The Touring gets the same wide range of engines as the saloon. The smaller engines - such as the 316 and 318 - lack the power for towing or carrying heavy loads, so go for a larger engine if this is a concern. 140bhp four cylinder (the 318i) is best of the small engines whilst the six cylinder units (320 upwards) are fabulous. 2.5 tds impresses - it's refined and quick for its age and a shrewd used buy.
328 makes a good cruiser.
When even the estate in a range gives the driver something to smile about, you know that it's a special model. The rear-wheel-drive 3-Series is one of these with a chassis that really invites you to drive it hard, although on models without traction control you'll need to watch it in the wet as it has tail-happy characteristics (especially the more powerful models).
Ride is quite firm, but fine for the motorway.