BMW has unveiled the wagon version of its latest-generation 3-Series midsizer, that it claims has been designed with driving pleasure foremost in mind.
The stately 2020 3-Series Touring closely follows the sedan’s design language forward of the B-pillar, but aft of centre reveals unique design cues that, apart from the obvious, include an additional kink on the rear door and a rising window line that reflects the sloped roofline, which leads to a raked tailgate that gives it a shooting-brake-like silhouette.
BMW claims the new design brings aerodynamic improvements over its predecessor that combine with a lower centre of gravity, increased body rigidity and a 10kg weight loss for a "noticeable increase in agility”.
Powertrain options mirror the sedan’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder 318d, 320d diesels and 320i and 330i petrol along with the powerful 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six M340i xDrive which produces 275kW for an Audi S4-beating 4.4-second 0-100km/h sprint.
The Touring will also get the plug-in hybrid 330e powertrain that’s expected to be introduced to the 3-Series range sometime next year.
Cargo area apart, the interiors of each variant are identical to their sedan counterparts. The 500-litre boot space behind the 40:20:40-split rear seats is five litres bigger than the previous model, but is still just 20 litres bigger than the sedan – a downside of the attractive, but space-depriving forward raked tailgate glass.
The hatch opening is bigger and the bottom lip lower for easier loading though, and with the rear seats down you can carry up to 1510 litres. Like other BMW wagons, the back window can be opened separately from the powered tailgate.
Equipment levels in each variant matches the sedan equivalents, with the bigger engines bringing more standard equipment. Standard inclusions include a fully-digital instrument cluster, a 10.3-inch central information touchscreen, USB-A and USB-C connectivity, head-up display, wireless phone charger and autonomous emergency braking.
So far, the BMW 330i Touring is the only variant confirmed for Down Under, with a BMW Australia spokesperson telling WhichCar it will be available in time for Christmas.