It might be hard to imagine, but the BMW 3 Series Touring history dates as far back 1987. The story of the BMW 3 Series Touring is quite unusual and it goes something like this. In the mid-80s, a BMW engineer by the name Max Reisböck wanted to go on vacation with his family, but none of the BMWs at the time were big enough to fit his two children and wife, and the luggage, of course.
His solution was to buy an E30 323i sedan, move it into a friend’s workshop and start an adventurous DYI project. Using the off-hours tools and talent of the prototype shop, without the knowledge or blessing of management, his ad hoc team members created the first BMW 3 Series Touring.
The project was given the green light with only minor modifications, and series production began for the 1988 model year.
Fast forward 31 years and five generations later, and the BMW 3 Series Touring is one of the brand’s best selling cars ever with over 1.7 million of cars sold.
But how do the numbers break down?
The E30 3 Series Touring sold to 103,704 customers, an impressive number for the late 80s.
Its successor – the E36 3 Series Touring – was about 30 percent more successful with a total of 130,611 units.
It wasn’t until the E46 generation that the 3 Series Touring starting to show its true value. Sales of the E46 3 Series Touring went up 227 percent for a total of 428,061 models sold. Impressive? Without a doubt!
As expected, the jump in sales from the E46 to the E91 Touring wasn’t as significant, yet still impressive. Nearly 37 percent more customers came to the brand to buy the E91 3 Series Touring – 588,863 units. This makes the E91 platform the most successful BMW Touring ever built.
With the F31 3 Series Touring going out of production earlier this year, we now have the final sales numbers – 501,147. In other words, nearly 25 percent of all 3 Series sales.
As expected, the top market was Europe, with 33 percent of the models sold going to German customers, 13 percent to the UK and 10 percent in Italy. Other successful countries who imported the 3er Touring were Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia.
One number that stands out comes from Italy – 75 percent of all F3x 3 Series models were Tourings. Or Sports Wagons, as we call it in the US.
The new 2019 BMW 3 Series Touring G21 is now entering production and with the cancelation of the 3 Series GT, we expect to beat the sales numbers of its predecessor.
Unfortunately, the US market will not get the beautiful touring, so in the meantime, we decided to test the previous generation one more time.