BMW has unveiled its load-lugging 3 Series, the Touring, ahead of its arrival in Australia late this year.
As with its sedan sibling, the 3 Series Touring represents a significant change from the car it replaces. It's 76mm longer, 16mm wider and 8mm taller, freeing up 5L more luggage space (500L) with the rear seats in place and 10L (1610L) more with them in place. The load area is 112mm wider, and the loading lip is lower than before.
The boot lid is electric as standard, and an electrically-actuated 40/20/40 rear bench. The rear window can be opened separately to the tailgate, too, for when you just want to slip a few small items in.
With a 50/50 weight distribution, 41mm longer wheelbase and wider track front (+43mm) and rear (+21mm), along with the sedan's clever lift-related dampers, BMW says the new Touring will be a more comfortable, sharper-handling proposition than the model it replaces.
Up front, the Touring gets the same E46-inspired headlamps and linked, one-piece kidney grille as the sedan. Only from the B-pillar back have things changed, although the wagon gets taillights that could have theoretically been stolen from the three-box car as well. It's a handsome beast, to these eyes at least.
Six engines will be offered in Europe, three petrol and three diesel. CarAdvice understands the Australian range will likely start with the 330i, given it's the best-selling engine in the sedan range. The full range hasn't been finalised at this point, but our fingers are crossed for the M340i xDrive Touring...
The 330i makes 190kW and 400Nm, put to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The current 3 Series range in Australia also includes the 320d with its 140kW/400Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel, but BMW hasn't confirmed whether we'll see the base oiler Down Under.
Keen drivers will be able to spec the M Sport package, which brings about a 10mm drop in ride height and allows you to add an adaptive M suspension with electronically-controlled dampers.
Inside, you'll be hard-pressed to tell the Touring from the regular 3 Series sedan. That means it gets the latest BMW OS7.0 infotainment system, with a fully-digital instrument binnacle and natural voice activation. A panoramic glass sunroof, three-zone climate control, a Harmon/Kardon surround sound system, ambient lighting and acoustic glass in the windows are all on the options list.
The full gamut of BMW's semi-autonomous systems will be available as well, but we'll have to wait until Australian specs are revealed for details on which are standard locally.
BMW Australia has confirmed the 3 Series Touring will be in Australia late in 2019. The range hasn't been confirmed, but CarAdvice understands the 330i will lead the charge.