The BMW 3 Series has been at the top of its game for over three decades, giving private and company car drivers a unique blend of handling, comfort and practicality, mixed with stylish looks and badge appeal. In 2012, the brand raised the bar again, with an all-new and even better 3 Series saloon.
Its superb range of abilities is topped off by an incredibly involving driving experience. Sharp steering and responsive brakes are matched to a comfortable ride. All the engines – ranging from low-powered petrol models through responsive diesels and a flagship hybrid, fit well, while economy and emissions are among the best in class. The smooth six-cylinder petrol engines are genuinely fast, but the 320d EfficientDynamics diesel model is the range highlight. It’ll cover 0-60mph in just eight seconds and hit 143mph flat out, yet economy of 68.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 109g/km make it one of the most frugal executive cars on sale.
The new model is bigger inside than the old car, with decent rear head and legroom. The boot is impressive, too, offering an impressive 480-litre load space – enough to rival the practical Audi A4. It's loaded with airbags, and reliability is top notch. A quality interior and upmarket dashboard helps make the BMW 3 Series a great long-distance cruiser.
Although list prices are high, standard spec is generous, with all cars getting automatic air-conditioning, and Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Pre-paid servicing and extensive warranties should mean running costs are kept to a minimum, too.
As a car for any occasion, not a lot can come close to the BMW 3 Series. Its positives allow it to challenge for the title of ‘all the car you could ever need’, while its exceptional drive and upmarket badge means it could be ‘all the car you could ever want’, too.