It's a bit of a disappointment, this BMW. Consdiering its rave reviews, the car has some serious weaknesses.
Firstly, it is not a pretty car. It looks rather awkward. However, this is less of a problem once inside.
The ride on the non-sport, basic model I test-drove is extremely firm. I'm talking far firmer than my father's Porsche Boxster, a purpose-built sports car. It's uncomfortable at low speeds and it never really settles as you get faster.
Its refinement is good, as quiet as previous generation five. The interior is typically BMW: spartan but solidly assembled.
The 150bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder is fairly quick and cultured for a four-cylinder but nothing like as entertaining as BMWs six-cylinder units.
It's fun to drive and handles well but that bone-shaking ride on rough roads means I cannot recommend the car, and if you go for sports suspension and large wheels, I suggest plenty of pain killers!
I have owned a 3 Series before, but this new model is unbelievable. The drive you get from it is perfect. It is very quiet in the cabin, and the finish inside is very much improved on the old version. The engine is superb, and the pick up in speed is very quick for the style and size of car. BMW are on a winner with this model, and it really needs to be driven to prove all the positve points. The best 3 Series ever. Overjoyed with this car.
It is completely different to the similiar-looking 320d. It's the best drive in its class by far. The engine does not compare to the blown four-pots from Japanese competitors. The E90 M3 could be awesome.
As for the 320d, which no doubt will account for the vast majority of E90s, I think BMW are losing their sporting values but they have a business to maintain. I'm just glad they still put good money into research and development for their six-pot petrol range.
Having just taken delivery of the car, first impressions are excellent. It drives smoothly and feels solid on the road. The cabin is very comfortable with all the usual refinements. The service from the dealer has been first class. A great start as a first-time BMW owner.
Order a brochure, find your nearest dealer or book a test drive
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