It's a bit longer and more spacious than the previous generation, but it's also lighter.
The first BMW 3 Series Touring entered the market 32 years ago, and the automaker is now presenting its sixth model generation. The following figures show how important the station wagon is for BMW: More than 1.7 million vehicles have been produced, with 500,000 of those being from the previous generation alone. It is produced at the BMW plant in Munich for the automotive markets in Europe as well as in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand. North America will miss out on the new model, which is scheduled for a market launch on September 28, 2019.
The dimensions of the G21 (the internal name) have increased by a good 3 inches (8 centimeters) over the previous model, stretching to 15.4 feet (4.71 meters) in length. Similarly, the car is an inch (2 cm) wider and very slightly taller as well. The wheelbase is stretched, too, spanning an extra 1.5 inches (4 cm) compared to the previous estate.
Not surprisingly, the appearance of the new BMW 3 Series wagon is also impressive thanks to the sedan's makeover last year. Up front, the large kidney is accentuated and flanked by full LED headlamps as standard equipment. LED headlamps with extended beam widths and adaptive LED headlamps with laser light for glare-free high beam are optional, as are LED fog lamps.
The roof rails and aluminum covers for the B and C pillars as well as aluminum strips for the side window seals are also standard. The side sections lead into a flowing transition at the rear, where a striking tear-off edge with darkened LED lighting units in the upper area, and the double-edged exhaust tailpipes on all models further accentuate the design.
The 3 Series sedan is also the inspiration behind the interior layout: redesigned seats are intended to enhance the long-distance comfort of the new BMW 3 Series Touring. Shoulder room is increased up front, while more headroom exists for occupants throughout the car. In the rear, more legroom with easier ingress/egress is part of the new experience. The rear bench seat has provisions for three child seats, two of which can be locked with ISOFIX connections.
The new BMW 3 Series Touring comes with automatic tailgate actuation as standard. The optional comfort access allows the luggage compartment flap to be opened and closed without touching it. The rear window is a bit larger than the outgoing model, which can be opened separately and allows for easier access to the back. Stowing large, heavy items is made easier by the luggage compartment that is up to 4.4 inches (11.2 cm) wider with a load floor a bit lower as well. As such, cargo capacity is greater, with a grand total of 53.3 cubic feet (1,510 liters) of space with the rear seats folded down. If that's still not enough, BMW offers an electrically extendable trailer hitch for towing your excess goods.
Three petrol and three diesel engines are available in the new BMW 3 Series Touring, either right at launch or a few weeks later. Options range from 2.0-liter four-cylinder mills to larger 3.0-liter six-cylinder engines; all model variants comply with the Euro 6d-TEMP emissions standard. In 2020, the range will be extended for the first time to include a Touring model with plug-in hybrid drive. Here's a breakdown of the powertrain combinations at launch and the models in which you'll find them.
|318d Touring||2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel||147 hp/110 kW||6MT, 8AT|
|320d/320d xDrive Touring||2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel||188 hp/140 kW||6MT, 8AT|
|330d xDrive Touring||3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel||261 hp/195 kW||8AT|
|320i Touring||2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol||181 hp/135 kW||8AT|
|330i/330i xDrive Touring||2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol||255 hp/190 kW||8AT|
|M340i xDrive Touring||3.0-liter six-cylinder petrol||369 hp/275 kW||8AT|
In the handling department, the body stiffness of the new BMW 3 Series Touring was increased by approximately 25 percent. The chassis connection is also significantly stiffer than that of the previous model, and it has a low center of gravity with a 50:50 balanced axle load distribution. Despite all the size increases and creature comforts, the estate is roughly 22 pounds (10 kilograms) lighter than the outgoing model, depending on the trim level of course.
For those seeking a bit more excitement, optional M sports suspension drops the 3 Series Touring slightly, and an Adaptive M suspension system with electronically controlled dampers is also available. Both options also include Variable Sport Steering, and an M sports brake system with four-piston fixed calipers on the front axle is also available. The range-topping M340i xDrive Touring also includes an M sports differential, which is also available as an option and in conjunction with the M sports suspension or the Adaptive M suspension for the 330i Touring, 330i xDrive Touring and 330d Touring models.
Pricing for the new 3 Series Touring will be released closer to its market release, which comes in September.