One of the nicest family cars around is the BMW 3-series Touring (estate). I know we don’t buy a lot of them and SUVs/crossovers have put pressure on all estates.
The thing about the Beemer is it has a compact, comfortable nature with a surprising amount of room.
It has had some nippy engines but now they are packing in a high-performance M3 version and it promises to be something.
It is powered by a 3-litre, 510hp straight-six engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology. It will come only as a Competition model with M xDrive all-wheel-drive.
It costs from €147,160. There is an 8spd M Steptronic transmission. Drivelogic delivers power to, and between, the four wheels as required. That means you get great grip when you unleash all that power.
There is a special kidney grille, large air intakes, flared wheel arches and side skirts.
At 4,794mm the M3 is 85mm longer than the conventional Touring, 76mm wider (1,903mm) and 4mm lower (1,436mm). It also has large alloys (19ins front, 20ins rear). You can get special track tyres too.
From a practicality viewpoint, there are three full-size rear seats (you can split them 40:20:40).
Boot capacity is 500 litres and it goes to 1,510 litres with the rear seats folded.
Standard spec includes automatic tailgate as well as a rear window that opens separately.
But really, the heart of the machine is the 6cyl engine.
It develops a maximum torque of 650Nm, which is massive pulling power, and produces peak output of 510hp when the revs hit 6,250rpm. And, it is quick – it has a 3.6 second time from standing start to 100kmh.