-cylinder petrol 245bhp 328i is capable of 44.5mpg and 159g/km.

A longer wheelbase in the new Touring results in extra knee room for rear seat passengers, while they also benefit from improved headroom.

A best-in-premium-sector 495 litres of luggage space is available up to window height with the rear seats in place, while up to 1,500 litres can be filled up to roof height with the rear seats folded.

The rear seats can be folded by pushing a button on both sides, with a 40:20:40 split, and each section can be lowered individually if necessary.

All Touring models come with an electrically-operated tailgate and a standard luggage net which can be fixed in one of two positions, depending on whether the rear seats are lowered or not.

The car can also be specified with a stowable divider to prevent items from moving around the luggage compartment, as well as a sensor facility to allow the tailgate to be opened from outside hands-free.

Anyone familiar with the previous 3 Series Touring will probably notice less feeling in the steering thanks to the fuel-saving fully electric set-up, but this also allows BMW to offer a range of safety and convenience features such as a lane-keeping assist system.

However, the rear-wheel drive balance and responsive chassis still makes it the driver’s choice in the sector, while M Sport versions come with lowered, stiffer sports suspension as well as the option of adaptive damping.

As an estate car, the 3 Series Touring might lack the overall load-lugging credentials of mainstream alternatives but its improved ability and impressive efficiency should make it a highly desirable option for both fleets and user-choosers.

CO2 emissions
The 3 Series is among the very best for CO2 emissions resulting in exceptionally low tax liability given the performance of the vehicle. The power output of this 320d Touring is 184bhp, while CO2 emissions are 125g/km.
Fuel costs
The BMW 3 Series has a display visible to the driver allowing him or her to keep an eye on how efficiently they are driving, making achieving the impressive official fuel consumption figures a realistic target.
Residual values
The 3 Series Touring launched with class leading residual values, so losses to depreciation should be minimal as long as the right engine and specification are chosen.
Running costs
A combination of strong residual values and excellent fuel efficiency makes the 320d Touring one of the cheapest cars to run in its class. But be wary of allowing drivers to choose potentially expensive options that will not result in an uplift at disposal time.
Driver appeal
The 3 Series has long had a reputation for being the best car to drive in its class. Although the current model has sacrificed a little steering feel for the benefit of fuel economy with electric power steering, it will still get the driving enthusiast's vote over rivals.
FN Verdict
The 320d Touring has appeal on so many important levels for both drivers and fleet operator, making it one of the most desirable cars on any choice list.
Top Speed
N/A
BMW 3 Series Top Speed
VED band
N/A
BMW 3 Series Ved
Fuel Type
Diesel
BMW 3 Series Fuel Type
Residual Value
3 Year 60k : N/A
4 Year 80k : N/A
Running Cost (ppm)
3 Year 60k : N/A
4 Year 80k : N/A

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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