The new BMW 3 Series offers more space, improved safety and a host of high-tech driver aids. We’re testing the Touring (BMW’s name for its estate models) with a 187bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine.

This model promises to strike a very good balance between performance and economy, and is available with BMW’s xDrive 4×4 system.

What are we looking for?

With a healthy kerbweight, a punchy engine and four-wheel drive, the BMW’s towing credentials look strong.

We want to see if the 3 Series is as good in practice as it is on paper. We’re also keen to find out if the new BMW continues to be the benchmark compact executive for driver appeal.