An in-depth look at the BMW M3 Touring for 2023

Usurping the status quo

While its compatriots and fierce rivals (specifically, Mercedes-Benz and Audi) have been diligent in their efforts to monopolize the high-performance family/wagon segment for what seems like an eternity, BMW seems content to see how it all plays out. this from the beginning. dock.

Until now.

In retrospect, perhaps BMW took advantage of this time observing, taking notes, strategizing, and then executing. In doing so, they crashed into the scene like the Kool-Aid Man crashed through a brick wall. With the new 3 Series high-performance estate, the automaker has signaled its ambition to the superwagon establishment, setting its sights on becoming its leader rather than just another follower.

With the new BMW M3 estate finally in the flesh, and having been tested by enthusiastic automotive journalists across Europe, I think they should have been doing exactly that, and to great effect, that is.

Why did it take so long?

Of course, many of you will be familiar with the various family members from series 3 (and 5) that have appeared over the years. So it would be a huge stretch to claim that BMW is somehow new to the estate/wagon game. Going back in time, we can technically count a BMW pickup truck that would fit the “high performance” billing.

It would be the BMW M5 Touring E61 (2007-2010), with a high-revving 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V10 engine that produced 507 HP and could accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. A fantastic car in its own right, which stood out much more as a lone wolf among the “M” vans.

Disclaimer: The above applies to any of the ultra-exclusive and basically custom-made Alpina B5 wagons (pictured below).

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On top of that, there really hasn’t been anything from BMW’s production line that would rank at the AMG or RS performance level of the day. Certainly nothing based on a Series 3 model either, even during its long 34-year production run.

Euro inspiration stays local

Obviously, this is no longer the case. However, it’s still puzzling as to why it’s taken so long to experience a utilitarian version of BMW’s quintessential M3 performance model. This is especially the case considering that rivals have been cooking with this recipe for a while.

Formally known as the BMW M3 Touring , this latest version of the automaker’s flagship sports car certainly adds more European flair to the range. Unfortunately, the German automaker is taking that Eurocentrism to the next level with the Touring model, as there are currently no plans to launch it in America.

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I’d love to say it would be a big hit here, but the sad truth is that SUVs reign supreme on this side of the Atlantic, a place that hasn’t yet embraced station wagons and station wagons to any significant degree. One day I hope.

Performance and transmission

The BMW M3 Touring is equipped with the familiar S58 engine: a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline six-cylinder producing 503 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque . This means it comes standard with the Competition-spec engine seen in the regular G80 M3, while the base version’s 473bhp engine has been bypassed entirely. In this matter, it’s probably best to have no choice: straight to the good stuff!

All-wheel drive (xDrive) is also standard, with no rear-wheel drive option as seen on other M3 models. This makes sense, given the M3 Touring’s utilitarian philosophy, although I’m sure many die-hard purists would have gladly opted for the latter.

It’s still an 8-speed automatic gearbox that sends all that power to each of the 4 corners of the truck. That means there’s no DCT yet and the 6-speed manual, only available in the base version, is also excluded. Again, it’s par for the course in terms of what you’d expect (but maybe not what you want).

However, the M3 Touring is very quick for what it is: BMW claims a 0-100 km/h time of just 3.7 seconds . This makes it about half a second slower than an equivalent sedan version, with that extra “wagon weight” being the main culprit for the discrepancy. I doubt this matters much in the real world, nor is it noticeably measurable in 99.9% of situations, and I’d even bet it’s a little faster than BMW lets on. The maximum speed is 174 mph .

Handling and chassis

I don’t think there was anyone who expected the BMW M3 Touring to be a lightweight by any means. After all, the standard M3 and M4 models don’t follow the Lotus diet either, with each barely touching the £4,000 mark.

But at nearly two tons or 4,112 pounds (whichever is more dramatic for you), it might be a little porkier than most would have thought. As such, it weighs just 187 pounds less than a current M5 and about 250 pounds more than its contemporaries.

It seems like a lot to give up for more cargo space, but the M3 Touring handles it well, both aesthetically and athletically. Thanks to a retuned suspension, the vehicle remains remarkably poised and balanced despite its weight penalty.

