• 2020 BMW 3-Series Touring arrives as more practical alternative to the sedan

BMW 3-Series G20 Touring is the compact, sporty, premium family hauler you’ve been waiting for

If sporty rear-wheel drive wagons are your thing then you will love the all-new 2020 BMW 3-Series Touring that was just revealed. It’s essentially the same proposition as the sedan, but with extra carrying capacity and practicality - two characteristics that make it more appealing to families and those who go on frequent road trips.

Some will just buy the wagon over the sedan simply for the look - throughout Western Europe you see various generations of 3-Series Touring pass you on the motorway, so that part of the world’s love affair with the more practical end of the 3-Series range is well known. But, this new one still needs to show improvements over older generations in order to stay relevant, and BMW says it is packed full of cool features that will be irresistible for those who like both sporty rear-wheel drive cars and practical load-luggers and want these two characteristics in one car.

Is the 2020 BMW 3-Series Touring more practical compared to the sedan and the outgoing model?

2020 BMW 3-Series Touring arrives as more practical alternative to the sedan
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Most of you will not buy the 3-Series Touring over the sedan because you think it looks cooler - you will buy it because you can fit more of your stuff in it. BMW says this G20 Touring holds 5 liters more than the outgoing F30 Touring, for a total load volume of 500 liters with the rear seats up. Fold the rear bench down and it increases to 1,320 liters, up by 32 liters compared to the old model.

The rear bench backrest has standard split-folding into 40:20:40 sections and this can be done both from inside the passenger compartment or the trunk. As an option, though, BMW does offer an electric folding mechanism that does away with the need to push the seats down yourself.

Compared to the current 3-Series sedan’s 480 liters of load volume capacity, the 3-Series Touring’s 500 liters doesn’t seem like such a big improvement, but it is far more easily accessible and it nearly triples with the rear seats folded. The Touring also has a split-opening tailgate that allows for separate opening of the glass part - this is probably one of the most frequently used features, without which 3-Series wagons would not have been as popular as they are.

What powers the 2020 BMW 3-Series Touring?

2020 BMW 3-Series Touring arrives as more practical alternative to the sedan
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BMW offers the exact same range of engines for the 3-Series Touring as it does for the regular sedan. This means the lowest-powered gasoline-burning 3-Series wagon you can buy right now is the peppy 330i that can only be had hooked up to an eight-speed automatic gearbox with optionally available xDrive all-wheel drive.

The engine in the 330i is a 2.0-liter with 255 horsepower (258 PS) which it delivers between 5,000 and 6,500 rpm.

Torque is rated at 400 Nm (295 pound-feet) and is available from 1,550 to 4,000 rpm. In rear-wheel drive examples, the claimed sprint time to 100 km/h (62 mph) is 5.9 seconds and, should you go for xDrive, that knocks another tenth off the time, bringing it down to 5.8 seconds; top speed is 250 km/h (155 mph) regardless.

2020 BMW 3-Series Touring arrives as more practical alternative to the sedan
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The next gasoline engine is the B58 3.0-liter six-cylinder found under the hood of the 340i Touring. In this application, it makes 369 horsepower (374 PS) and it can only be had with the eight-speed automatic and xDrive - it’s currently not offered in rear-wheel drive guise and it will probably never be offered with a manual six-speed gearbox.

If it’s diesels you’re after, you can have either a four- or six-cylinder engine under your G20 Touring’s hood.

BMW offers its 2.0-liter diesel four-pot in two states of tune: the 318d and 320d.

The former makes 148 horsepower (150 PS) at 4,000 rpm and 320 Nm (236 pound-feet) of torque between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm.

2020 BMW 3-Series Touring arrives as more practical alternative to the sedan
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The 318d Touring sprints to 100 km/h in 8.4 seconds and has a top speed of 222 km/h (138 mph). It comes standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, but it can be had with the eight-speed automatic as an option, but not with xDrive.

The more powerful 320d Touring runs the same engine but in a higher state of tune. It makes 188 horsepower (190 PS) at 4,000 rpm and 400 Nm (295 pound-feet) of torque between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm.

It too comes with a six-speed stick as standard, but along with the optional eight-speed automatic, you can also specify xDrive all-wheel drive. It slashes the 318d Touring’s benchmark sprint time to well under 7.5 seconds, and its top speed nudges 250 km/h (155 mph).

BMW also offers a 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel in the 330d xDrive Touring. This variant only comes as an automatic and not without all-wheel drive. The straight-six that powers it makes 262 horsepower (265 PS) at 4,000 rpm and 580 Nm (428 pound-feet) of torque delivered flat between 1,600 and 3,000 rpm. It has a claimed benchmark sprint time of under 6 seconds and a top speed limited to 250 km/h (155 mph).

2020 BMW 3-Series Touring arrives as more practical alternative to the sedan
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At some point in the future, BMW will also offer the new 3-Series wagon as a 330e Touring plug-in hybrid model that mates a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder to an electric motor to make 248 horsepower (250 PS). This version should have an electric-only range increased by up to 50 percent over the outgoing 330e, so it should grow to somewhere around 60 km (37 miles).

