Most of the rules that applied to the saloon continue to apply in the Touring. The 3 Series Touring has a feel-good cabin with an attractively designed dashboard – BMW calls its cascading swathes of soft-touch plastics ‘layering’ – that is also high on ergonomic excellence.
Over the years the 3 Series Touring has apparently been honed to be as economically proportioned as it needs to be, and not a single millimetre bigger. Our ‘typical’ rear legroom figure, which is the amount left when the driver wants 890mm of room (the average amount), matches it precisely, also at 890mm. Rear headroom is a perfectly acceptable 970mm.
Where you will find a compromise for having a ‘premium’ car is in the boot. The Touring’s 495-litre load bay is bigger than that of its immediate rivals – and 15 litres bigger to the tonneau than the saloon’s – but still not huge. At 1500 litres all in with the seats folded, this is less room than you’ll find in cheaper volume alternatives such as the Ford Mondeo, Peugeot 508 or Skoda Superb.
You’re paying here for performance and cachet, not space. Fittingly, then, the rear screen opens without having to lift the whole tailgate, electric opening is standard and our car came with a £470 ‘comfort access’ option, which allows the boot to open by way of a foot waved beneath the rear bumper.