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The superb M Sport locking rear differential provides the torque vectoring needed to drive the estate with precision and the feel of a high-performance car. Expect a bit of understeer when you really launch into the corners, although the stiff sport chassis provides enough compensation to get you back on track. Carbon ceramic brakes are optional (and, for almost $10,000, should probably remain as such), while the standard steel brakes are still well suited for all current tasks, perhaps bar, extensive track use.

The rear-biased xDrive system expertly distributes the best of the M3 Touring’s 503 hp throughout the powertrain, while the intuitive traction and stability control systems provide an additional safety net to help mask non-serious errors and allow occupants to travel in comfort and peace of mind. mind. Road, Sport and Track “M modes” allow the driver to further customize how they would like the car to behave, with each setting offering different combinations of comfort and engagement levels.

Design and Interior Design

Let’s be honest. The BMW M3 Touring wouldn’t be the BMW M3 Touring if it didn’t come with its quintessential family body, because well, everything else is practically identical. This is where the car really differentiates itself from the standard M3, or any other car in BMW’s current range. This is where it really shines.

At the front, it has inherited the fascia of the other M3 cars, with the very recognizable “kidney grilles” that have become synonymous with the G80 taking center stage. Elsewhere, the BMW M3 Touring borrows directly from the regular 3 Series Touring models, with flared fender arches completing the visually more athletic silhouette needed to match its frame. It is elegant. It’s sporty. It has it all, when it comes to properties.

Of course, you’ll notice the extended roofline and tailgate that ultimately give the BMW M3 Touring its own unique personality. This configuration will give you 500 liters of cargo capacity , the same as the standard 3 Series and around 20 liters more than the M3 saloon, but provides much easier access than the latter, without having to deal with the awkward shape of a trunk and all that. There’s also a ducktail spoiler and an aggressive rear diffuser, for further differentiation.

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Once you’re inside, it’s a beautiful interior, another feature it shares with the M3 saloon, and that’s certainly not a bad thing. The visual displays are also the same, so there is also an extended display that starts in the “gauge cluster” and integrates with the touchscreen infotainment system above the center console. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard.

Notable options include an expanded leather package , for those looking for a more executive vibe, or a carbon package with carbon fiber front bucket seats for those with more masochistic tendencies. Choose what is most comfortable or hugs you best; Either way, make sure you ask yourself the right questions before choosing what you think is best for you.

Prices

It’s not cheap in Europe, and if it ever came to America, it wouldn’t be cheap there either.

In the UK, the BMW M3 Touring starts at £85,000 before options . and you’d be pretty close to 6 figures (in pounds) with just the carbon ceramic brakes and carbon bucket seats added. That means a reasonably optioned M3 Touring would cost the equivalent of around $125,000 USD , and would probably still be north of $100,000 USD with just the basics after factoring in destination fees and taxes.

That’s not to say you don’t get what you pay for, especially considering the target audience BMW has in mind. It’s very specific, but since things tend to go with that demographic, these customers know what they want and are willing to shell out whatever it takes to get it. It fits exactly who it was intended for: drivers looking to add a versatile superstar to their team.

Verdict

supercars.net: 4.5/5

I mean, I love trucks. I also love the M3. Thus, the arrival of the new BMW M3 Touring was a long time coming. It seems like the German automaker has bided its time well and I think it has executed it perfectly. It may have also created a new “superwagon” category in the process, and we may just hear that term come up a lot more as future high-performance wagons look to live up to its hype. There is no perfect score, as it is not available in NA (and I don’t live in Europe).

What other experts say

Top Team: 8/10

“It goes, stops and turns like a proper M special. There are no concessions in practical terms.”

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Link to the full article, here.

wow: 9/10

“The BMW M3 saloon is already an impressive performance car, so adding the practicality of a family body will only broaden its appeal.”

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Link to the full article, here.

Express Car: 4.5/5

The M3 Touring drives as well as the saloon, making it a high-performance family car.”

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Link to the full article, here.

Car magazine: 4/5

“The new 2023 BMW M3 Touring Competition enters confidently and effortlessly and takes the lead in the family vehicle class.”

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Link to the full article, here.

EVO: 5/5

“Enthusiasts have literally been waiting for an M3 Touring for decades. Now it’s here. Should you buy one? “Oh, fuck yes.”

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Link to the full article, here.

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