BMW 3 Series long-term test: report 4

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...

Darren checking his BMW 3 Series' instrument cluster

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 6257 List price £39,825 Price as tested £48,185 Official economy 55.4mpg Test economy 45.1mpg

16 July 2019 – Show me the numbers

Like them or loathe them, digital instrument clusters – which replace analogue dials with a screen that’s usually highly customisable – are here to stay. These systems are useful for putting a lot of information in front of your eyes, but how much is too much?

Take the one in my BMW 3 Series, for example, which puts 15 different bits of information on the screen at any one time: I can see the date, speed, fuel economy, remaining range, music information, the clock, sat-nav directions and map, time, revs, temperature of the engine, outside temperature, any speed restrictions, which driving mode I’m in, trip computer information and, of course, any warning lights.

BMW 3 Series instrument cluster

And here’s the thing: it works brilliantly. I never feel overwhelmed by data, and I think it’s more graphically impressive than what you’ll find in the current Audi or Mercedes crop of cars. It might not have moved things on significantly in terms of the features it offers, but it's another example of how the latest 3 Series has upped its game.

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