We’ve only driven cars with the Adaptive M Sport suspension. This offers a choice of settings controlled by a button on the dashboard. They cover steering weight, throttle response and, if it’s fitted, the automatic gearbox.
Even in the softer Comfort setting the 3 Series Touring feels well controlled and easy to handle. Switching to Sport stiffens the dampers and gives it real poise, making it a better driver’s car than just about any rival. The wonderfully balanced rear-wheel drive chassis gives you lots of confidence, with very little body lean in corners.
The only problem area is the steering; the weight isn’t consistent as you turn the wheel, although it is at least accurate. The optional Servotronic system doesn’t fully resolve this so we’d recommend ignoring this, as well as the more expensive Variable Sport Steering option.
For those concerned about traction in the winter months, the xDrive four-wheel drive system makes a lot of sense. It does take the edge off the more playful-feeling handling in the rear-wheel-drive models, but for most drivers that’s likely to be a small penalty to pay for the car’s better all-weather ability.