What is it?
The G20-generation BMW 3 Series Touring’s arrival in the UK coincides with our collective love for estate cars taking something of a dive, while demand for high-riding SUVs continues to skyrocket. Yet BMW expects it to quickly account for one in every four 3 Series models sold.
That should come as little surprise; the Touring remains the de facto choice for those who demand driver engagement as well as extended boot space. It does, after all, share its chassis with our current favourite compact saloon.
Mechanical differences largely boil down to stiffer anti-roll bars and a softened front suspension setup to account for heavier loads over the rear axle, while the 3.0-litre diesel engine found in this 330d xDrive variant is now the entry-level six-cylinder unit, with the petrol-powered 330i having made the switch to a four-pot.
This top-spec M Sport Plus Edition car rides on 19in alloy wheels, rather than the 18in set fitted to the standard M Sport model we tested on the continent earlier this year. It also gets adaptive suspension, upgraded brakes, variable sport steering and an active differential, making it the most advanced trim level going - at least until the arrival later this year of the M340i, which is as close to an M3 Touring as we'll get.