A purer tourer

BMW takes the fight to SUVS with its lat­est wagon — but will the strat­egy back­fire?

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

Bmw­world. Sadly the 330d— with its 190kw/520nm 3.0-litre six-cylin­der oiler —– is not on the cards for Australia.

‘‘ The 330d will not be on of­fer at launch for ei­ther the sedan or the Tour­ing,’’ BMW’S Scott Croaker says. ‘‘ It’s not off the ta­ble but it’s not un­der con­sid­er­a­tion at the mo­ment. The (wagon) line-up won’t be as ex­ten­sive as the sedan lineup at launch. We’ll start with maybe the 328i and 320d.’’

Ab­sent from the open­ing over­seas line-up are the 320i and 335i.

Fuel-sav­ing stop-start sys­tems are in­te­grated with both trans­mis­sion choices: a six-speed man­ual or an eight­speed au­to­matic. As with the sedan, a man­ual won’t be listed in the lo­cal cat­a­logue and comes only by spe­cial or­der.

BMWIS trum­pet­ing that the load com­part­ment has more space than any of the Tour­ing’s ri­vals— a 35-litre in­crease in cargo ca­pac­ity tak­ing the fig­ure to 495 litres.

BMWIS des­per­ate to stem the dom­i­nance of MercedesBenz’s C-class, so is likely to price the wagon as sharply as the sedan, with per­haps a smaller pre­mium over the four­door than is cus­tom­ary.

Croaker says­bmwhopes to lure some buy­ers away from SUVS.

‘‘ We’re an­tic­i­pat­ing that the wagon is go­ing to play a big part in com­bat­ing the SUV mar­ket, with buy­ers who are still look­ing for ver­sa­til­ity,’’ he says.

Of course, there is ev­ery risk some of those buy­ers may be tempted away frombmw’s own SUVS.

Roomwith a view: The 3 Se­ries Tour­ing claims more cargo

space than its ri­vals

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