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BMW 320d Touring

Broadcast date : 15th October 2006

The sheer beauty of the BMW 320d Touring may cause your palms to get sweaty. 

BMW introduced its first Touring version way back in the 1970s with the 2002 Touring, and that car has since achieved classic status. This one may well do so too.

The BMW 320d Touring was introduced some months after the petrol versions arrived towards the end of last year. 

Like the petrol-powered sedan and Touring models, this car is available with the Sport package, which includes this deeper spoiler with fog-lights, side-sills and beautiful eighteen-inch alloys with wider rims at the rear.

Image certainly plays a big part in the Touringís appeal, and since the 1990s BMW, Mercedes and Audi in particular have been marketing their estate cars as sporting alternatives to sedans.

Apart from the washable plastic sheet fitted to the load floor, the load area also has a concealed water-tight folding-box for stowing wet boots and the like, while the load area expands to over 1300 litres.

Getting back to the strong visual appeal, the test carís interior was appropriately upmarket, nothing base-line about the leather trim, the sports-seats and the optional I-Drive centre-pod. Style takes precedence over utility, for sure.

Of all the modern mainstream Beemer designs, we like the 3 Series best, and that goes for the interior too.

The Sports steering wheel fitted to this car is particularly chunky, and harmonised well with the rather austere architecture of the plain brushed-metal panelling and the minimalistic use of knobs and switch-gear.

On the move, the 320d is typically poised and solid, and ride-absorption is remarkable considering the low-profile tyres used on the optional 18-inch alloys.

The two-litre turbodiesel engine option costs about R24 000 more than the similar petrol version, while the Sport package adds another R20 000 to the base price of R293 000.

We like the Sport package for this car, as it tops off the style appeal perfectly. As for the diesel version, itís a fine example of its type.

Performance is there in abundance. But with a style vehicle Ė and this is a style statement above all else - we think the purr of a petrol powerplant is more appropriate.

The BMW 3 Series is the International Car of the Year, and we say the Touring version is the Estate of the Year. It looks fantastic, it feels fantastic, and if you have the loot, buy it. The petrol one, that is.

BMW 320d Touring

  • Engine: Four-cylinder turbodiesel, 1 995 cc
  • Power: 115 kW @ 4 000 rpm
  • Torque: 330 Nm @ 2 000 rpm
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, rear-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 8,9 seconds (claimed)
  • Top speed: 219 km/h (claimed)
  • Fuel consumption: 7,0 (claimed)
  • Price: R293 000 (excluding Sport pack)

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