The biggest nice surprise about the 320d Xdrive Touring was definitely the frugal fuel consumption, This, compared to the more than decent push we got each time we pressed the gas pedal, the sports car-like steering and the best-in-class handling make it an offer we just couldn't refuse. Don Vito Corleone would have been a great announcer for the car in a BMW commercial, but portrayed in a slightly less tacky manner.
The 320d xDrive Touring drives like it's on rail most of the time. The pushed-back engine, battery at the rear and the near perfect front/rear axle weight distribution make it feel like almost like a sports car. A really unpleasant surprise happens if you're an oldschool family type whose brats somehow managed to switch off both the traction and the stability control. That's actually hard to do without the driver's knowledge since the engine has to be on and the DTC button must be kept pushed for a few good seconds, but still. If you happen to do that during winter driving or on low-grip surfaces you better hold on to the steering wheel and be very nice with the throttle, if you know what we mean.
The ugly side could only be the somewhat small interior space, considering this is still a station wagon. The engine is pushed so far back into the cabin for optimum weight distribution that it steals most of the extra space the longer wheelbase provides. The raked roof is no friend of practicality either, and everything about the car seems like a paradox. The xDrive is not as safe as you would expect from an all wheel drive system, the luggage compartment is not as spacious as the wagon-shape would lead you to believe and the engine doesn't drink as much fuel as its performance might incline you to think. On top of all this, the list of standard options is a tiny bit on the cheap side considering this is a premium car, but it more than makes it up in the performance and efficiency department. Continue reading