No voodoo has been employed in delivering BMW’s remarkable sales success in the UK, which has been brought about largely via the fleet sector. The company offers its models – crucially, its diesels – at competitive list prices (which translate into equally competitive P11D values), and fits them with some of the lowest-emitting engines on the market.

For all its power and performance, the 330d Touring is very much sprung from the same mould. It’s taxable some three bands lower than its next lowest-rated rival, which puts about £450 a year back into your pocket if you run one as a company car, relative to an equivalent Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate or Audi A4 Avant.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
On a long motorway cruise we saw 53.6mpg, though you'll see more than that if you're careful

Residuals are strong, too, boosting the car’s credentials for both retail and fleet. The only bugbear is the cost of options and the number of them you’ll be prevailed upon to take up. It’s very easy to add 25 per cent to the cost of the car before you’ve exhausted the options catalogue, and it will be hard to escape the showroom if you haven’t parted with at least £3000 for items without which, the salesman will tell you, your car will be next to unsaleable secondhand. Just don’t be afraid to expect money off a well stocked car.

Top 5 Compact saloons

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Opel Ampera-e
    First Drive
    27 April 2017
    Opel's second-generation Ampera is smaller than the first, and now purely electric. It's also very capable with a remarkable range
  • Lotus Elise Sprint
    First Drive
    27 April 2017
    The latest incarnation of the Elise may be out of its depth on track, but on the public road it is probably the purest version since the original
  • First Drive
    26 April 2017
    The compromises of adding a plug-in hybrid drivetrain to the 5 Series make the new 530e iPerformance tough to recommend
  • 2017 BMW 440i Coupé
    First Drive
    26 April 2017
    The assumption was that a few minor tweaks to the 2017 BMW 440i Coupé wouldn't make much of a difference. It turns out they do
  • Porsche 911 GT3
    First Drive
    26 April 2017
    Brilliant new Porsche 911 GT3 picks up where the previous GT3 RS and 911 R left off