BMW has unveiled the new 3-series Touring estate. It goes on sale on 22 September 2012 in UK dealers, priced from £26,180.
Although not a big seller globally - it accounts for just 6% of 3-series sales globally - the Touring is popular in Britain, where it makes up 15% of all Three sales. We're the third biggest market, after Germany and Italy and BMW GB has sold 51,000 of the current-shape E91 3-series Touring.
The new 2012 3-series wagon, codenamed F31, follows the format you'd expect: it takes the slick mini-me-Five styling of the F30 3-series saloon and grafts on an elegant wagon rear end to increase the space available.
How practical is the new F31 BMW 3-series Touring?
It's 97mm longer than a 3-series saloon, with an extra 50mm slotted into the wheelbase. It's enough to grow bootspace by 35 litres - up to 495 litres, and the tailgate's glass screen pops up separately from the boot to load smaller items.
BMW says the Touring's rear seat splits 40:20:40 and the tailgate can be configured with auto-open to plip the boot up remotely. The boot opening is 62cm from the ground, say the ever-detail conscious Germans.
Saab-style adjustable lashing points can be ordered, too, with aircraft-spec aluminium rails sliding about to hold luggage in place, and there's an underfloor compartment where thieves will doubtless peek to see if your laptop is nestling below out of sight.
Which engines can I order in my new 2012 3-series estate?
The range at launch includes:
• 328i Touring, turbo four-cylinder 242bhp (from £30,400)
• 320d Touring, turbodiesel four-cylinder 182bhp (from £29,380)
• 330d Touring, turbodiesel six-cylinder 255bhp (from £34,700)
From November 2012, the 320i, 316d and 318d will join the mix with further additions likely in 2013 and beyond. Prices stretch from £26,180 (316d ES) to £37,700 (330d M Sport).
All come as six-speed manuals as standard on the four-pot models; the eight-speed automatic is optional on all models, and standard on the six-cylinder.
The M Sport package will be available from launch.