2020 BMW 3 Series Touring drivetrain specifications
BMW 330i Touring BMW 330i xDrive Touring BMW 320d Touring BMW 320d xDrive Touring BMW 330d xDrive Touring
Config/No of cyls/valves  In-line / 4 / 4  In-line / 4 / 4 In-line / 4 / 4 In-line / 4 / 4 In-line / 6 / 4
Effective capacity cc  1998 1998 1995 1995 2993
Stroke/bore mm  94.6 / 82.0  94.6 / 82.0 90.0 / 84.0 90.0 / 84.0 90.0 / 84.0
Compression ratio :1  10.2 10.2 16.5 16.5 16.5
Max output kW/hp  190 / 258  190 / 258 140 / 190 140 / 190 195 / 265
at rpm  5000 – 6500 5000 – 6500 4000 4000 4000
Max torque Nm 400 400 400 400 580
at rpm  1550 – 4400 1550 – 4400 1750 – 2500 1750 – 2500 1750 – 2750
Acceleration 0–100 km/h s 5.9 5.8 7.5 (7.1) 7.4 5.4
Top speed km/h 250 250 230 225 250
Urban l/100 km  7.7 – 7.3  7.9 – 7.6 5.5 – 5.4 (5.3 – 4.8) 5.4 – 5.2 6.5 – 6.4
Extra-urban l/100 km  5.7 – 5.2 5.9 – 5.5 4.4 – 4.0 (4.5 – 4.2) 4.7 – 4.3 5.1 – 4.7
Combined l/100 km  6.4 – 6.0  6.6 – 6.3 4.8 – 4.6 (4.8 – 4.4) 4.9 – 4.6 5.6 – 5.4
CO2 g/km  146 – 136  151 – 143 125 – 119 (125 – 115) 129 – 121 146 – 140

Is the 2020 BMW 3-Series Touring any better to drive than its predecessor?

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BMW certainly thinks so. The automaker points to “a noticeable increase in agility over the outgoing model, exceptionally precise handling and a persuasively comfortable ride even over long distances,” brought about by the fact that the G20 wagon’s structure is 25 percent stiffer than that of the F30 Touring.

With its perfect 50 : 50 weight distribution (even in wagon guise), a weight shedding of around 10 kg (just over 20 pounds) and a low drag coefficient of 0.27, the automaker is confident the new 3-Series wagon is at the top of its game in terms of dynamic abilities.
2020 BMW 3-Series Touring arrives as more practical alternative to the sedan
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One innovation BMW seems especially proud to mention are the standard-fit lift-related dampers (which strangely are optional on cars with the optional M Sport suspension). The manufacturer explains “they are continuously variable and adjust the damper firmness progressively according to the changing spring travel, which allows them to reduce body movement perceptibly when ironing out vibrations caused by bumpy road surfaces or dynamic cornering.”

What’s the 2020 BMW 3-Series Touring like inside and does it have enough tech?

2020 BMW 3-Series Touring arrives as more practical alternative to the sedan
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BMW has made the new G20 3-Series significantly better inside than the F20, a car that whose interior design was really starting to show its age.

There’s nothing especially dramatic about the new 3’s interior, but its design is modern, clean and crisp and certainly not lacking for tech.

The optional fully-digital gauge cluster is a must have because it helps lift the ambiance inside, as is the larger of the two available infotainment screens - you need to opt for this larger display in order for the car to have the very latest version of iDrive installed (otherwise you will be treated to the same system you got on the old F20). Gesture control is also a nice touch and it works surprisingly well - it is a feature that was first shown on the 7-Series, but has since trickled down into BMW’s smaller models too.

2020 BMW 3-Series Touring arrives as more practical alternative to the sedan
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The list of tech features (both standard and optional) is vast and impressive.

On the standard side, all 3-Series Touring models come with an electric tailgate, as well as “speed Limit Info system with No Passing Info display, Lane Departure Warning, and Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, which also detects cyclists. Options include Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function and the Driving Assistant with Lane Change Warning, rear collision warning and crossing traffic warning.”

2020 BMW 3-Series Touring arrives as more practical alternative to the sedan
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Notable options include adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, a head-up display, fully automatic parking that even includes the reversing assistant which essentially remembers what you did for the last 50 meters driving forward and can literally play it back in reverse to reverse the car out of a tight spot where the driver might have trouble doing so manually. One 3-Series Touring-only option are anti-slip rails in the rear cargo area and accessing the trunk can be further eased by the Comfort Access feature that allows for the rear hatch to be opened by wagging your foot underneath the rear bumper.

Check out this walkaround preview of the 2020 BMW 3-Series Touring

Why not check out our recent video review of the 2020 BMW 320d xDrive sedan?

We recently tested the all-new 3-Series in sedan guise, powered by a diesel engine and equipped with all wheel drive. We really liked most of it, although we did discover one chink in its sporting armor - watch the video to find out what that is.

Further reading

2019 BMW 3 Series
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Read our full review on the 2019 BMW 3 Series.

2016 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 BMW 3 Series Touring.

Andrei Nedelea
Andrei Nedelea
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