For The BMW 3 Series delivers strong performance, excellent economy, fine handling and a luxurious and spacious cabin.
Against It’s not as refined as some rivals, and you have to add the optional adjustable suspension to make it ride and handle as it should.
What Car? says
If you choose the right version and add the right options, the BMW 3 Series is as good as is gets for compact executive buyers. It's our reigning Executive Car of the Year.
What Car? readers say
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There are 48 BMW 3 Series versions available
Target Price team says:
The 3 Series range has a huge selection of engines, gearboxes and trim levels, but there’s little reason to look beyond the 320d Efficient Dynamics model.
It’s quick and flexible, and the running costs are seriously impressive. If you’re a company car driver, you’ll love the low company car tax bills it commands.
The standard manual gearbox is notchy, so we’d choose the slick auto, especially because it hardly dents performance and actually makes the car more economical.
We’d also strongly advise adding the optional Adaptive M Sport Suspension. With it, the 3 Series is the best-driving car in the class; without it, the car’s dynamics are a little disappointing.
xDrive models come with an advanced four-wheel drive system that can send power to the front or rear axle. It works well and doesn’t hurt fuel economy or CO2 emissions by too much. However, unless you really need it we’d save the extra you have to pay for it.
Reader test team says:
Must say I'm disappointed overall with my first BMW Coming to the end of a 3 year lease /75000 miles on this car and it's very average at best for…
ACTIVEHYBRID 3 Bought 12 months old and with 6k on the clock. The activehybrid 3 is a fantastic city car with the electric motor adding 10% -15%…
I bought nearly new with just over 1000 miles on clock. I have had BMWs stretching back over the last 25 years and all were an improvement on previous…
I bought my well equipped (professional nav, xenon adaptive lights, sports 8 speed auto gearbox, heated leather, privacy glass, comfort pack) 320D…