It hasn't been around long, but the sixth (F30) generation of BMW's 3 series is already regarded as a stand-out version of the perennial top-seller. Hence the first release of images and details of the new Touring estate version will no doubt interest a lot of people seeking a practical compact executive car. Highlights include a full-color Heads-Up Display, twin turbo engine, automatic stop-start, and optional eight-speed automatic gearbox and M Sport package.

The new 3 Series Touring has a significantly larger interior than the Touring version of the E90 series, adding 35 liters for a total capacity of 495 liters, but it is also extremely versatile thanks to some very clever design.

The rear seat bench offers a 40:20:40 split/folding config and the automatic tailgate also has separate rear window opening.

There's also a partition net and a luggage compartment cover that stores in an underfloor compartment.

The adaptive attachment system has numerous plug-in elements for the load compartment floor, and there's also a hands-free tailgate opening function available as part of the Comfort Access option.

Alongside its extra practicality and versatility, the new BMW 3 Series Touring also benefits from enhanced ride comfort, the availability of the new Sport Line, Luxury Line and Modern Line equipment packages, and the materials and colour concept familiar from the recently introduced 3 Series Sedan.

An optional M Sport package will also be available from launch.

The Touring 3 series initially on offer will be the 328i, 330d and 320d (diesel) versions, which will all have engines with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology.

The engine range includes a 180 kW/245 hp four-cylinder petrol unit, a 135 kW/184 hp 2-liter diesel, and a 190 kW/ 258 hp six-cylinder diesel. All engines meet EU5 exhaust emissions standards, while the 320d diesel unit can be optimised to meet EU6 specification. The Driving Experience Control switch with ECO PRO mode, meanwhile, opens up extra fuel-saving potential for all engine variants.

The four cylinder models come with a six-speed manual transmission whilst the six-cylinder diesel model comes standard with an eight-speed auto which is also available as an option, with paddle shifts on the steering wheel available as a further option.

The cars come with torque-steer-free Electric Power Steering as standard, and M Sport suspension or the Adaptive M Sport suspension as options.

BMW's EfficientDynamics development strategy is evident everywhere - all of the engines are very fuel-efficient, the car has been optimised to be extra light and other EfficientDynamics measures include the Auto Start-Stop function, Brake Energy Regeneration and Optimum Shift Indicator and by switching the Driving Experience Control switch to ECO PRO mode, further fuel savings are available.

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