The keen-eyed among you might realise that the Touring scores less than the saloon we road tested. It was tempting to dish out another full-mark ranking, it’s true, but we couldn’t quite shift the nagging feeling that with its excellence comes a penalty that should cost it just half a star.

That penalty is what seems like the necessity to increase the list price from a not-unreasonable £37,200 to a figure well above £40,000 in order to get the optimum driving experience. That should not, however, detract from the rare brilliance of this car’s powertrain, whose performance and economy are of the highest order.

Matt Saunders

Chief tester
This car's powertrain really is worth the extra outlay over the 320d

But overall the BMW Touring iis starting to show its age amongst youthful rivals and hence another reason for not amassing the full complement of stars. Both the Audi A4 Avant and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate lack the driving allure that the BMW gives but counters with larger loading space, better refinement and ride, but also excel on the luxury and safety equipment fronts.

Top 5 Compact saloons

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