Editor's choice
12 Jun 19

New BMW 3 Series Touring: a fleet icon that transcends itself

How do you make a fleet icon better and find the right balance between sticking to your core values and daring to innovate? BMW seems to have found the answers with the new 3 Series Touring, which promises more excitement than ever without neglecting the rational aspects.

The design of this sixth generation premium D-segment estate is fresh yet immediately recognisable. The 3 Series Touring “sets new standards in sporting ability, dynamic design, premium ambience and innovative equipment”, the press release states.

Customisation is still one of the car’s USPs. As before, customers can choose between Advantage, Sport Line, Luxury Line and M Sport models.

Efficiency across the board

BMW promises driving pleasure as never before thanks to the re-engineered chassis, suspension and drivetrains. As we have come to expect from the Bavarian OEM, the focus is also on efficiency.

As a case in point, the coefficient of drag (Cd) went down from 0.29 to a class-leading 0.27 thanks to a completely sealed underbody – amongst other features. The better aerodynamics do not compromise the cabin space, though. BMW claims greater shoulder room and elbow room and extra headroom in all seats. Also, the front seats have been redesigned for more comfort whereas the rear seats can now be accessed more easily and accommodate three child seats.

At 500 litres, the load compartment increased by a modest 5 litres, but it is up to 112mm wider. The automatic tailgate operation is standard, just like the nearly iconic separately opening rear window.

Hey, Beemer – or Hans

BMW also integrates a new Intelligent Personal Assistant, which you can give a name of your choice. The Personal Assistant is an expert on the car and also responds to natural voice commands to help the driver with numerous tasks, such as enhancing productivity and on-board entertainment, its maker says.

Also, the range of digital services from BMW Connected and BMW ConnectedDrive has been expanded. Remote Software Upgrade keeps the car up to date, whereas the Parking Space Assistant makes looking for a free spot easier. BMW Digital Key allows you to access the car and start the engine using your smartphone.

Plug-in hybrid finally coming

Fleets will be eager adopters of the 318d and 320d Touring, with a correlated NEDC CO2 rating between 114 and 129g/km. Also the entry-level petrol engine, the 320i Touring (133-144g/km), is expected to tick the boxes of many company car drivers.

Some of those will be happy to learn that BMW is finally fitting a plug-in hybrid powertrain in its compact estate car. The latter will be available in the course of 2020. The other models can be expected to land at a dealer near you by the end of this year.

Authored by: Dieter Quartier