BMW 320d Touring now here
The latest 3 Series Touring range was launched here at the end of last year but only in 320i and 325i guise. Now with the launch of the 320d version, BMW boosts the Touring's overall appeal even further.
There is also no doubt that the popularity of station wagons is growing fast and unlike a decade ago South Africans can pick and choose from a host of models.
What is more, is that the modern station wagon is no boring load lugger and in fact the best description for a car such as the 3 Series Touring is "sports estate".
Yes, the 3 Series Touring is sporty indeed and its racy looks (especially with BMW's optional sports package) it will have a broad appeal.
And like any other BMW product the 320d Touring offers a sporty and dynamic ride as well.
Featuring second-generation common rail technology, the 320d Touring develops maximum output of 115 kW at 4 000 r/min and peak torque is a high 330 Nm, which is available between 2 000 and 2 750 r/min.
There is even a sporty sound to the Touring's diesel grunt, and thanks to its loads of torque power delivery is instant and always available.
The 320d Touring manual will go from 0?100 km/h in 8.9 seconds, and completes the sprint from 80?120 km/h in fourth gear in just 7.4 seconds.
Top speed, finally, is 219 km/h. Apparently these figures are on par with its sedan sibling.
According to BMW average fuel consumption is a low 5.9 litres per 100 km.
Like the petrol models the 320d has great road manners and feels at ease on winding roads.
The mix of rear-wheel drive and a good front-rear weight distribution gives the Touring great balance.
In general the Touring's handling is neutral boosting driver confidence as the car won't suddenly surprise you by stepping out of line. If the something does upset the Touring's road grip, it is also easy to gain control of the vehicle again.
The car's progressive drive does impress one and one feels safe and at ease behind the wheel.
Like its sedan sibling and petrol-powered Touring stablemates, the new 320d Touring is also available as a Sport model, which enables the customer to personalise his car to an even higher standard.
Amongst other features, the Sport model features spor suspension set-up, an Aerodynamics Package (front and rear air dams with fog lamps) and side-sills, as well as ex?clusive light-alloy wheels (17 inches) with different-sized tyres front and rear. Optional 18-inch alloys are also available.
Inside the car, the Sport model features sports seats and the M leather sports steering wheel as its two most important features. Special aluminium trim trips in Glacier Silver, the M footrest as well as M door entry strips round off the package.
Even without the sports trim, the 3 Series Touring doesn't look dull or just like another mom's taxi.
It is a car that blurts out confidence and with the addition of diesel grunt BMW ads even more versatility and flexibility to the range.
320d Touring Manual: R289 000
320d Touring Steptronic: R302 700
Exclusive package: R18 000
Sport package: R20 300