BMW embraced the SUV sector with a passion, especially in the mid-sized market with its X3.
Since the M3 first appeared in 2003 it has gained a reputation for being one of the most sporty of its kind and the newest models, subjected to a major update take the whole game a stage further.
They feature a new platform, improved looks, more on-board features and, most importantly an improved driving experience.
So as the car is now in its third generation it has been honed to somewhere near the perfection that the demanding customers of this type of vehicle require.
It is longer, features more rear space and has that athletic stance that typifies the latest BMW corporate look.
The latest model range features three trim levels - SE, xLine and M Sport the subject of this test which tipped the price scale at £40,400.
Featuring BMW's permanent four-wheel-drive system, it offers much for the money and features BMW's own permanent four-wheel drive system.
It is already going great guns in the teeth of formidable opposition and looks set to further the 1.5 million sales already achieved by the model line.
At first sight you see a wider light cluster, a longer version of the familiar kidney-shaped grille and more sloping glass.
Inside there is a much more classy feel with plenty of wood and alloy trim, an abundance of leather and that feeling that this model is a notch above its station in terms of quality fittings.
The 2.0 four-cylinder diesel engine is well endowed with torque and punch and due praise has to be given to the eight-speed automatic gearbox and the on-windscreen head-up display which features speed readout and proximity warning technology.
M Sport seats keep the driver fully supported when the sporty attributes of this model are exploited. In fact this version is top class all-rounder in terms of pure ability.
It is capable of relaxing day-to-day use and buy switching it into sport mode offers broad horizons in sensible, sporty driving.
Its carefully tuned chassis, including axle kinematics, elevates sporty handling to a new level.
An significant feature in the range is the new BMW CoPilot system to which includes Active Cruise Control and Driving Assistant Plus safety package (Steering and lane control assistant, Lane Change Assistant and Lane keeping assistant with side collision protection).