The 330d Touring isn’t cheap. The least expensive, rear-drive Sport starts at £41,565 (nearly £5000 more than a 320d Sport) and the 330d range moves up to £48,035 for our xDrive M Sport Plus Edition. Even then, options make it easy to push that price up even further. With all of its extras, our car came in at £56,305.

Not long ago, that sort of sum would have bought you an M3. Even so, the BMW is cheaper than a V60 T8 Twin Engine R-Design Plus (£50,905) and an S4 TDI Avant (£49,400).

The BMW’s residuals are just outperformed by the six-cylinder diesel Audi S4, while plug-in hybrid Volvo V60 trails a little behind

An individual who falls into the 40% income tax bracket will part with £6938 in tax annually to run the BMW as a company car, versus just £3254 for the plug-in hybrid V60. A 320d M Sport Plus Edition Touring, meanwhile, will cost that same person £5463, assuming neither car is run in ‘opt-out’ company-car-by-proxy circumstances.

What Car? New car buyer marketplace - BMW 3 Series Touring