The BMW 330d Touring goes head-to-head with its Mercedes and Audi rivals
The ever-growing glut of crossovers, SUVs and MPVs means that traditional compact family estates are often overlooked.
Yet these practical and handsome machines are every bit as family friendly and desirable as their fashionable rivals – especially when they feature a premium badge on the bonnet.
BMW is certainly hoping its all-new 3 Series Touring can make a big splash in this market. The car has a bigger boot and more spacious cabin than its predecessor, and should build on the class-leading success of its saloon brother. As with every BMW, the Touring also aims to be great to drive, well built and cost-effective. We test it in range-topping £37,200 330d Luxury guise.
However, before BMW can start popping the champagne corks, the Touring must face a pair of talented rivals. First up is our current favourite in the upmarket compact estate class: the Mercedes C-Class. It’s spacious, comfortable and beautifully built, and is the latest in a long line of fine Merc estates.
Finally, there’s the facelifted Audi A4 Avant, which promises lower emissions and sharper handling than before. It’s also the only car here with the security of four-wheel drive.