For The 3 Series offers strong performance, excellent economy and fine handling. It also has 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 one of the best executive cars around.
What Car? readers say
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There are 49 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 has seriously impressive running costs; 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 automatic, especially because it hardly dents performance and actually makes some versions 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.
The 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 too much. Unless you really need four-wheel drive, though, we’d save some money and go for a rear-wheel-drive version.
Reader test team says:
I have a 2012 BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics. What can I say - it's a fantastic car in every way. Bought it high mileage at 95k - some say it is a risk,…
The car has has now done 123000 miles in nearly 4 years (in March 2016). It has been excellent in terms of reliability and economy. as per my previous…
I've just downsized from a 63 plate 530D as I found the car to be just a bit too big for all the tight car parks it has to visit plus we have a 330D…
My first BMW after numerous VWs and I have to admit to being disappointed. Its an average car, not a great one the way the reviews seem to…