Car trim reviews

BMW 3 Series Luxury

"Luxury trim is all about comfort and style. The leather seats and chrome trim give the BMW 3 Series a very upmarket feel."

As its name suggests, the 3 Series Luxury is an executive car aimed at buyers looking for the highest level of comfort available - most notably provided by the standard-fit leather seats. It’s available with the same range of petrol and diesel engines found in the Modern and M Sport ranges: 320i, 320i xDrive, 328i, 335i, 318d, 320d and 330d, while prices start at around £28,000. Our pick of the range is the hugely impressive 320d diesel: it returns 68.9mpg and emits just 109g/km, while still capable of 0-62mph in just 7.5 seconds. Standard equipment is based on the Modern, featuring cruise control, Bluetooth, rear parking sensors and dual-zone automatic air-conditioning, while adding leather seats plus wood and chrome interior trim. On the outside, the Luxury boasts larger 18-inch alloy wheels with further chrome trim on the exhaust, grille and bumpers. As CarBuyer’s Best Diesel Car for 2015, the BMW 3 Series provides a very entertaining drive, beating strong competition from the Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class.

Good points

From the moment you step inside the cabin, the 3 Series Luxury feels like a quality product. The Dakota leather is sumptuously soft, and while wood dashboard trim isn’t for everyone, it does feel very upmarket. The cabin is well insulated from outside noise and all the controls are logically laid out, offering a solid feel. The driving position is low and sporty, and there is enough room in the rear to seat two adults in comfort. Even the boot is a good size, measuring 480 litres in the saloon and 495 litres in the Touring estate. It’s on the open road where this BMW impresses the most, however. It offers a hugely satisfying driving experience, handling both back roads and motorways in its stride. Performance is impressive too; the range-topping 335i and 330d Luxury versions are capable of 0-62mph in less than six seconds. If it’s economy you’re after, the 318d and 320d both return in excess of 60mpg. These two economy models also offer the lowest Benefit-In-Kind (BIK) tax rate for company car buyers, at 15%. The BMW 3 Series has also been awarded a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, achieving an impressive 95% adult safety rating.

Bad points

Despite sitting near the top of the BMW 3 Series range, Luxury comes with few unique features to make it stand out from the rest of the range. Although the leather seats and wood trim are a classy addition, we’d like to see more equipment fitted as standard at this level - such as metallic paint, folding rear seats, sat-nav or BMW’s automatic parking system. Specifying several items from the BMW options list soon sees the overall asking price climb at an alarming rate. Also, although typical of a rear-wheel-drive car, the 3 Series features a large rear transmission tunnel that obstructs the footwell when carrying a third rear passenger. Finally, we’re not convinced the exterior styling will be to everyone’s tastes, especially when compared with the handsome Audi A4.

What you get

  • Alloy wheels
  • Alarm
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Tyre pressure sensors
  • Passenger & Driver airbag
  • Front side airbags
  • Curtain airbags
  • Front fog lights
  • Auto climate control
  • Full leather seats
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Height adjustable driver's seat
  • Front electric windows
  • Single CD player
  • AUX stereo input
  • Cruise control
  • Stop/Start
  • Rear electric windows
  • Bluetooth

Recommended optional extras

  • Folding rear seats

Our choice

The 320d offers great fuel economy and all the performance you'll ever need - suiting both private and company car buyers alike.

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