Let’s get the extras dealt with first. Our test 330d came with the Adaptive M Sport suspension option – whose damper firmness parameters can be adjusted via a switch on the dash – and Variable Sport Steering, that means the steering is quicker on lock than it is around the straight-ahead.

The adaptive damping comes in place of standard steel springs (whose firmness depends on the trim level you’ve specified), and leaves the ride perfectly acceptable even on the runflat tyres that are standard on a 330d. Select Comfort mode (Sport and Sport+ are the other options) and while the BMW is not, say, Jaguar XE supple, against its more obvious German rivals the Touring lacks some of the refinement when it comes to ride quality.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
Oversteer in the 330d is both progressive and adjustable

Similarly, while our noise meter is out of action and awaiting calibration, to our ears the 330d offers a level of hush and refinement that is as good as anything at the price.

Elsewhere, the 330d seems largely unaffected by the addition of taller rear bodywork. It rides, steers and handles with the same panache as the regular 3 Series saloon, which means that it drives rather well indeed. Its steering is slick, and although there is little road feel to discern, it is accurate, responsive and free from stiction.

The handling, meanwhile, is as agile and sure-footed as we’ve come to expect from the latest-generation 3 Series. It displays a fine balance and has just the right amount of roll, pitch and dive to remind you that you are testing the chassis.

Braking is good in both wet and dry conditions – particularly so in the wet, where the 330d stopped in less than 50m from 70mph. An excellent result.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Seat Ibiza
    Car review
    21 July 2017
    A model upon which Seat has staked its future, the new Ibiza must now deliver
  • Honda Clarity FCV
    Car review
    21 July 2017
    Honda’s fuel cell flagship reaches its second generation, but is the world ready?
  • Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi 110 N-Connecta 2017 review
    First Drive
    20 July 2017
    A UK drive in Nissan’s crucial crossover shows an update has not cost it any of that which makes it sell so well
  • Seat Ibiza 1.0 MPI
    First Drive
    20 July 2017
    The Seat Ibiza has wowed in other iterations, but how will the entry-level 1.0-litre MPI version stack up in the UK? We've been to north Wales to find out
  • Vauxhall Insignia Sport Tourer 1.5 Turbo 165 2017 review
    First Drive
    20 July 2017
    Mid-range petrol engine suits Vauxhall's new family-sized load-lugger well. Another refined, comfortable, easy-to-drive and attractively priced Insignia.