What are they like inside?
Both feel sumptuous, and get a colour screen and sat-nav, a DAB radio, USB input, leather upholstery and front and rear parking sensors. There’s loads of room up front in both, too. Heavily bolstered, broadly adjustable sports seats hold you firmly in place, yet they’re comfortable enough for any shape of driver.
Sit in the Porsche and you’re in a cabin that feels worthy of the car’s price. There’s a sense of solid precision to the fit and finish, and while the buttons are too numerous, they’re well damped and clearly labelled. However, the screen in the Porsche is neither as big nor sharp as the screen in the BMW, and the M3’s interface is also more user-friendly.
Where the BMW falls short of the Porsche is in its perceived quality. The 3 Series’ interior is merely acceptable by the standards of a £30k executive saloon, but at £60k you start to notice the odd section of brittle-feeling plastic, and even the M tri-colours here and there don’t make it feel special enough.
Both cars offer similar rear passenger space, with slightly limited head room, although there’s usefully more leg room in the BMW. However, the Porsche’s taller hatchback boot is much better suited to carrying bulky items.
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