The latest model may not look very different from the car it replaced, but it has bigger dimensions, more efficient engines and is easily the best 3 Series BMW have made yet. Which is a lofty statement given that the 3 Series has been the compact executive car of choice for nearly 10 years, after the series has dominated the sector since its original launch way back in 1975. So this sixth-generation model had some big boots to fill, which it does in spades. The old car wasn’t perfect, however, and the improvements ushered in with the new car were arguably long overdue, especially as some updates to the Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4 threatened to leave it lagging behind.
The BMW design team has worked long and hard on virtually every aspect of the car to make sure it has improved across the board and it's safe to say that there's now a specification to suit all tastes and budget (well, for those with enough money to consider buying a BMW in the first place). The entry-level model is the ES, followed by ED, SE, Luxury, Modern, Sport and M Sport, with the 4x4 xDrive finally on sale in the UK, too, after years of only being available in mainland Europe. The 3 Series also comes as either a stylish saloon or a more practical Touring estate. 2013 also saw the introduction of a more spacious 3 Series GT saloon that combines the sportier aspects of the saloon with the greater practicality of the estate.
Find out what we think is the best compact executive car by watching our video below.