Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
There’s more leg room up front in the BMW 3 Series than you’ll find in the Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class. We’re talking a couple of centimetres at the most, but that might be worth having if you’re really leggy. Anyone tall shouldn’t need to worry about the amount of head room, either, and the 3 Series’ interior is generously wide, so there's also room to stretch out sideways.
Storage space is pretty good, with a big glovebox and a useful cubby under the centre armrest. You also get partitioned door bins that help prevent loose items from rolling around.
All versions come with versatile 40/20/40 split folding rear seatbacks as standard, which is much more convenient than the 60/40 split you’ll find on a lot of rivals, including the Superb. You can fold the seats down using handy levers in the boot.
The 3 Series has a very decent boot by saloon standards. It's slightly bigger than those of the Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class, and the load bay is a usefully square shape, making it relatively easy to slide in bulky objects. If you need more space, you can fold down the rear seats – or consider the estate version, the BMW 3 Series Touring.
The boot can manage a set of golf clubs or a few suitcases. If you want a non-estate car with an even bigger boot and are prepared to sacrifice the premium badge, the Skoda Superb is truly vast.