There's a wide choice of engines for the BMW 3 Series Coupe and all provide plenty of power and pace – from the four-cylinder 318i and 320i to the V8-powered M3, which goes like a rocket. However, so does our favourite, the turbocharged 335i, and it’s much cheaper. Elsewhere in the petrol range are six-cylinder 325i, 330i and 335i engines. The four-cylinder 320d diesel is a cracker, and the six-cylinder diesels (325d, 330d and 335d) are even sweeter.
The 3 Series Coupe is thrilling to drive. The ride is firm - particularly on the 19-inch wheels - but the pay-off is outstanding grip and cornering composure. Even the twistiest roads are tackled without drama, and the steering provides reassuring weight and feel. BMW's Active Steering is a pricey and unnecessary option.
Although the Coupe's frameless side windows create some wind noise, the cabin is quiet. Engine noise is kept to a reasonable level, and it's the same story with road- and suspension-noise. The manual gearshift requires precise timing and a deft touch, otherwise it can be clunky, especially at low speed. The autos are smooth, however.
The 3 Series Coupe won't cost much more to run than the saloon, which means sensible running costs across the board. Even the 335i returns 33.6mpg and falls five categories short of the maximum company car tax banding, while the diesels are impressively clean and frugal. Residual values are pretty good, too
The 3 Series Coupe is expensive, but it has the quality to back up its pricetag. Everything you touch has a thoroughly engineered, built-to-last feel, while the materials used have an appealing look and feel. BMWs have a reputation for mechanical solidity, and this model shouldn't do anything to damage it.
Like every 3 Series model, the Coupe comes brimming with safety kit. Front, side and curtain airbags are standard, as are stability control and run-flat tyres. The anti-lock brake system even incorporates a function that uses gentle pressure to keep the brake discs dry in the wet. Deadlocks are fitted as standard to make things more difficult for thieves.
A huge range of adjustment for the seat and steering wheel means it's easy for all drivers to make themselves comfortable, while the driving position is spot-on. The standard dash is simple and clearly laid out. If you go for the optional satellite-navigation system, you get BMW’s brilliant iDrive system, which has handy shortcut buttons.
This is a genuine four-seater, with ample legroom for four tall adults. Rear headroom for taller passengers may feel slightly tight, but the BMW does better on this score than some rivals. The boot is a generous size, though the wheelarches intrude and the load entrance is on the small side.
There’s a choice of SE or M Sport trims, and both have lots of kit. SE models have 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, leather upholstery, rear parking sensors, climate control, a CD player with MP3 input, front electric windows, powered/heated door mirrors and more. M Sport versions add a range of cosmetic upgrades inside and out, including a bodykit and larger alloy wheels.
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The 335i SE is our favourite 3 Series Coupe. The performance is exceptional, the engine sounds fantastic, and running costs aren't as high as you'd expect. A cut-price M3.