Surprising predictability from Munich.
BMW has revealed the latest puzzle piece to the 3-Series jigsaw in the form of the new Touring model, which was revealed overnight in its home market of Germany. The G21 is the 6th iteration of the 3er Touring, and aims to continue the momentum made by the 1.7-million predecessors that have been sold before it.
The new 3-Touring is marginally wider & taller than the outgoing car (as all new cars tend to be), but it sports broadly the same themes as the saloon. Up front it’s business as usual with the ‘kinked’ full-LED headlights, one-piece kidney grille, and pronounced bonnet creases. But move along the side and details like the upturned lower character line (which interestingly angles towards the rear spoiler) helps to break up the visual-monotony that tends to come with a rear-heavy estate car.
But it’s the rear that’s perhaps most divisive on account of it appearing… normal. BMW’s not done anything major with the rear, with even the taillights appearing as if they were lifted wholesale from the saloon. It looks as if they just pulled the roofline and adjusted the rear windscreen to match.
At least the tailgate is electrically-operated as standard, which goes some way to make up for the otherwise nondescript styling. They’ve lowered the load lip for this new-generation which, more than anything else, should make ingress and egress for older dogs a bit less of a faff.
What’s a touch disappointing is the load space – despite bearing a traditional-estate profile (unlike the more rakish Volvo V90 for example), there’s just 500L of space in the back, with an outright maximum of just 1510L. That means that the (more visually-arresting) Volvo V60 cleans up in terms of cargo room, but the 3er does at least pip the Mercedes-Benz C-Class estate.
There’s the expected smattering of petrol & diesel engines on offer, as well as xDrive four-paw traction for those who need it. You also benefit from the same offering of M-Sport bits and bobs like adjustable dampers and brakes, as well as driver-assistance tech, though the majority of those things are costly options that BMW would be more than happy to sell you.
We’re hoping to see this offered locally, given that the previous-generation 3-Touring is still on sale now. We do genuinely believe that the estate car is a better alternative to an SUV given that it’s better to drive, more frugal to own, and generally cheaper to buy. And while the 3er Touring won’t set your heart alight on first sight, we’re sure that it’ll remain one of the most accomplished compact estates to drive.