BMW 3 Series long-term test: report 10

Our Executive Car of the Year, the BMW 3 Series, faces its toughest assignment yet: everyday life. Will it prove to be a corporate titan or quickly lose its shine? We have six months to find out...

LT BMW 3 Series causing back pain

The car BMW 3 Series 320d xDrive M Sport Run by Darren Moss, deputy editor

Why it’s here Having clinched the title of Executive Car of the Year at the 2019 What Car? Awards, the all-new 3 Series must now prove itself a champion in daily life

Needs to Be comfortable for long journeys and the weekday commute, offer exceptional fuel economy and function as a mobile office when needed

Mileage 9918 List price £39,825 Target Price £37,502 Price as tested £48,185 Test economy 44.5mpg Official economy 55.4mpg 

19 November 2019 – Comfort concerns

The pain in my lower back was mild at first but got progressively worse, to the point where I could barely walk. But what was the cause?

In truth, I still can't be sure, but I’ve begun to suspect the culprit is the 3 Series – which I’ve been borrowing from deputy editor Darren Moss – after another colleague revealed that he’d also been left in discomfort after a long drive in it.

We’ve had a couple of emails from readers along similar lines, too, but it’s clearly not an issue for everyone; Darren has never had any problems, despite spending nearly 10,000 miles behind the wheel, including a 276-mile run to Cornwall.

Our 3 Series even has the Premium Package, a £1700 option that includes electrically adjustable lumbar support. But no matter how much I fiddled with the controls, I couldn’t find a position that stopped my back from screaming and my right leg going numb.

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