BMW debuts new estate wagon with sixth-gen 3 Series Touring
In 1987, BMW debuted a touring car in the 3 Series model line. That wagon proved to be popular as a compact option in the larger overall market with over a million of those cars sold as the 3 Series evolved. Looking to replicate that success, BMW is launching an all-new 3 Series Touring.
The new Touring is a station wagon in the tradition of European estate cars. As a mid-sized car, it's far smaller than the huge land yacht estates of old. Yet this new generation is larger than the previous version, adding more bulk in order to gain more interior usability.
The BMW 3 Series Touring now measures 16 mm (0.63 in) longer at 4,709 mm (185.4 in) and 11 mm (0.43 in) taller at 1,587 mm (62.48 in). The wheelbase is now 2,851 mm (112.2 in), and track width is 43 mm (1.7 in) wider at the front and 21 mm (0.82 in) wider at the rear, measuring 1,587 mm (62.48 in) and 1,604 mm (63.15 in), respectively. These dimensional changes mean a wider boot (125 mm/4.9 in) for easier loading and total cargo capacity is now 500 L (17.7 cu ft) with all seats up. A total of 1,500 L (53 cu ft) is available with folding of the rear seats, which come standard with a 40:20:40 split-fold for versatility.
Most of the technologies and amenities offered in the new-generation 3 Series are included in the Touring model. These include interior ambient lighting modes, three trim levels of model advancement (SE, Sport, M Sport), LED lighting, variable steering ratios, and driver's assistance tech. The UK will get a special M Sport Plus Edition at product launch.
There will be several powertrain options available as well. The base 320i model will utilize a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that outputs 184 hp (137 kW) mated to an eight-speed automatic in front-wheel drive. The 330i models use the same engine turbocharged to 258 hp (192 kW), while the M340i series has a new six-cylinder turbocharged engine that outputs 374 hp (279 kW) and comes standard with all-wheel drive ("xDrive").
Diesel options come from a four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission with an automatic transmission upgrade available. The 318d outputs 150 hp (112 kW) and the 320d, which is available with xDrive, creates 190 hp (141 kW). A 330d variant produces 265 hp (197 kW) with xDrive as standard.
A plug-in hybrid variant will be available as the 330e Touring, mid-year in 2020. This will combine a four-cylinder gasoline engine with PHEV components for 292 hp (218 kW) of total output. The electric motor is designed to continuously offer 68 hp (50 kW) and peak with 109 hp (80 kW) in short bursts. The battery pack for the 330e is situated beneath the rear seat, but BMW has not specified its size or expected all-electric range. The automaker does indicate about a six-second 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) speed expectation from this plug-in powertrain.
New on the Touring model will be several advanced BMW driver-assistance technologies, including a new head-up display in the optional Technology package that boasts a 70-percent increase in size and visibility. Parking Assistant Plus will now make semi-automated parallel parking maneuvers, but also perpendicular, which will see it reverse out of those parking slots with all safety systems engaged. BMW's Intelligent Personal Assistant is also optional on the Touring model, allowing natural speech commands. The company's smartphone-enabled Digital Key and other enhanced tech are also part and parcel for the options packages.
Infotainment screens will use BMW's new Live Cockpit Plus as standard in the 3 Series Touring model, starting with a 5.7-inch screen in the instrument cluster and an 8.8-in screen on the console. These upgrade with Live Cockpit Professional in the M models to a 12.3-in instrument cluster screen and a 10.25-in central dashboard screen.
The sixth-generation 3 Series Touring will debut to the public on June 25 at the BMW Group #NEXTGen presentation in Munich, followed by a debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Deliveries will begin in September 2019.