Road Test Review: BMW 3 Series Plug-In Hybrid M Sport Touring

Independent review by John Murdoch

5-minute read

BMW 3 Series M Sport Touring

Road Test: BMW 3 Series Plug-In Hybrid M Sport Touring

Explore the key features of the BMW 3 Series Plug-In Hybrid M Sport Touring in our expert road test review

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The BMW 3 Series Touring in M Sport trim combines the best equipment with a PHEV powertrain to provide an enjoyable journey for all.


  • Good performance
  • Various powertrain choices
  • Comfortable and refined
  • Top-level technology
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The 3 Series is one of BMW's most successful models, and over its 45-year history it has clocked millions of sales all over the world and improved with every new model.

That is not surprising because it offers class-leading technology in a stylish package combined with a sporting drive.

And with a variety of powertrain options and specifications to choose from, like the M Sport version that we drove, there is a model suited for everyone.

Engines and Performance

It comes with a choice of petrol and diesel engines, two or four-wheel-drive and in Saloon or the Touring estate bodystyles as well as high performance M versions.

I recently spent some time with the Touring model in the 330e M Sport guise, which has a 2.0-litre petrol engine combined with plug-in hybrid technology, which enables the car to travel about 32 miles on electric only power.

This means huge tax savings for company car drivers, although many of them will not bother with the plug-in feature.

The combination delivers 292bhp and can tackle the sprint from 0 to 62mph in just 5.8 seconds before going on to 143mph if you can find anywhere to do that legally. The engine can also return more than 37mpg on average.

Drive modes called Eco Pro, Comfort, and Sport can be selected to alter the car's driving characteristics and the 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission, which is standard on all models is very slick and allows for smooth changes at all speeds.

Like all 3 Series, the Touring is a delight to drive and is a great motorway cruiser, but it also shines on the twisty stuff with sharp handling and bags of grip.
John Murdoch

Design and Practicality

This latest 3 Series turns heads thanks to its new very large front kidney grille, slim LED headlights, distinctive alloys and lots of other smart M features and badging.

On the practical side the Touring delivers a comfortable, quiet and refined ride for the occupants and there is room for four adults or five on shorter journeys.

The boot can take 500 litres of luggage, and with the 60/40 split-folding rear seats collapsed this goes up to an impressive 1,510 litres.

Equipment and Technology

The interior reeks of quality and features the new BMW Curved Display that has a 12.3-inch information display behind the steering wheel merging into a central 14.9-inch control display. It looks great and features the latest-generation BMW Operating System 8.

The car had all you could want including a superb Harman Kardon sound system, sat nav, red leather, powered seats that can be heated along with the steering wheel and even a personal assistant that can help with all kinds of tasks enabling the driver to concentrate on the road.

A wireless charging pad and four USB ports will help keep all the family devices connected and charged, and there are plenty of useful storage compartments inside the cabin.

As you would expect, this new 3 Series boasts a maximum 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating and is packed with safety systems to protect its occupants and other road users.


The BMW 3 Series has always been one of my favourite cars to drive because of its combination of performance and driving pleasure, and it just keeps getting better.

The M Sport trim just made everything better with a wide array of features to enjoy and specific M performance too.