Our cars: BMW 3 Series - October
Week ending October 26
Driven this week: 412 miles
Read the full BMW 3 Series review
I borrowed editor-in-chief Chas Hallett’s 3 Series to make the 200-mile journey to see my grandma in Yorkshire last week, and although ‘memorable’ isn’t a word most people would usually associate with the M1, I’ll remember this particular drive fondly for a while.
When you’re driving this car, it feels that everything has been designed just for you; it’s so comfortable. I normally suffer from numb bum syndrome on long journeys; not in the Beemer, thanks to its supportive, but happily not too firm, seats.
What really impressed me though is the head-up display that beams the sat nav’s directions on to the windscreen so you’re not constantly turning your head to see the screen. It means you keep your eyes where they should be – on the road ahead.
Week ending October 19
Driven this week: 300 miles
Our BMW 320d is a Sport, which means that it gets sports seats that are marked out by different stitching, piping and an extendable seat base. I find them extremely comfortable, as do all of my colleagues who've undertaken long stints at the wheel.
Not everyone agrees, though. Several six-foot readers have been in touch to say the extendable base renders the seat uncomfortable, because the split in the seat base undercuts their thighs. Maybe it's because I've got short legs, but I've not had a problem. However, I'll be asking fellow What Car? staff members to monitor it.
If you're considering a BMW 3 Series Sport - or ordering the seats as an option on other trims – make sure you sit behind the wheel for a long time before deciding.
By Chas Hallett
Week ending October 12
Driven this week: 240 miles
One of the pricier options added to our long-term 3 Series is the Professional Multimedia infotainment system, at £1995.
As part of this you get an 8.8-inch monitor with a display that can show two different things at once.
I love the sat-nav display. The BMW is a classy car throughout, and the Google maps-style display makes sure that sophistication continues on the screen.
It's much nicer than the one in, say, the Volkswagen Passat that was run by deputy production editor Barnaby Jones until recently. That had a cartoon-like feel to it that didn't go with the rest of the interior, whereas this BMW version is really in keeping with the cabin.
I am not completely sold, however – it's an expensive system, and it couldn't even find the hotel I was heading to in the Cotswolds.
By Tom Webster
Week ending October 5
Driven this week: 1460 miles
I needed to drive to Wales and back in a day, and our BMW 320d seemed an obvious choice. For only the second time this summer, I've driven 500 miles without feeling like I've endured some kind of extended medical procedure. Both of these journeys have been made at the wheel of the 3 Series. That's about as good as endorsements get.
My only quibble is the wind noise you notice when you hit an occasional patch of new, smooth asphalt on the motorway and the tyre noise dies away. Otherwise I really can't fault it.
By Ed Keohane