This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest BMW 3-Series Touring review.

Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2

From launch three engines will be available on the 3 Series Touring range including one petrol unit (328i) and two diesel engines (320d and 330d). The initial petrol-powered offering is the four-cylinder 245bhp 2.0-litre 328i. It has a peak pulling power of 350Nm enabling it to complete the benchmark sprint in six seconds and it has an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.

The 328i and 320d models have a six-speed manual gearbox as standard.The 320d, using the 184bhp 2.0-litre TwinPower turbo diesel with a maximum pulling power of 380Nm, is likely to be the biggest selling model on the 3 Series range. It has been tweaked from the previous generation to be cleaner and more frugal making it an even better proposition for motorists, especially company car drivers.

For BMW 3 Series Touring performance have a look at the current pinnacle of the diesel line-up. This is the 330d model using a 285bhp 3.0-litre diesel engine with 560Nm of pulling power. It’s mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and can complete the benchmark sprint in 5.6 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. In 2013 the engine line-up will expand to include a 320i petrol engine producing 184hp and 270Nm torque, plus a further pair of 2.0-litre diesel engines – the 318d and 316d.

The former will produce 143hp and 320Nm of torque, while the latter will have 116hp and 260Nm of torque.

The 3 Series Touring has a wider track (37mm) and a longer wheelbase (50mm) than the previous generation making the handling even better than before. The steering has pin-point accuracy and is beautifully weighted. There is plenty of feedback from the steering wheel, allowing the driver to feel at one with the car. Body roll is minimal and the 3 Series Touring is extremely agile through the corners thanks to excellent levels of grip.

You can configure the car to the way you like to drive using the Drive Performance Control. This allows the driver to swap between driving modes at the touch of a button. The modes comprise ECO PRO, Comfort and Sport. Furthermore, an extra level called Sport+ is available on Sport models or those with selected optional equipment. For drivers who’d like to enhance the handling even further there's an optional variable sport steering system and Adaptive M Sport suspension with electronically variable dampers.