New Ford Mondeo vs used BMW 3 Series: which is best?

You're after an executive car but you have a difficult choice – do you buy a new one that’s extremely practical or a used one with a premium badge?

Words By Mark Pearson

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New Ford Mondeo vs used BMW 3 Series – interior & equipment

It has to be said there are a few cheap-feeling plastics and poorly damped switches in the Mondeo, especially around the dash. Having said that, the general fit and finish feels solid enough, and the combination of gloss, matt and metal makes the interior seem fairly upmarket. All Mondeos are well equipped, even the entry-level Style, but our favourite trim is the Zetec we’ve gone for here, as it adds a heated windscreen and electric windows all round. There’s an 8.0in touchscreen, too, but it isn't always the easiest to use.

By contrast, the 3 Series’ interior feels classy straight away, with good use of soft-touch plastics on the dash and gloss-black finishes on the centre console. It looks great and feels nicely constructed, while the switches all work with a well-damped action. In our favoured SE trim it comes handsomely equipped with sat-nav, climate control, a DAB radio and alloy wheels, although you do have to pay extra for leather seats. Its iDrive rotary controller infotainment system is a work of art, and easily one of the best available.

New Ford Mondeo vs used BMW 3 Series – space & practicality

Now this is an area where the Mondeo can definitely claw back some ground. Its driving position is nicely adjustable and the space both front and rear is probably large enough to house the 3 Series within it. Only the gently sloping rear robs it of some precious head room for back seat passengers. The boot is huge, too, with a large opening, and it’s deeper than the Mariana Trench.

The 3 Series is a smaller car externally than the Mondeo, and it shows in interior space. Its driving position is good, thanks to a height adjustable seat, although its manual controls are a little fiddly. Front and rear space are both down on the Mondeo’s though, and it can be quite cramped sitting behind a taller driver. Indeed its rear quarters are not the 3 Series’ biggest selling point. For a car of its size the boot is a reasonable size and shape but, it’s nowhere near the Mondeo’s for overall capacity.

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