The new BMW 3 Series Touring F31 will have to compete in the next few months against offerings from Audi and Mercedes. The all new 3er Touring runs head-to-head with the Audi A4 Avant and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate.

While the 3er is a brand-new offering, the Audi A4 Avant received a facelift this year. The C-Class Estate went through that process in 2011.

As always with a new BMW model, we put together a visual comparison that highlight the design features of similar models in the segment.

In standard form, BMW and Mercedes offer their sports wagons with a rear-wheel drive transmission, while Audi stick to its front-wheel-drive architecture. Of course, an all-wheel-drive optional transmission is offered across these models.

Other differences arise in the automatic transmission: BMW F31 offers a ZF eight-speed box, Mercedes relies on an in-house seven-speed automatic transmission and Audi offers a variable multitronic or seven-speed dual clutch transmission.  All three vehicles can be upgraded with numerous assistance systems.

Exclusive to BMW is the Head-Up Display and a rear window that opens separately into the operable standard tailgate by pressing a button. With 1,500 liters of stowage space with rear seat folded, the BMW also offers the most cargo space.

The new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon will launch in Europe later this year and is set to arrive in US showrooms in Spring 2013. Powertrain details for the US as well as pricing, specifications and standard/optional equipment will be announced at a later date.

[Images: BimmerToday]