BMW saloon or estate – bike usefulness
3 series estate (E91) here – can’t comment on the saloon, but I believe the floorpans are identical.
Boot is pretty small, but the back seat area is pretty roomy (lots of legroom), so when the seats are folded it’s a decent size. The gap between the wheel arches isn’t the widest, but it’s wide enough. MTBs go in (lying flat)comfortably with the front wheel off. Roadies can go in complete.
The big downside is that the gap between the boot floor and the load cover is fairly small (RWD = high floor). One bike goes in fine, but if you want to lie 2 flat on top of each other, either you need to take the load cover out (it’s a big old lump), or you need to take the pedals off.
If you only need to move one bike around, the saloon may well be OK at that point, if you need to move 2, then estate all the way.
(TBH, I can’t understand why anybody would buy a 3-box saloon these days. Estates are SO much more practical, and generally look just as good.)Posted 5 years agod45ythMember
I bought an estate for the fitted roofbars. I have 3 bike racks fitted to this and then have 3 plastic tubs that fit in the boot perfectly.Posted 5 years ago
The tubs work out great as I given one to each person who comes riding with me. Stuff doesn’t get muddled up and there’s no faff loading the car.
The only problem I’ve had is the windscreen getting scratched with rain washing grit off the bikes on to it. I’ve thought of a towbar mounted carrier but I’m making do for now, as I have done for the 4 years I’ve the car!maxtorqueMember
Only 2 advantages i can see for the Saloon over the Tourer:
1) less cabin boom (3 box design has less noise transmitted from rear tyres – noticably quieter at >60mph in saloon)
2) slightly more secure (can’t see what is in boot)
However, the Tourer is cooler, looks better, is much more practical, and did i mention it looks better too? 😉
(I’ve just swapped my 330d Touring for a 335d Touring)Posted 5 years agomboySubscriber
Had an E90 saloon as a company car for a year. Whilst it has a big boot for a saloon, it’s totally impractical unless you only carry golf clubs or suitcases. I vowed not to buy anything as unpractical again!
My dad owner an estate version for a while, not the biggest estate by some margin, but usefully more practical. If you want practical though, buy a 5 series estate. You’ll find one no problems too in your budget as 5 series depreciate a lot more heavily than 3 series do, and they’re only a tiny bit more expensive to run. Huge load area on them though!Posted 5 years agoskiMember
I had a 3 series tourer for a while, neat glass opening to the boot was useful for flinging things in without opening the complete boot.
But for me, the boot always seemed to struggle with the amount of kit I expected I could fit in it.
I did lug 4 bikes (on the roof), plus 3 lads on a 400 mile cycling/camping tour of Scotland, so I guess it was not that bad 😉
A 5 series seem to be good value and offer a better size of boot, worth checking out too?Posted 5 years agoPezzersMember
I used to have a 330d estate latest version it was great.Posted 5 years ago
Fast as a boxter but carries 4 and returns 45-50 mpg on a run.
Space in the boot isn’t that great but with seats down at least one bike would fit wheels off though. The other problem is when you fold the seats down the parcel shelf remains and is a faff to remove so you have to fit everything beneath it. I had the optional tow bar fitted which tucks up under the bumper then is released by a button in the boot (v inspector gadget) and used a tow bar mounted rack which i find works better than putting it in the car.
Not sure if the seats fold on the saloon?
Media pack is a must as is leather and M-sport spec.
If you have snow though look elsewhere they are worse than rubbish.JonEdwardsMember
Any engine suggestions.
2.0d here. Pretty good. Not as economical as you might hope. (mine’s an older one with no stop/start and the consumption is horrible in heavy urban traffic. Easy 45+ on the motorway, and it goes well. Be prepared to get a re-map done though – well worth it, both for performance and economy gains.
If you have snow though look elsewhere they are worse than rubbish.
No they’re not. Yes you do need winter tyres, and you need to drive appropriately for the conditions, but they cope perfectly well (indeed I’ve got places in the snow where all other non 4×4 cars have failed).Posted 5 years agoPezzersMember
Agree with you Jon with winter tyres they work much better, I had a Range Rover at the time that I could use whenever it snowed but know a couple of people who fitted snow tyres.
The 2.0’s also go better in the snow than the 3.0, serioously I pulled up at a junction in the snow once to find I couldn’t get enough traction to push the car over the painted white junction lines!Posted 5 years ago
Getting a company car and it has to be a BMW. Given the budget it’s a 3-series. So, reviews say that the saloon doesn’t have much less room than the estate. Has anyone got one and can confirm/deny? Which is the most practical for throwing the bike in? I currently have a hatchback so no real problem loading the bike with wheels off.Posted 5 years agoMartynSSubscriber
320d touring here..
like it a lot. Drives really nicely
Have had 3 bikes/3 people and kit in back for a day trip. Bit of a squeeze but do-able
on my own I just put down both the seats and take off the front wheel. All goes in no probs.
I’ve got roof bars, but I need to get a new foot pack to get them on, it has a tow bar as well so I’m debating a towbar rack.
I like estates, I’m on my 3rdPosted 5 years agosantacruzsiSubscriber
I had an E90 saloon, 330d. Lovely Car all the knobs and whistles but wasnt good for a bike. Couldn’t get one in the boot in any way and as I had leather seats I didn’t fancy popping it on the back seat….clearly b r did!!! Unless you pay extra for foldy down seats or get a coupe. They all come with foldy down seats. Either that or a tourer!Posted 5 years ago
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