Here comes a new benchmark for sporting estates

THE BMW 3 Series Tourer has long been the benchmark by which other sporting estates are judged.

New BMW 3 Series Touring

Now a new model is here. Not that you would recognise many changes, for the improvements are subtle.

The new model is slightly sleeker. It has more interior space and has lost weight, meaning it offers better ride and handling – always an important issue with this brand.

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There is also a new M Sport Plus model, created only for the UK market.

The new 3 Series Tourer costs from £35,505 and is on sale now.

It is 32 years since the first model was launched. Since its debut in 1987, more than 1.7m have hit the roads, with the new car’s immediate predecessor alone accounting for more than 500,000 of these.

The new 3 Series Touring will have latest-generation engines and new chassis technology to provide improvements in performance and handling. It also includes the new BMW “design language”, a refined interior and innovations in control/operation and connectivity.

It may be lighter but it is also larger. It has grown by 76mm to 4,709mm in length, by 16mm to 1,827mm in width and by 11mm to 1,440mm in height. The wheelbase has also been extended.

As ever with a BMW, the sporty cabin is a key feature. The driver-focused cockpit design, with controls arranged to optimal ergonomic effect, helps the person behind the wheel to concentrate on the road ahead.

The car comes in three trim levels: SE, Sport and M Sport. As well as a line-specific front and rear bumper design, the SE comes with exclusive light-alloy wheels in 17in or optional 18in formats, aluminium door sill strips and LED front fog lamps. The SE comes specified as standard, with a restyled leather sport steering wheel with multifunction buttons.

Sport model includes BMW high-gloss Shadow Line trim, plus kidney grille bars and trim elements for the air intakes and rear apron in high-gloss black. The sporty exterior is enhanced with exclusive 18-inch V spoke light alloy wheels.

M Sport features large air intakes at the front to combine with an equally distinctive design for the side skirts and rear apron.

From launch, the new M Sport Plus Edition will be introduced exclusively for the UK market.