Owning a BMW is one of life's pleasures, but many prospective buyers of the BMW 3 Series Touring and BMW 5 Series Touring have one or two questions...


BMW makes estate cars, but calls them ‘Touring’ models. 

Anyone who needs to move four or five people and their luggage, and wants to have a more focused drive than a SUV or MPV can give. The estate car’s lower centre of gravity means that it will always provide less body roll than an MPV or SUV.

The etymology surrounding this word isn’t clear, but it’s been suggested that it comes from the time when large country houses would need a vehicle to transport items such as riding tack round the estate.

The term ‘shooting brake’ comes from a similar background to the term ‘estate car’. Originally used to transport the wealthy to and from shoots, with the ‘brake’ part coming from a particular type of wagon used to break willful horses.


The BMW 316d Touring has emissions of 116 – 120g/km, which puts it into Band C for tax, at £30 per year.

The BMW 3 Series Touring models start at insurance band 20.


The BMW 5 Series Touring has a 560-litre boot with all the seats in place. Seats folded down this increases to 1,670 litres.

The BMW 3 Series Touring is 4624mm long, with a wheelbase of 2810mm and a turning circle of 11m. The BMW 5 Series Touring is 4907mm long, with a wheelbase of 2968mm and a turning circle of 11m.

All BMW cars are exceptionally safe and the safety features that appear in the Saloon models also appear in the Touring models. There are no BMW Touring models that have been crash tested in the past eight years, however the Saloon versions of both the BMW 5 and 3 Series got a maximum of five stars when they were last tested.

BMW Touring models are easy to drive. They have the same look and feel at the wheel as their Saloon counterparts, with familiar switchgear and instrumentation. They all have parking aids, the choice of manual or automatic gearboxes, as well as optional driver aids to help in stop-start traffic. See BMW ConnectedDrive for a fuller exploration of driver aids.


The BMW 3 Series Touring is available with BMW’s all-wheel drive system on the 320i petrol-engined model, and the 320d, 330d and 335d diesel-engined models.